Saturday, April 09, 2011

On Education

I started this a month ago and lost interest; I therefore do not expect it to hold yours. My apologies in advance...

11 March 2011: I had a nightmare last night; it was the result of the perfect combination of circumstances: I was tired; FOX News was on the TV; I had Mexican food (enchiladas) for supper; my son was playing Zombie Farm on my phone; I was in a 102.4 degree fever-induced delirium. I remember nodding off to some story about the Wisconsin state legislature--then it happened.

I heard the commentator speaking in a somewhat urgent tone about how "they" were climbing through windows and invading the building. I heard chants of "brains!" coming from parts unknown; then I heard louder chants of "BRAINS!" coming from the TV. I squinted at the TV, and sure enough there were "people" who looked like they'd been buried for a while in their clothes, climbing all over each other through windows, filling the building with their rotting corpses and chants of "BRAINS! BRAINS! BRAINS!"

The commentator added something about the fact that we will probably see this kind of thing spread to other states--I totally lost it! In a move that would have eased the embarrassment many a New Englander felt on the morning of Monday, October 31, 1938, I sprung out of my chair and ran to the bedroom screaming, "Mrs. Peter! Mrs. Peter! Get up! We have to go! We have to go! They're gonna eat our brains!"

Mrs. Peter does not scare easily; a brief anecdote will illustrate this clearly. Several years before we got together, Mrs. Peter lived on her own in a little house on a small patch of land on a local hay farm. One morning while she was gathering eggs, she was attacked by one of these: !

Her reaction? After "OUCH!" she caught the son of a bitch, ran it two doors down to her mother's house, then helped kill it so they could bring it with them to the hospital. She's fearless and tough as nails!

She was not about to get spooked by my absurd hysterical alarm. She grabbed my arm and dragged me back to the living room, assuring me all the while that nobody was going to eat our brains. I looked at the TV and saw that the zombies were simply filthy hippies and such, overrunning the building as if they were real zombies. Then I woke up.

Some would argue that it would be a stretch for me to argue that I have a dog in this particular fight. Others would argue the opposite: how do I not have something at stake here? It hurts my head. I see on one side people who (essentially) are saying, "We want the money and the power, fuck you!" I see on the other side people who (essentially) are saying, "We want the power, and there is no money, fuck you!" It's almost easier for me to mix metaphors and make grammatical errors than to choose which one of those puppies to hitch my wagon to.

9 April 2011: My gut instinct is to rail against the parasitic worthless fucks; id est: the teachers' unions. I have reached the point where I am almost against the teachers themselves--they are complicit in the parasitism by virtue of funding the unions; even some of those who don't contribute financially are complacent about the corruption and indirectly benefit from it. It is nearly enough to make me want to join the Tea Party or something.

My experience with public education was abysmal; I went from being an outstanding student in parochial schools to a no-show straight-E student in two miserable years. The curriculum was not challenging in the least--it bored me to tears--even when I was stoned it seemed like little more than a rehash of what I had studied years before. The problem was--and I imagine continues to be--that public schools tend to cater to the lowest common denominator. The bar was set so low when I was in school, I tripped over the son of a bitch! I knew too many people who got diplomas who were functionally illiterate; I knew too many people who were brilliant who ended up dropping out in disgust--totally dismayed, disheartened and disillusioned--it's a crying shame!

The powers that be want to throw even more money down into that abyss! The performance of US students, compared to their counterparts worldwide, has gone down in recent decades, just as the total amount of money we have "invested" in it has increased exponentially. When are we going to say, "ENOUGH!"?

Tertiary education is not much better: I remember my father dealing with the parents of one student in particular who clearly had not read the material upon which she was supposed to have based her paper. In this academic masterpiece, she had likened the gae bolga to a nuclear bomb! When my father called her out on it, she went ballistic. She had her parents complain to the chairman of the history department about my father's heavy-handed approach to teaching; they also expressed concern about how a bad grade in my father's class would have a noticeably negative impact on her GPA! Rather than backing my father, the bastard sided with the cheater and let her drop the class past the deadline!

The mission of too many schools is to make money and get degrees in their customers' hands--integrity be damned!

I still can't figure out how to end this post!

The end.

No comments: