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(Swift Kick Online)   Valedictorian uses graduation speech to rip the entire educational system a new one   (blog.swiftkickonline.com) divider line 303
    More: Hero, American education, H.L. Mencken, Zen, English teacher, tenth grade, concrete masonry unit, graduation, standardized tests  
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38897 clicks; posted to Main » on 07 Aug 2010 at 5:26 PM (3 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2010-08-07 11:50:36 PM
thamike: She should have watched this guy first. It might have helped lighten her tone, and make her speech briefer and more succinct.

/long but worth the watch


Thanks. Best 20 minutes I've spent in a long time.

/ My kids will thank you in 20 years
 
2010-08-07 11:52:37 PM
After our Valedictorian speach my dad said, "You're movin' with your auntie and uncle in Bel-Air." I whistled for a cab and when it came near The license plate said fresh and it had dice in the mirror. If anything I could say that this cab was rare, but I thought, "Nah, forget it. Yo, holmes to Bel-Air!" I pulled up to the house about 7 or 8 and I yelled to the cabbie, "Yo holmes smell ya later!" Looked at my kingdom I was finally there, to sit on my throne as the prince of Bel-Air.
 
2010-08-08 12:00:03 AM
vinn01: Thanks. Best 20 minutes I've spent in a long time.

/ My kids will thank you in 20 years


Oh, good! Someone appreciated it. Isn't Robinson spot on? He's my new hero.
 
2010-08-08 12:02:50 AM
April R: Mithraic_bullshiat: blah.

you talk a lot, kinda like this biatch FTFA.


I've got electrolytes:)
 
2010-08-08 12:03:25 AM
TheGogmagog: After our Valedictorian speach my dad said, "You're movin' with your auntie and uncle in Bel-Air." I whistled for a cab and when it came near The license plate said fresh and it had dice in the mirror. If anything I could say that this cab was rare, but I thought, "Nah, forget it. Yo, holmes to Bel-Air!" I pulled up to the house about 7 or 8 and I yelled to the cabbie, "Yo holmes smell ya later!" Looked at my kingdom I was finally there, to sit on my throne as the prince of Bel-Air.

I know, man, that Urkel sure was hilarious! Did I do that? Oh man, what a crack-me-up!
 
2010-08-08 12:04:31 AM
no homeschool girl? Fark, I am disappoint.
 
2010-08-08 12:05:00 AM
robgotabingbang: TheGogmagog: After our Valedictorian speach my dad said, "You're movin' with your auntie and uncle in Bel-Air." I whistled for a cab and when it came near The license plate said fresh and it had dice in the mirror. If anything I could say that this cab was rare, but I thought, "Nah, forget it. Yo, holmes to Bel-Air!" I pulled up to the house about 7 or 8 and I yelled to the cabbie, "Yo holmes smell ya later!" Looked at my kingdom I was finally there, to sit on my throne as the prince of Bel-Air.

I know, man, that Urkel sure was hilarious! Did I do that? Oh man, what a crack-me-up!


I thought the way they all treated Webster was an atrocity.
 
2010-08-08 12:05:37 AM
toejam: no homeschool girl? Fark, I am disappoint.

I alluded, and hoped somebody would run with it.
 
2010-08-08 12:06:07 AM
This chick is a punk-ass know nothing. I had all that stuff figured out in the 9th grade. I read whatever I wanted when I wanted. Did well when I felt it would make me better and ended up graduating from a UC along with kids who never read anything they weren't told to read. The sooner you learn the difference between jumping through hoops and learning the better off you are.

I would have pulled out an issue of the Economist after the first minute of her speech. I wish I could pull out a copy of the National Review but that magazine died quite a while ago.

The valedictorian at my school figured out that if you took a semester of PE your senior year it wouldn't affect your GPA as negatively as if you took it your freshmen year. He was a piss wipe that I wouldn't trust with anything.
 
2010-08-08 12:13:29 AM
Personally, I'm waiting for the fall of society. Hopefully then my meager knowledge in electronics and tenancy to see the connections between things will become useful. Until then, I'll sit on my MIS degree with no practical experience and pretend that the world works.

/Not bitter
//I might be lying
///Nobody wanted me for an internship either.
 
2010-08-08 12:14:14 AM
There are inept firefighters, police officers, office managers, bankers, cab drivers, etc...

Why do people expect anything else from teachers? Some are good. Some are bad. Most you never remember which is often a good thing since the bad ones are so memorable.

