Arkansas Education

Josh asked me why I thought that the educational system in Arkansas has struggled so much over the years. His answer was culture. The culture for Arkansans hasn’t always put a value on education. Some think that people who are educated seem pompous, a word they probably don’t know. I agree with Josh completely. Since Arkansas’ statehood there has been, as said by one state official, an “indifference that pervades the public mind on the subject of education.” It would make since that the earliest settlers wouldn’t put an emphasis on the value of a good education because for most of them it didn’t have much of a value; the need for education is always vital but it was overlooked by one group of men who could have started Arkansas off on the right foot.

The Arkansas Territory was created after Missouri became its own state. The early government of the territory and the early state government of Arkansas had the opportunity to put an emphasis on education but they did not. Robert Crittenden was the first territorial secretary of the Arkansas Territory. That was the second highest position and he would soon become the acting governor; the new governor Gen. James Miller arrived half a year left on a boat with a big banner that said “Arkansaw.” Crittenden is remember most for dying young and killing Henry Conway, the sole and new elected delegate to the United States House of Representatives. From there the early politicians had many more problems. In the first session of the Arkansas General Assembly there was a knife fight that resulted in the death of J.J. Anthony; John Wilson, the murderer, wasn’t convicted of anything even though it happened in a crowded room and was re-elected years later and pulled out his knife again before other members of the assembly jumped in. Threw all of the dueling and knife fights public education must have fallen through the cracks. I suppose that for some men being a better shot would have help them.

There was almost no state taxation for the creation and operation of schools. The federal government subsidized education by setting aside the sixteenth section of every township so that it could support local schools; although there are a lot of townships the revenue made by this was insufficient for the support of public schools. The wealthy sent their children to one of the few private schools or hired a tutor while poor Arkansans couldn’t afford private school or to pay taxes for public schools; the wealthy opposed paying taxes for private schools. The early educational system was a mess filled with underpaid and often incompetent teachers.

Michigan is referred to as Arkansas’ sister state because it entered the union a year after us balancing out the free and slave states. Here are some early stats comparing the two states.

Data from the 1850 census:


Public schools:                                                    353                                                     2,714

Pupils in schools:                                               8,493                                                 110,445

Funds for public schools derived by taxes:    250                                                     88,879

White illiterates:                                               16,819                                                   7,912

Public libraries:                                    1 with 250 volumes                 280 with 65,116 volumes

It’s hard to say what our educational system would be like today if more had been done over 150 years ago. Almost half of Arkansans before the civil war weren’t born in Arkansas. Maybe because it was viewed as a place for the ignorant, people from all over came so their lack of knowledge could be accepted. Even some of the most wealth, people from Little Rock, didn’t put much value on state education. When put to a vote the people of Little Rock wouldn’t pay taxes for a state university; Little Rock have around 3,700 people and 1 out of every 100 was an attorney. The citizens of Fayetteville voted that they would pay taxes for our flagship university.

I thought some of this information would be interesting, especially for my teacher friends. Also, the system is constantly getting better. Test scores have improved and our motto is no long “Thank the Lord for Mississippi.” I got some of this information from Dr. Dockery, a great Arkansas history professor at Harding, and I cited the book that I got the rest of the information from at the bottom. Hopefully I cited it correctly.

Deblack, Thomas. “”The Rights and Rank to Which We are Entitled”: Arkansas in the Early Statehood Period.” Arkansas: A Narrative History. Fayetteville: The University of Arkansas: 2002.

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The trend is for you to blog about goals for 2012. Since I want to write mine down I figured that blogging would be the best way.

  1. I want to work on being a better fiance and after July 14th a great husband. I’m truly blessed to be with my Lesli and I’m very excited about getting married. But I believe that people have to do some work to make their lives happy; sometimes good times just fall into your lap. People have told me the first year is tough and others say that it’s wonderful and easy. I’m always happy with Lesli, even though I often don’t show it, but I want to make the start of our marriage as wonderful for her as possible.
  2. What’s dean got to do with it, got to do with it? I tried to insert a youtube video of the Dean from community but it’s been so long since I’ve blogged and they have changed things up. The goal is to make the Dean’s list at Harding. Last spring I did so with my highest GPA since I started college. The following semester was tough and it was my first semester working while going to school and I wasn’t able to do it again. Now I’m pumped and ready to have my name published in the Beebe newspaper.
  3. Everyone always wants to lose weight and workout more, but why? I’ll tell you why! I get married this summer… I at least want her to have the memory of a PJ that was almost in shape.
  4. I’m going to start writing down where my money goes; I want to make a pie chart.
  5. My last goal is going to be the hardest to accomplish. I want to go the the driving range at least once every 2 weeks. It relaxes me and it makes me feel good… I love golf! If it’s going to surpass tennis as the sport I play the most, it did a while ago, then I want to become a better golfer.

2012 here I come.

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I’m ready for the weeked!

Their was a show called the Weekenders and it came on Saturday morning on ABC. I watched this show and really enjoyed it growing up. I sing the theme song, which was performed by Wayne Brady, all of the time. “I’m ready for the weekend, I’m ready for the weekend. Yay!” It was a cool show.

I am not singing this song about tomorrow, which is actually today because I am up late. A girl that I worked with called in because her doctor said that she couldn’t work anymore. She is pregnant. So I had to absorb her shifts. I will be working a double, lunch and dinner, on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. This is going to be a tough weekend for me. “I’m not ready for the weekend, I’m not ready for the weekend. No!”

P.S.   The Weekenders is no longer aired in the US, but if you ever happen to go to Jamaica then you should try to watch it.

