Fatherhood is Always ‘Job One’

Posted in This Generation by 311zine on 06/19/2009

By Deon Price

There are many debates on what is the most important occupation in the world. Is it a doctor, teacher, lawyer, engineer, cook, governor, president, construction person or farmer? All are extremely critical for our society. Yet at the end of the day, you’re just a dad. A more detailed perspective would be to consider that a father is the most critical role. Although we often go unnoticed and not openly appreciated, arguably the greatest contribution to the world is the cultivation of the greatest resource in the world. The best position to do such nurturing of a child is as a father starting with your very own. The greatest act of love the world has ever known was demonstrated by a father for the benefit of us all.

Let’s take a moment once a year to give some much needed acknowledgment. The role of a father transcends all career or worldly responsibilities. No matter what your day job is, once you clock out and arrive home, your real job begins. You get no days off, you can’t call in sick. You are on call 24/7 and 365 days per year. Claims of fatigue will not be accepted as excuses from your roles or responsibilities. You are the playmate, provider, supervisor, servant, disciplinarian, mediator, coach, counselor, teacher but not the boss. You humbly take orders and perform your duties with no reward, acknowledgment or fanfare. You simply do what you do. If you show me a fatherless community and I’ll show you a community in chaos.

Your children could care less that you are exhausted after work and just got out of an hour and a half of traffic. You just suck it up and muster enough energy to play catch or show some excitement for the picture he colored just for you. Our commander and chief, who holds the most demanding and powerful position on earth, set a fine example of this perspective when he acknowledged his first order of business as president of the United States is to up hold his promise to his daughters to purchase them a dog. We may never fully understand the complex role of a father in the life of his child but here are a few famous visionaries on the matter of fatherhood:

J. August Strindberg — ‘That is the thankless position of the father in the family . . . the provider for all, and the enemy of all.’ Sigmund Freud — ‘The greatest gift I ever had come from God, and I call him Dad!’ George Herbert — ‘I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father’s protection.’ Margaret Atwood, Cat’s Eyes — ‘One father is more than a hundred schoolmasters.’ Helen Rowland — ‘All fathers are invisible in daytime; daytime is ruled by mothers and fathers come out at night. Darkness brings home fathers, with their real, unspeakable power. There is more to fathers than meets the eye. You know… fathers just have a way of putting everything together.’ The Bible has also greatly mentioned about the role of a father in a child’s life. Proverbs ‘A wise son is the one who makes a father rejoice and a stupid son is the grief of his mother.’

Take a moment this weekend to show some love and appreciation to the father or male figure in your life. Consider the impact or influence that individual had on you that helped you navigate through some of life’s most difficult terrain. He probably won’t expect much so any gesture will be appreciated such as a phone call, a card or dinner. Having said that, I would like to offer a few humble suggestions. Although he will never complain, regardless of how bad the gift is, here are a few Items to avoid; Socks, ties or anything that will be categorized as an accessory. I’ll go crazy if I get another tie clip or shaving kit. Happy Fathers Day! You are appreciated.

Deon Price is a freelance writer and youth advocate who lives in Suisun City. He can be reached at Deon.Price@comcast.net or http://www.youtube.com/priceedutainment.


Worldly Advice for The Class of 2009

Posted in Columns, This Generation by 311zine on 06/13/2009

By Deon Price

Congratulations class of 2009! You have just completed the first stage in your career endeavors. That’s right! I said,  your career. I know that’s probably the last thing on your minds right now. At eighteen your priorities are probably upgrading your cell phone or getting a vehicle. Those of you with a bit more ambition may be thinking of finding a job or going to college. I encourage you to brace yourself for you are about to enter an extremely challenging adult reality. What was once an environment filled with plenty of opportunities regardless of your choice of direction be it the job market, military or advanced education, we are seeing unprecedented obstacles in every career path. You will need skill, talent, patience and endurance to overcome these obstacles.

The economy has tremendously affected the job market for the 2009 high school graduates. Even entry level front line jobs are being eliminated. I recently pulled up to a drive through at a local McDonalds. A very pleasant female voice greeted me through the speakers, “Welcome, to McDonalds may I help” After I ordered a happy meal for my baby boy and a number 6 for myself, I rolled forward to the window- it was a 30 something male who completed the transaction. I learned that the voice that I heard was a live person in an Arkansas call center greeting customers in California. I was blown away! Instead of hiring a local teen fresh out of high school, McDonalds is outsourcing its front-line jobs to a state where labor is obviously cheaper.

More applicants are willing to man-up and toe the line by enlisting in one of our Armed forces not necessarily for patriotic reasons but for gainful employment. Military recruiters have raised the bar on their requirements, including expecting a higher score on the ASVAB test. As recently as a year ago, recruiting was rough. They were accepting any able bodied individual with a high school diploma and a pulse.