Lot of people didn't get out of school what they expected so they like blasting the American education system and/or teachers. Let's clear this up right now.

Please cite how many American students go overseas for high school and college and how many come to the U.S. for a high school or college education and then maybe you'll figure out that the constant factor in your crappy experience was YOU.
 
2010-08-08 12:29:12 AM
I agree with the basic idea but the speech rambles on and on about materialism and blah blah blah. The idea that schools don't cater to different abilities and learning styles is very important, and must be acknowledged if things are to be fixed.

I was lucky as hell to go to a "magnet" school (basically a public school that is run like a private school) for programming and math, so I did get a high school education in subjects I enjoyed greatly. Yet, I don't use any of those skills. I could have used a basic life economy class, or a business class. I would have traded every semester of trig and calculus for more history and government - or, hell, like the poster above suggests, logic and rhetoric.

I feel like grade school should emphasize grammar, arithmetic, and literacy, with time set aside for electives in other creative arts such as music and writing. I think it's ridiculous that you have to wait till senior year of high school before electives become available. I also think it's pointless to start teaching science and history at an age where the student cannot comprehend any of it beyond rote memorization. On top of that, the kids are too young to learn "real" history and must learn sanitized nonsense like Columbus discovering the world is round. What a complete waste of time. History and science should start at the middle school (or junior high) level.

High school should focus on useful life skills and should be mostly electives. Business and personal economics should be top priority. No further math is necessary, except as an elective. Really, if you aren't going into physics, engineering, or mathematics, why do you need anything past pre algebra? History and government with a heavy focus on civics should be mandatory for all four years, much in the way math or english is now.

Literature should be an elective. Being forced to read Madame Bovary isn't going to turn a non-reader into a reader. If anything, it puts people off of reading. If I could pick just one entirely useless waste of time in high school, English (or lit, or whatever your school calls it) is the easy choice. Even Calculus was more useful than Charles Dickens. Literature-based electives should offer a wide range of selections out of the library, rather than forcing all of the kids to buy copies of the same books they will hate.

Latin should be mandatory, but the focus should not be on learning the language (which is useless), but the concept behind the language. A semester of Latin teaches you more about English than 12 years of English ever will. The class should also focus on greek and roman literature, mythology, government, and history, because it is the foundation of society. These skills are not focused on because people who don't learn latin properly have no idea what they are missing.

All high schools should offer wood and metal shop, auto repair classes, and others, not because you expect people to be mechanics, but because these are useful life skills. People will gravitate towards those electives despite being uninterested because it's an easy A; in the process, they gain a skill they don't even realize is important. Computer competency and typing should be offered as well, if not mandatory.

I just hate the 4 years of lit, 4 years of math schedule that high schools follow now. It's such a huge waste of time. Typically you are wasting 1/3 of the student's high school career on just those two classes.
 
2010-08-08 12:36:13 AM
thamike: robgotabingbang: TheGogmagog: After our Valedictorian speach my dad said, "You're movin' with your auntie and uncle in Bel-Air." I whistled for a cab and when it came near The license plate said fresh and it had dice in the mirror. If anything I could say that this cab was rare, but I thought, "Nah, forget it. Yo, holmes to Bel-Air!" I pulled up to the house about 7 or 8 and I yelled to the cabbie, "Yo holmes smell ya later!" Looked at my kingdom I was finally there, to sit on my throne as the prince of Bel-Air.

I know, man, that Urkel sure was hilarious! Did I do that? Oh man, what a crack-me-up!

I thought the way they all treated Webster was an atrocity.


I know, right? Those sure were some Diffe'RENT Strokes, weren't they?
 
2010-08-08 12:38:57 AM
vodka: What she said made sense but it's not exactly a rip on the educational system as a whole. A large part of the problem is the moronic people that run the system (teachers, administrators, etc).

Think of the worst parts of government and politics then think of the people that don't quite make the grade to be in government and/or politics. Those are the people that run the educational system.


If you think teachers made this mess, you are gravely mistaken. Check out the politicians and State Boards of Education that force teachers to teach to the lowest common denominator for the sake of passing a meaningless test. Blame parents who are so sue-happy that school leaders are afraid to wipe their ass without permission, much less make meaningful attempts to educate students. Want the high achieving students put in a separate class so they can be challenged? That's discriminatory, and besides they should be in the same class as the schmucks because they can help the other students learn (it doesn't work and they hate it, but whatever, who is listening to teachers anyway?).

The big move now is 'differentiated instruction'. I'm supposed to come up with a unique educational experience for each student on my roll that meets their exact needs and desires - all 280 kids on my roll, because gosh, if I could just meet their needs school would suddenly be a better place, kids and parents would suddenly care about their education, and the celebration of mediocrity that is American culture would transform overnight into something enlightened and exceptional.

/Yeah, I know... unions blah blah blah... all the teachers' faults
//Not in the union, but whatever.
 
2010-08-08 12:41:45 AM
catzies: Where the hell was Biggles:


Personally, I think that we should go back to teaching classical logic and rhetoric skills. The degree to which modern political debate is predicated on logical fallacies terrifies me, frankly.

This. For God's sake, this.

This.

/runs sobbing


This class was required at my school two years ago because the core teachers (we have an interesting program) insisted on it. The administration got rid of it because it was HARD and the kids STRUGGLED. Interesting thing though, the teachers in other departments noticed an increase in writing skills and critical thinking. Don't know if it correlates, but is interesting anecdotally.
 
2010-08-08 12:47:57 AM
The school system is what it is because we don't need a bunch of fat lazy scholars for the majority of society. We need a bunch of stupid, ignorant morons that will do as they are told, this is still how we conduct society.
 
2010-08-08 01:05:50 AM
Animatronik: Mithraic_bullshiat: I do feel badly for the young valedictorians, the gifted, talented, touched, the carbon-burdened could-have-been-contenders--we are like big game in a shrinking habitat--and there are Stone Age hunters with laser-sight spear points and Nikes surrounding us. They respect what they kill more than what we struggle impossibly to preserve.

Is there an algorithmic component to this? I see the human intelligence yet there seems to be a machine element as well.


Uh, the curved line of a circle doesn't compute unless it's divided up into some infinite angular stop sign. And that's 2 dimensional. But you'd have to ask Grisha Perelman about these things, as I'm really no good at maths, or holding a complex thread of higher-level thinking for very long. I lose. I never got past those pop Doug Hofstader books, and those only in a dim, cowlike manner, but I admire the Mind, you know. I was never really "gifted," just spoiled. It hurts less to admit it everyday: "Your promise means nothing, you are left outside the gates, time's up"

I like pretty words, colors, emotional sound buzz, culture, crap popular science and math, and fuzzy textiles that don't pill. And sleep.
 
2010-08-08 01:25:24 AM
Mithraic_bullshiat: Animatronik: Mithraic_bullshiat: I do feel badly for the young valedictorians, the gifted, talented, touched, the carbon-burdened could-have-been-contenders--we are like big game in a shrinking habitat--and there are Stone Age hunters with laser-sight spear points and Nikes surrounding us. They respect what they kill more than what we struggle impossibly to preserve.

Is there an algorithmic component to this? I see the human intelligence yet there seems to be a machine element as well.

Uh, the curved line of a circle doesn't compute unless it's divided up into some infinite angular stop sign. And that's 2 dimensional. But you'd have to ask Grisha Perelman about these things, as I'm really no good at maths, or holding a complex thread of higher-level thinking for very long. I lose. I never got past those pop Doug Hofstader books, and those only in a dim, cowlike manner, but I admire the Mind, you know. I was never really "gifted," just spoiled. It hurts less to admit it everyday: "Your promise means nothing, you are left outside the gates, time's up"

I like pretty words, colors, emotional sound buzz, culture, crap popular science and math, and fuzzy textiles that don't pill. And sleep.


This is awesome. You're awesome.
 
2010-08-08 02:11:03 AM
images.tvrage.com
inspiration?
 
2010-08-08 03:24:43 AM
xpennyroyaltyx: I teach English at a high school. I try very, very hard to provide opportunities for students to pursue their own interests, to read and write about things that interest or inspire them, and to show me what they know, in the best ways that they know how, using their talents, strengths, and abilities.

I have actually gotten in trouble with my district and admins. for this.

Most of the time, all my work results in the most frustrating, plagiarized, slapped-together fail you have ever seen in your life. So I don't know what student body she represents, but sign me up to teach there, where young people are open-minded and waiting with baited bated breath for opportunities to better themselves outside of the mandated educational paradigm, because most high school students I know just don't give a shiat.


-4 for errors, including missing word and run-on (Or were you trying to be artsy there? I admit, it can be hard to tell the difference sometimes.)
-0.5 for superflousness ("very, very")
-0.5 for flabbiness (Try "subjects" instead of "things".)
+1 for Oxford comma

Be aware, I'm only doing this because you're an English teacher -- and I'm an editor.
 
