Sunday, September 03, 2006

Thinking About Things

I'm doing my usual trolling of the web on Sunday morning, I like to start with Mark over at Biomes Blog and the next thing I know, I'm off taking some geek test on the periodic table. And it was fun. Thanks Mark.

Why can't people drive? They point their car in the direction of where they want to go and head off in their portable living room without a thought for physics and the consequences of their actions. As I am fond of saying, gravity works. As do centrifugal and centripedal force. And what's up with SUV drivers that slow to a crawl to go over a 10 mph speed bump? Are they afraid they will hurt their montser or spill their coffee?

What a shame! This is why we have a justice system, so we won't be run by a mob mentality. Which can and is frequently wrong. Which won't help the guy killed by mistake.

Al-Qaeda seems to have more number twos than a meth house has cockroaches. Good try though. Next distraction please.

For some odd reason my generation was able to attend schools where we learned to read, write, perform some type of math, have art, physical education, automotive, home economics and a variety of science, language, theatre and music classes. I was exposed to golf, tennis, volleyball and was a member of the swim team, there were very few, if any, overweight children. We had gymnastics, wrestling, chess and debate teams, as well as the usual suspects of football, baseball and basketball. Freshmen, junior and varsity thank you very much.

If you weren't able to keep up with the class, they held you back, or you went to summer school. My teachers flunked you if you couldn't perform with the rest of the class. Period. We turned out fine. Since then, people have been mewling about taxes, while systematically cutting the money available to the school system. You get what you don't pay for.

You can't expect quality people to teach in today's environment when they know that they aren't respected for what they do, but are responsible for teaching the next generation how to behave in public. Parents let their children run around like wild things in stores and restaurants and then expect the teachers to teach them manners while they pound rote learning into kids brains that want colors, laughter and music and exercise.

In ten years we will reap what we have sown, a generation of young people who have been taught to pass the test and not to think. There will be no one capable of outthinking the Kobayashi Maru scenario, because that person will have been medicated to fit in with society. Without frequent exposure to and the ability to express creativity, we are stifling and confining growing psyches into a preformed featureless box. Nobel prizes will become a rarity as critical thinking declines.

Children want to please and not everybody has my authority issues. Do we really want Stepford children? National testing sounds good in theory, but maybe we need another option. Perhaps we are boring the kids and they aren't learning because of it? If they can learn complex computer and game skills by themselves and they are comfortable with technology, then adjusting the school curriculum to reflect the reality of the future instead of the rigidity of the present might be a little more productive.

No Child Left Behind is not working and if people spent more time watching kids when they hang with each other and their very limited interests, this would have been obvious a while ago. Like, you know, really.

Update: I just had to add this, Twenty Things We Now Know After 9/11. This is a definite must read, as Mixter said, just to remind yourself of how far we have fallen. Please, read it and pass it on.

1 comment:

  1. Al-Qaeda seems to have more number twos than a meth house has cockroaches. Priceless!

    Angry mob or capital punishment? Either way, innocent people have been sentenced to death, and will continue to be.