Ramblings from the Desert

The man who trades freedom for security does not deserve nor will he ever receive either. ~Benjamin Franklin

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Location: New Mexico

Author of the urban fantasy novel, The Music of Chaos, and the paranormal romance, The Canvas Thief.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Could She Get Any Dumber? The Series

Somewhere in Iowa a middle-class, college girl is suffering. And I am unmoved by her plight.

Stacey Perk--what a name--is upset because all that schooling got in the way of her high school fun.

I loved high school. I loved the memories I have of parties, football games, and hanging out with my friends. These are the things I have taken with me, not the useless information acquired in the classroom.

I remember complaining about how I'd never use knowledge I gained in the classroom in real life. I regretted all the time I devoted to school because, in the end, I didn't remember the algebraic equations, historical dates, or the periodic table.

See Stacey was a popular, her memories filled with that time in the backseat with Brad, the quarterback, his inadequate penis, and her cheerleading skirt hiked to her hips. That, she believes, not pesky knowledge, is the foundation of a journalism career. Basically, Stacey is a dumbass.

A problem exists within the high-school education system: It doesn't prepare students for their careers.

Okay so far, except she has to keep going.

When I decided in high school that my major was going to be journalism, I took the only class offered by my school in hopes of learning the journalistic writing style. I didn't learn anything from that class. My teacher was not a journalism teacher; she was an English teacher. We spent every class silent reading instead of learning about the inverted pyramid.

There is no "journalistic writing style." There is clear, concise writing that accurately reports the facts. There is the development of a voice. Neither of which can be taught. The best way to learn to write is to read. Yes, Sweetcheeks, READ. Your teacher had it right.

The school system needs a reality check; most students aren't going to be mathematicians, historians, or chemists.

You say that like it's a good thing. If you had learned anything in high school (or college) besides the mechanics of a good blowjob, you might know that this country was built on innovation; innovation founded in yucky maths and science.

When I got to college, the education system did a better job of focusing on students' career goals. But even then, I found myself stressing over statistical equations and astronomy facts during my first two years. Why? I was never going to use that information.

Really? So, as a "journalist," understanding the statistics put forth by Gallup et al, understanding sampling methodologies, the ways one can lie with statistics, etc., is irrelevant? I weep for this country.

Not only did the gen-ed classes waste my time and money, but they also hurt my GPA.

Somebody get me a hanky; my keyboard is drenched.

Being forced to take classes makes them less interesting. If they aren't interesting, you won't do well in them.

Nice attitude.

Statistics and astronomy bored me, so I opted not to attend class and neglected to study for them.

Oh, Lawd, it's like shooting fish in a barrel. What do ya do with a job you don't like, honey? Or when you find that marriage is too much work? Or that your kids aren't fulfilling your Barbie dream? Go on Oprah and whing about your misery?

You're boring me Stacey, and yet I'm still reading reading your publicized idiocy.

These gen-ed classes caused my GPA to plummet. I worried that these classes - ones that I would never use - were going to hurt my chances of getting into the journalism school, which has a 3.0 GPA requirement. As it turned out, my GPA was below 3.0 after my first year. I had to take summer classes to raise it, and luckily, I was eventually admitted to the J-school. I can not imagine what I would have done if I were not admitted. I would have had to change my major.

Oh, the horror. Somebody call Lifetime. We got us a tale of real life suffering.

How is this fair? I shouldn't have to give up my dream of working at Glamour magazine because my GPA was low - all because of some stupid gen-ed classes that I was forced to take. Let's just get rid of them.

Nooo. You would have to give up your dream of working at Glamour magazine, writing articles on "The Perfect Blow Job", because of stupid, stupid Stacey.

See, darling, if you had any sense, you would have placed blame for the futility of gen-ed classes where it belongs. On yourself, first. And second, on the incompetent teachers and lackluster curriculum that sucked the joy out of learning. Thanks to fluffy ideals like "everyone's a winner" and the iron fist of the NEA, our education system has become a celebration of mediocrity.

Here's the deal, Stace. I can call you "Stace," right? We're all friends here. Somewhere in India or China, there's a young girl. Her parents work their skinny butts even skinnier to pay for her education. She sits in a classroom, utterly rapt by what the teacher is saying. She absorbs it all, including the boring and "stupid" stuff. I bet she thanks God and her parents every stinking night for that education. Because if she doesn't, she'll be stuck in a shithole for the rest of her life.

And Sweetie, the myth of learning soley through life experience is largely that, a myth. There are great writers who attended the School of Hard Knocks. But ya know what? Everyone one of them was/is defined by their thirst for knowledge. All are voracious readers. And few, if given the opportunity, would turn down a real education.

Nope, that is only a luxury afforded spoiled little American girls.


Graphics and Content Copyright © Patricia Kirby 2005