2010-08-08 04:00:20 AM
tenpoundsofcheese: Praise Cheesus: The school principal mentioned to me I was the only student in the state to score a 100% on the graduation exam.

.

i bet he tells that to a lot of people.

do you have to be in the gym in 23 minutes?


No, but at the time of my posting, I had to be at the airport in 26 minutes. :)
 
2010-08-08 04:10:08 AM
Animatronik: Praise Cheesus: In high school, it got to the point where instructors would hand me an idea, give me a time frame to accomplish the goal and present copies of my drafts once a week. I was on campus about 2 hours a week, the rest of my time was spent doing the actual work... and working a real job.

When you grew up, what career do you pursue (out of curiosity)?


After I got out of school, I worked as an Emergency Medical Technician, then learned how to build computers after giving birth to my second child. My current job title is "systems usability consultant", because I have a talent for being able to take a list of tasks and building a computer system to fit the needs of my clients. I also do software testing and training.
 
2010-08-08 04:37:27 AM
Daria did it first.
 
2010-08-08 04:39:15 AM
"H. L. Mencken wrote in The American Mercury for April 1924 that the aim of public education is not "to fill the young of the species with knowledge and awaken their intelligence. ... Nothing could be further from the truth. The aim ... is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed and train a standardized citizenry, to put down dissent and originality. That is its aim in the United States."

Sounds about right.
 
2010-08-08 05:04:09 AM
Valedictorian makes trite, whiny speech.
 
2010-08-08 05:28:54 AM
redwards29a: Valedictorian makes trite, whiny speech. the kind of speech filled with the kind of ideas most adults once had before life beat all the creativity, passion, playfulness, insight, daring, curiosity, and energy out of them and replaced it with coldness, shallowness, greed, avarice, heartlessness, drudgery, misery, pain, suffering, boredom and eventual madness.

FTFY

You get one chance at this life, and too many of us spend that precious time neck deep in bullsh*t because that is what you were told you were supposed to do by people who are envious of your dreams because theirs were destroyed so long ago. Adults who forget what it was to be children are adults who forget what it was to be themselves.

She should be afraid. She should be very afraid.
 
2010-08-08 05:43:35 AM
Namahs: Very good speech about how we only study for tests and not for knowledge.

But then she went full retard and said the entire education system is a government conspiracy to suppress citizens. Right....


Later she'll recognize it's not so much conspiracy as plain incompetence. Can't fault her to much for this one slip up. I rather enjoyed her speech, and i actually think she has great things in store later in life.
 
2010-08-08 06:03:18 AM
If you have the means and ability to not do it then putting your child through public education is basically child abuse.

If you don't have the means or ability then you probably should reconsider whether or not you want to have children.
 
2010-08-08 06:08:14 AM
DarthBrooks: Even money some psych professor gets her knocked up first semester she's in college.

What he said!

/Did love the speach though. Read it all. Sounds educated to me. Irony?
 
2010-08-08 06:14:25 AM
I tell my children that school teaches you how to work with and within the herd and how to manage the herd. Their job is to learn the basics of Math/science/english ( which I handle more than the school does).
 
2010-08-08 06:17:40 AM
Being married to a teacher for 20 years, this girl had hit it straight on the head.
Alot of people here would do well to read the John Taylor Gatto she referenced, being on the sidelines for 20 years, he is 100% correct.
 
2010-08-08 07:01:10 AM
I just had a friend of 15 years end it all for a very superficial reason.

She was someone I admired when I met her at UCLA in '94. She was a Total Student, and eventually got three degrees (two masters and a BA) before she was even 27.
Yet for all that, she only learned how to be a good student. She applied her skills and taught them to her students when she became a teacher;yet, there's a great void between her being the Ultimate Student and a normal, sane, happy person.

It takes great commitment to get As in every class. "A" students seldom have much of a social life in school. Behind all the praise and glitz of being winner of a scholarship or grant, there's an empty stage where the curtain is always lowered, and the person's true self remains somewhat a-social. Somewhat disenfranchised, as they grow older and realize the hole they've dug for themselves. They've pigeonholed themselves...typecast and framed by one subject, or one sphere of influence.

I've always put more faith in being a "B" student as being the best course. You pass your classes, you have time to join a team or clubs or whatnot...you get to socialize, and the BEST doesn't become everyone's automatic expectation of you.