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The long journey home

Just like a lot people my age I have been doing some school shopping. One of the items on my list was a beard trimmer. For the longest time I had been using a trimmer at my house. But this next semester I am not going to go home as much; I work most weekends and there are laundry mats on every floor of my dorm. So because I won’t be going home often and because my facial hair grows too quickly I decided to get a beard trimmer. I bought one. I was pretty excited. After my shower I tried it. It seemed like all was going well in the first couple of seconds and then something terrible happened. Unlike what I used in the past you can’t put any pressure on your face while using it. Even a tiny amount will result in a big chunk of beard falling to the sink. I had only one choice.

I rubbed shaving cream all over my face, bringing back memories that I had long forgotten. The blade was new and sharp. With the sound of rushing water in the back ground I began. With ever stroke more of what I had loved for so long was leaving me. In just a short period of time it was gone. I looked at myself in the mirror and I could barely recognize the person staring back at me.

What good is a thick head of hair if it doesn’t extend down your jaw bones and across your chin? What good are straight teeth if they don’t look as white because they aren’t surrounded by brown hair? But I will survive. My beard will see the sun again. It’ll be a long journey but my face will be bearded!


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Golfing with the pros

Part 1: Monday

I went golfing with my friend Josh. We only played nine holes because even in the morning it is extremely hot. I must say that I am pretty happy with the way I played. I improved from the week before and for someone who hasn’t played that much golf in his lifetime I was pretty good. So I made the decision to drop out of college and join the pro tour. Now, I understand that making it as a professional athlete won’t be easy but I believe that I am that great. My driving is the best it had ever been and more than that my short game, which is usually the weakest part of my game, is perfect.

I know that a lot of you are worried that I am throwing away my education but this is a risk that I have to take. Don’t worry because I will remember you. Will you remember me? Oh yeah. You’ll remember that you were friends with Patrick Sawatsky.

Part 2: Thursday

I went golfing with my friends Andy and Heath. We only played nine holes because even in the morning it is extremely hot. I must say that I am pretty unhappy with the way I played. My very first drive of the day was perfect and I was putting for eagle but ended up with par. Alright so the pressure got to me but then things kept going downhill. Don’t get me wrong I had a lot of fun. I’m just thinking that maybe I should graduate from Harding before I join the pro tour. I know all of you reader (I didn’t make that plural on purpose) are sad that you won’t get to see me at the Masters but stay strong. For I will graduate and hen I will throw that diploma into the back seat of my car and go golfing. And then if I happen to play well that day then I will say that I’m going to become a professional golfer.

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The resent conflict in America had a lot of people worried. The hardest part for us is that we didn’t have any control. A fairly small group of people, small relative to the overall population, could do a lot of harm to our county. For a long time we were worried that things wouldn’t be settled and because of that our country would have to go through some tough times. Thankfully… we get football. I knew things would work out.

So what was all of this about? It turns out that it wasn’t all about money though some of the agreement was about rebalancing the revenue sharing system. It gave stricter guidelines for signing rookies and extra benefits for retired players. Lastly, there are new rules governing practices. It was oddly difficult to find out what the lockout was over and this is all that I could find. If I left something out or got something wrong then KEEP IT TO YOURSELF! I’m joking. If I left anything out then tell me because I’m interested to know. I’m not sure the affect that the lockout will have on the season. The players have missed a lot of training. Also, teams will have new players, such as trades, the signing of free agents, and rookies, that need time to mesh with their new team. It may make things start of slowly but these are talented athletes.

I am going to make two predictions even though it’s way to early:

  1. The Ravens are going to make it to the Super Bowl.
  2. Tom Brady is going to decided that he is too “pretty” to get tackled and Ryan Mallett will take over.

Now I can start my fantasy league. Right now the only two members are me and Josh. But I figure that if I hang up a poster in my dorm when school starts I’d end up with enough people. I think that it will add a whole new level to watching football.

Lastly, Craig Ferguson is on location with week in Paris. He doesn’t have an audience and it is the most unique that a late night show could ever be. I encourage you to watch Le late late show avec Craig Ferguson.

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My blog is back, back again

I have decided to start blogging again. Why did I stop? Maybe it was because I had nothing to say or because I was bad at it. The real reason is probably laziness. But that’s in the past and if were spend time their then Marty may fade from the photograph altogether. But after reading about conspiracy theories dealing with pizza and looking at pictures of cartoon characters I have decided that I want to blog too.

Now I am going to catch you up on what has happened since my last blog:

  • I made the dean’s list (more importantly Lesli had a 4.0)
  • I played golf with my brother in law
  • I went skeet shooting with Josh
  • I’ve played a lot of guitar
  • Uh…
  • I got a job at Luigi’s (an Italian restaurant in Searcy, in front of JCPenny’s)
  • I fell down again!!! I slipped on some wet tile and my legs flew out from underneath me and I hit the front of my head on the ground pretty hard. I started bleeding but it never hurt and it didn’t have bruise.
  • I have saved up the largest amount of money in my life (which isn’t that much, I really should have worked more before now)
  • Well…
  • I have spent a lot of time with my lovely girlfriend Lesli

So overall I haven’t done much. I spend my days working and then I hang out with Lesli. Honestly, my job is alright. I don’t love it but I don’t hate it. Plus I get to take Lesli out on dates and I don’t have to worry about what it costs or saving up so I can afford it. It’s a new feeling. Sorry for wasting your time. I promise it will be better. Well, I promise it can’t get worse. Fine! I promise that I will have another blog in the near future.

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