Forks in the road our young must chooseDon’t hear the term, “fork in the road” often, these days, except by older folk. Today we don’t often see a fork in the road except way out in the boondocks. Highway interchanges and roundabouts more often challenge us in our decision making while on the road in these busier times.
By: Bernie Hughes, Superior Telegram
Don’t hear the term, “fork in the road” often, these days, except by older folk. Today we don’t often see a fork in the road except way out in the boondocks. Highway interchanges and roundabouts more often challenge us in our decision making while on the road in these busier times. Many choices are available that weren’t back in my fork in the road days. GPS helps a great deal in driving decisions but there are no GPS for selecting schools, lifetime mates and other very important decisions we all must make.
In my professional days, youngsters had parental and teacher guidance; decision making seemed easier in those more simple times. Elementary education had only two forks in the road, public or parochial school. Today charters have been added and schools many offering special programs such as Waldorf.
The next decision is high school and location. Some are fortunate to have one within walking distance. Bus service is available for some. While in high school, should they complete or drop out as too many do? We are coming to realize that this is a great national loss. Some post high school education is extremely important for those not born in luxury.
Then comes higher education selection. Transportation and the cost of housing accompany most choices. Some higher education such as vocational may be an available option. Other choices, more distant, add to the cost (travel and housing). What will my intention for vocation be? Do I wish to be a teacher, a lawyer, and that list goes on and on.
The next choice is work and location. When unemployment is high, such as now, availability may be extremely limited. Everyone wouldn’t choose North Dakota for vocation even though job availability is great there now. Choices have become more varied which adds to the difficulty of decision making.
We appreciate very much the additional choices available today, but that may not always be an advantage. Some folks, in retrospect, feel that they didn’t make the best choice and may conclude that too many choices can result in a choice that doesn’t turn out as hoped. Can there be too many choices? Can they overcrowd the field and thwart focus? I especially wonder when I see grade school youngsters texting on the way to and from school and read the karate business advertising for three-and-a-half to five-year-olds.
Marriage is another choice for many. Will I end up marrying my childhood sweetheart as was often the case in former times? Times change, don’t they, and new technology makes choices more available and more difficult? Marriage decisions once made were more accurately using the term, “till death do us part.”
In summary, why write about such a personal topic. The old cliché, “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery” caused me to think about the issue of making choices. More difficult today, the simpler cliché, “fork in the road” doesn’t do justice in these more technologically complicated days.
Another poem of Bud Brand, “The Jungle of Life,” may cap my comments:
It’s a dog eat dog world today,
And the times can be very rough
Sugar coating will do no good,
And flattery is nothing but fluff.
To grow and learn you must be strong;
Will power will always trump strife;
That is the only way to succeed,
Living in the jungle of life.
Bernie Hughes, Ed.D, is a retired educator who resides in Superior. He can be reached at email@example.com.