I hope the girl who gave this speech can find the useful middle ground, make the most of her opportunities and come out happy and normal...Actually, I hope that for everyone....
 
2010-08-08 07:03:48 AM
1macgeek: Animatronik: Sometimes the purpose of learning to do something a particular situation is to learn how to use a particular tool in a particular manner that may be important in ways not immediately obvious.

I can appreciate your perspective, but that was not this situation. Here is what it was : You can't paint the Mona Lisa because I have yet to teach you how to finger paint. Seriously. As the saying goes, sometimes a cigar really is a cigar.

...

Business classes were the same. The 'professor' managed up-and-coming bands into the ground on the side, so I asked him the salient question : what can you teach us given that the real world application of your knowledge fails so miserably? Another slip, another 'get out of jail free' card as it were.

...

Swing of the clue-bat : I wasn't speaking of the performance of the children.


It cannot be necessarily laid to the professor that the up-and-coming bands he managed ran themselves into the ground. I've heard up-and-coming bands in my university town, and in the genre of rock the six I've sampled were bloodcurdlingly awful -- unable to keep a tune or time. The blue-collar Region I grew up in had bands whose concerts were enjoyable, but when I bought the CD, it was clear that I was enjoying the concert, not the music.
 
2010-08-08 07:05:36 AM
thumbnails.hulu.com

"This is the voice of experience..."
 
2010-08-08 09:34:44 AM
cuzsis: xpennyroyaltyx: I teach English at a high school. I try very, very hard to provide opportunities for students to pursue their own interests, to read and write about things that interest or inspire them, to show me what they know in the best ways that they know how, using their talents, strengths, and abilities.

I have actually gotten in trouble with district and admins. for this.

Most of the time, all my work results in the most frustrating, plagiarized, slapped-together fail you have ever seen in your life. So I don't know what student body she represents, but sign me up to teach there, where young people are open-minded and waiting with baited breath for opportunities to better themselves outside of the mandated educational paradigm, because most high school students I know just don't give a shiat.

Yes, but remember your class is one of MANY they have during the day.

And it is one year of many MORE that they have been in the system.

You're kinda waging an uphill battle likely.

/or the kids in your district are just douches.
//it happens.


uphill battle. when the admins. of your school board smack you down for attempting to teach, or even try something interesting to engage your students in a meaningful way, i think it's over. however, if you reach a couple it is probably still worth the effort and aggravation.

nutshell: "modern" western school systems were designed in the late 1800's to "educate" and graduate students prepared for a workforce where jobs consisted of farming, mostly unskilled blue collar industrial, and construction.

cut to 2010: the bulk of jobs are in the service industry, "small" scale entrepreneurship, knowledge based information processing, and highly skilled industrial positions.

the problem: we still educate our students for the mass market industrial economy of 1910. we are training kids to be ready for jobs that don't even exist anymore in most western democracies.

our valedictorian points this out in a general way, and she's right. the education system is not "teaching" anything but obedience skills, task completion, and aspires to "functional literacy" at best. preparing another generation of graduates to be the workforce for a mass market industrial economy that no longer exists.

the system is indeed broken. changing it, however, is difficult, as xpennyroyaltyx has experienced.

i am an example of someone the education system failed in a big way. i barely finished high school, hardly attended actually, too boring. high final exam scores are the only reason i graduated at all.

never bothered with college.

i worked and basically participated in life instead. by the time my friends graduated college i had used the same amount of time to start a business which was established and stable.

so, i had no student loan debt, a large and stable income, and owned my home with no mortgage. i had a ton of freedom at age 22. partied like a madman, married, 3 kids by 30. retired at 37. wealthy. my way worked for me. might not for someone else, and luck always plays a role in success or failure.

the sad thing is, i have a massive appetite for learning. i am constantly looking for new stuff to find out about. i read about 10 books a week on a variety of subjects. i might have been someone's dream student if the system allowed it. i resent not having my desire for knowledge guided by someone who knew what they were doing. i would have been well served by a mentor or two to point me in directions i did not see.

i am not claiming perfection, and i realize my particular combination of skills and specific intelligence is accident of birth + luck + hard work + learning from mistakes.

but every student has the same combination of things, some more, some less, and education is the only tool we have to really change the equation for most. but we're too busy making sure they are compliant, marginal thinking, docile machine operators who won't hassle the foreman. wrong century.
 