Due to state budget cuts that may eliminate Pell Grants, there will be 200,000 students that will not have the opportunity to attend college. California State university will reduced the number of incoming freshman by 10 thousand students. This will be the first time in nearly 20 years that the California State University has been forced to reduce its enrollment.

If your first option is not immediately available to you, whether it’s the job you want or the college you applied to, do not get discouraged. Don’t let that “Thanks! But no thanks!” letter kill your spirit. You simply go with option number two which may be trade school or community college. I also encourage you to be an active participant in the direction of your life. Explore different opportunities to find your most prevalent skill set. We are in very critical times that require very careful and diligent decisions. Explore every avenue in order to find your niche, your passion or your true life’s work. You may have to leave your comfort zone and take the road less traveled.

Finally, one of the best skills you can develop that will help you succeed is one that you won’t find in any high school or college class schedule: Interpersonal Skills. The more you are able to maintain and retain personal and professional relationships, the more apt you will be at improving your quality of life. Congratulations and good luck, Class of 2009.

Deon Price is a youth advocate and freelance writer who lives in Suisun City. He can be reached at Deon.Price@comcast.net or www.youtube.com/PriceEdutainment

Educational Entertainment A Way to Reach Youth

Posted in Columns, This Generation by 311zine on 05/13/2009

By Deon Price |

Engaging young people on a consistent basis is a challenge all too familiar for educators, counselors, youth program directors and school administrators. As state budget cuts take place in the form of terminating teachers and eliminating physical education, music and creative arts, we will face very difficult times for youth who are already being slighted by political decisions. Extracurricular activities are vehicles that help students remain engaged in school. Unfortunately, these are the first programs cash-strapped school districts will have to eliminate.

As arts, athletics and supplemental programs are removed, I fear more students will become disengaged and dropouts will increase. The last thing Bay Area students need is yet another reason to separate themselves from the already depleted public school system. Our public school institutions are falling short of preparing our youth for the world or in most cases a higher education.

The need for alternative educational institutions will be more critical than ever. Parents may decide to home school, or consider a performing arts school. Solano County is the only county in the Bay Area that doesn’t have a performing arts school either public, private or charter. The Solano Academy of Performing Arts and Technology organization is trying to be the first.

The mission of most performing arts schools is to empower a community of students with the academic, technical and social/emotional skills required to participate in the global society as professional life-long learners and leaders. The concept is achieved by providing an enriched art- and business-centered environment, which facilitates and promotes critical thinking, logical reasoning, literacy development and creative expression. The philosophy is to prepare students for post -secondary education and training in the various industries in the workforce by providing a rigorous and challenging curriculum that is relevant and flexible enough to be tailored to their unique needs, talents and interests.

The students will be motivated by connecting core academic subject matter to real life experience and creating meaningful and innovative ways of learning.

It is obvious to me the traditional educational environment isn’t effective for some students. This environment will excite students to become more resourceful so they continue to learn outside the formal school setting.

I am a huge supporter of this type of nontraditional educational institutions. There are several ways students learn which mean we should explore different types of teaching. The creative arts is a great tool for teaching that we should continue to invest in.

The concept of educational entertainment is proven to be successful. www.youtube.com/priceedutainment Students are inspired and engaged to perform well in academics through creative, performing and media arts. To put it simply, to deliver a curriculum in a way that reaches the spirit will inspire that student and will have a lasting effect.

Deon D. Price is a youth advocate and freelance writer. Reach him at Deon.Price@Comcast.net.


Put a link to your website up on 3.1.1.

Posted in 3.1.1. Updates by 311zine on 05/12/2009

Guess what?  We are starting to post links to local online portfolios, written work, and websites for small businesses and non-profits.   Innovative and cutting-edge, we know.  If you want a link on 3.1.1. that will take readers right to your work, send us an email with the website and a short blurb about you and what you do (probably not more than 30 words).  Be sure to put “Link Submission” in the subject of the email.

To all you visitors- check out the links.  These people are your neighbors.

Nothing on The Walls?

Posted in 3.1.1. Updates by 311zine on 05/11/2009

Alright people. We’ve been getting a lot of traffic and yet there is not one post for an upcoming event, show, or exhibit on The Walls. We all got together and discussed this at length last night. After much weeping, we came to the conclusion that this is unacceptable. Some of you have to want an opportunity to shamelessly promote your work.

Get moving!

3.1.1. coming soon

Posted in 3.1.1. Updates by 311zine on 05/02/2009

The first issue of 3.1.1. zine will be published soon.  It will be a simultaneous print and online publication, and will feature a nice sampling whatever the hell people end up sending us.  Take some time to read the Submissions page, and then send off an article, review, comic, or pretty much anything you think might fit in to a zine about local Bay Area goings on, to the poor bastard below.

Matthew K