As you know if you have read any of this, me and school (or is it school and I) did not get along very well. I blindly followed the patterns and the chatter and had an outstanding attendance record because there was nothing else to do. I made it through to the other side but was I educated?
I’m a sure great knowledgeable scholar or scholars and those who are well versed in the history of learning have constructed the present day educational system. This will stir up the discussion with those who have spent years presenting knowledge to the uninformed with hope they can assimilate the facts and regurgitate it back for standard testing.
First the parents have the duty and responsibility to teach us how to talk and walk and perhaps comprehend bizarre concepts before we are filled into a classroom of strangers. We learn how to follow a disciplined regiment and prorogated with images and associations repeatedly. Someone along the way had tried to the church separated from school, but may not have succeeded.
Our little minds are filled with history as it is written for our state alone, basic math, writing on lined paper, messing in clay and cutting out shapes with rounded scissors and how mean other kids can be playing dodge ball. We also learn repetition and how to stand in line for lunch.
Middle school, that weird time between when our hormones go crazy and we form social relations and the same books and blackboards and strange women and men stand in front of us telling us stuff that is in a book we carry around without ever opening it. At the same time, we are learning a lot of life lessons.
High school presents more temptations, decisions and a choice of do we plan on attending college or just get a job. Culture was presented in the classroom with foreign languages we will never use, true art classes with teachers who try to show a variety of techniques, band that is almost in tune, plays that are raw but show signs of possibilities, and dances with women that may become the mother of our children or just a fling in the night. High school is where we learn how to drive, get sent home for having long hair, and spend time in the principal’s office for doing nothing wrong. High school is where you are making choices of taking study hall instead of advance calculus. And once the principle hands you a piece of paper and says, “I hope I never see you again.” The twelve years of basic public schooling is done.
Now you are as smart as the system can give you. But do you know what you need to know?
So now I know how to add and subtract but do not know how that will balance my bank budget? I understand, somewhat, about writing but do I know how to write a resume? I may have some idea of my philosophical views of life but college will change all of that.
Now the higher learning allows us to make the decision on what we want to participate in and it is also the time we first move away from home. Unless you went to a private school, which is nothing more than joining the army as a kid, the grown up feeling of college makes us all giddy. We get drunk, we have sex, we sleep in late, we skip class, and then we get our grades. We also get STD, our first credit cards, and long nights of wondering if the government would call you to go overseas and wander around in a jungle while being shot at.
Though I maybe wandering, my thought for today is should the school curriculum be more realistic to life as we live it? Instead of Algebra II you could learn how to fix a washing machine when there is water all over the floor? Instead of listening to a history lesson that is only particularly true you could be instructed that you mother and father may divorce or that he may not be your father or that your brother may not be your real brother? Maybe instead of long sessions of ridiculous information to instruct our mushy minds that when we go “too far” we have to pay for it, when we get a credit card that we really don’t have that money and will spend years trying to catch up to pay for it, or when we get old and think about retirement that our parents still need to be taken care of.
Yet I love this “going back to school” time because I could buy new pens and pads and backpacks. Love that stuff.