Thursday, September 01, 2005

Education Schmeducation

I've been told, yet again, that I do not 'blog' enough. I don't know what to say other than, sorry. I'm not made of time, you know. Sometimes I have to sleep and stuff.


The other day I was playing tennis against my roommate at one of the local tennis facilities. (Where better to play, right?) On the next court over there was a young acquaintance of my roommate and they conversed briefly. Now, this young man was playing with two young women. I shall not speculate as to their relationship, other than to say that they may have been brother and sisters or similar. That is not the point. Not the point at all...

These young people spoke very properly. In this day and age it is rare to hear a young person speaking properly. That is why it took me only two guesses to discover how they came to be so well spoken. My first question, obviously, was whether or not this threesome had immigrated from Canada. It's a logical question, I think. Aside from the "Ehs", the "Oots" and "Aboots" Canadians are generally well disciplined speakers. Much more so than American English speakers who have somehow found it in their hearts to include words like "ain't" in the dictionary even though it is a wholly bastardized version of the words are and not or is and not. Frankly, it doesn't even really make sense as a word. But god bless the American soft-hearts who could no less turn out the lowly "ain't" than they could find it in themselves to throttle a three legged puppy.

They were not, and continue not to be, from Canada.

My second guess as to their diction was home schooling. Spot on. I was so right that I might have given myself an elevated hand-slap if that were at all an acceptable social practice. The simple fact that this guess was correct says a lot about the modern school system here in America. You may rant all you want about underfunding of schools and whatnot, but the simple fact is that if a kid cannot cut it they should not pass a grade. People should never graduate grade school--let alone high school--without a working knowledge of the world around them. That includes mathematics, language, science, etc. It is not like most jobs that people end up with these days really require much else from you than showing up and sitting still for a predetermined amount of time anyway. (I actually think that the requirement of a college degree for so many jobs these days is more a form of classist discrimination against those who are self taught or cannot afford higher education than it is a necessity to perform the duties required of the position. But that is a topic for a time when I am able to write more.)

At any rate, I feel that schools in America have lowered the target so low that it is impossible to miss the mark. In fact, there is no way I should have graduated high school with the effort I put into my work. Schools are more diploma mills than houses of serious education these days, and that is disheartening.

Okay, that's it for tonight. I have more homework to attend to.

-A.R. Leith

Quote: "Only wimps cannot handle broken hearts."- Piebald

P.S.- The blog spell-check wanted me to replace the word 'classist' with the word 'classiest'. I thought that was kind of funny.


Anonymous said...

Ha, you try and control a classroom with 35 sophomores let alone try to teach them something. The whole problem is funding.

A. R. Leith said...

First of all, I do not know anyone named Anonymous...

Secondly, if the kids were failed out because they didn't try/want to be there I think some funding for the kids who do want to learn might free itself up, yeah.

-A.R. Leith

T-dizzle said...

I would like to take a moment and tell you how fantastic you are. I don't know if you get told that enough, or at all...but I wanted to make you aware. :) In other blog way more than I do so you blog plenty. Oh, and I don't know anyone named anonymous either but they left me a comment too. take care darlin'.

Amanda K said...

WORD UP, ANDYROO!!! And by the way, someone should tell Anonymous that the problem, in fact, is not at all funding. Yes, I am a teacher, and Yes, I would like a raise, but that is neither here nor there. Teachers who say it is a funding issue are in the wrong profession--they should be lawyers. Then they could really screw with people. H. Wong (a guy who teaches teachers how to teach) said "The single most important factor in how much a child learns is the teacher. So can we please stop using socioeconomic status and funding as an excuse?" So please, can we?
You're the bomb digity, Leith.