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Regarding Brookfield's term "culture suicide" discussion, I would add my
thoughts as a first- generation college student from a family of ten.
First, the individual must, at some point, break beyond the cultural
limitations of parents and grandparents generations that would say "you
do not need education so much as hard work."  My parents gave me, above
all, strong role models of hard work, honesty and responsibility.  I
never considered college while I attended high school (I was in the
Diversified Occupations Program as a high school senior that allowed me
to work half days in a auto body shop in Lamesa, Texas.)  After a year
out of high school working and hearing an older sister tell me I should
try college, I finally enrolled part-time at a two-year college.  An
English professor there inspired me to work on toward a degree.  I
eventually earned three degrees, but I remember one "cultural dissonance"
incident that happened while I was working on my master's degree at Texas
Tech.  I was working at two jobs, going to graduate school, and trying to
be a good father and husband when my own father,a West Texas cowboy, came
by to visit one day.  Thirty years later I can still hear the words my
father spoke:  "son, I wish you would hurry up and get this schoolin'
over with and get a job."  In his mind, as long as I was in school, I was
not really working.

My theory is that each generation takes its' children as far as
limitations of vision allow.  Remember playing marbles as a children how
we used "spans (created by placing the thumb against the ground and
stretching the fingers in an ark from the point the thumb touches)"  to
move the marble toward the hole?  I believe each generation creates a
"span" that should move the children as far as the family can stretch,
given the limitations of education, culture, money, health, etc.  We
would hope that the new generation does not have to return to the thumb
point of the previous generation, but can produce its own span based on
opportunities, drive, education, wealth, health, etc.  We know living
longer is the result of one generation of researchers building on the
span of the previous generation.  We would hope that education produces
the same result.

Perhaps rather than "cultural suicide," which would suggests "killing"
our participation in our parents' culture, we might become
"multi-cultural" suggesting that we can maintain a healthy appreciation
for the culture in which we were nurtured, but able to embrace
appropriately the elements of our "acquired" cultures.  One of my
favorite films to make this point is "The Family" starring Edward James
Almos, Jimmy Smitts, and others.

Sorry for the long posting, but it is early in the morning and I have
energy.

Don Garnett
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