2010-08-08 09:47:47 AM
No wonder the poor girl is a bit testy. For the last three or 4 years she's just been a Coxsacker from Athens
 
2010-08-08 10:03:18 AM
cuzsis: Magorn: UNC_Samurai: coco ebert: If anything a liberal arts education allows you to explore what interests you. No one's forcing you to be an overachiever (well, except maybe your parents).

And the bevy of people on Fark who think a degree that's not in chemistry, law, or business makes you a horrible waste of oxygen.

hell I've heard farkers have a hearty chuckle about having a JD too. Apparently most of them, being techies, respect only degrees in the hard sciences. Having been a computer scientist, journalist, freelance writer, and a few other things first, I am content with my JD and the fact that I'm now a lawyer, but "following my bliss" was not easy for me, particularly because of the dozens of teachers who lined up in front of me and screamed at various times "You are so smart, you can literally do anything you want to"

Which really doesn't help narrow down your choices any and when you do find something you enjoy doing, you have to demand of yourself whether it it "important enough" of whether you are "wasting your potential"


Word.

I finally said "fark it" and got a job driving school buses so I'd get paid good money for a job that gave me ample time off to pursue whatever interest I wanted to focus on currently.

-Right now it's programming and website development. For kicks and so I can make some side money periodically.

-Next it will be hunting, meat processing, and brain tanned hides (and the assorted blankets, moccasins and jackets I'll be making from it. Totally making my husband a elk hide jacket with his first elk!)

-Some baseball and other sports. To keep exercising, but actually have fun doing it.

-Looking at herbology type medicines later (with an update in my organic chemistry.)

Oh, did I mention getting summers and breaks off so I can actually be home for my child? Yeah, that too. It's more fun to help teach him the stuff he's interested in (most of it I can still teach him at this level) than just sending him off to a camp or whatever.



I wish I'd had even 10% of your courage in my 20's. You have my sincere admiration for a life very well lived.
 
2010-08-08 10:49:59 AM
"Wahh, it was a lot of work."

If that's your biggest complaint about our retarded public school system, then you certainly are an apt demonstration of its effectiveness.
 
2010-08-08 10:59:36 AM
Mithraic_bullshiat: April R: Mithraic_bullshiat: blah.

you talk a lot, kinda like this biatch FTFA.

I've got electrolytes:)


Ha. I am glad you didn't take offense, I was afraid after I pushed Add that I was being jerky.


/but all that aside, I was the "smart" kid in school, I was in the top 10% of my class, honor society, 3.6 point average, made a 31 on my ACT. So Basically the bottom of the top. My best friend was the Valedictorian and another of our group of friends got a perfect score on the ACT. The fact is, we set ourselves up for success in college and appreciated the opportunities we were given in school. We understood that we had to learn what we needed to pass the tests, but we also sought more and took it upon ourselves to learn about things we wanted to know more about. Teachers and administrators can only do so much, and you need to as some point take responsibility for your own education. I dropped out of nursing school after realizing I was only doing it because it was practical and it would make my parents proud to have a nurse in the family. I graduated with an independent studies degree and am getting a masters in Anthropology. I am also probably getting a job as a counselor for disturbed and at-risk youth; I finally took responsibility for my own education and did what i wanted to do. She can't blame the school system for her own lack of initiative in not pursuing her interests.

//long story short, this girl is an entitled whiny biatch and will probably get her 15 min of fame from this speech and make a butt load of money touring the U.S. on a speechifying and daytime T.V. appearing tour.
 
2010-08-08 01:45:45 PM
This school no good. I'm smarter than school. All school bad. I'm smarter than school. Clever is me. Get attention. Smarter than bad school.
 
2010-08-08 01:51:59 PM
I read the first few paragraphs before I stopped. I understood what she was getting at. But first a major thing I'd like to point out. No one gives a shiat about high school after you have graduated. Your experiences, your time, your effort, your friends, the fact you did sports, are pretty much all farking meaningless the moment you graduate. If you're the type that looks back on those years as your glory days. You lead a sad life. The same could be said for college as well. But I digress.

Modern education came about because of the industrial revolution and the need to have trained employees. The days of apprenticeship learning a craft, being well rounded in the Renaissance since were long gone and out the window.

So what is the problem with all this. The current educational system highly discourages well roundedness, flexibility, and entrepreneurship. They strongly reinforce following trends, and bubbles. For example when I was in high school, and college the tech bubble had just started and there was a massive push towards working with computers. Today because of shows like CSI, and other crime type shows on TV I see a massive push towards forensics. At least I saw that trend in the past couple years.

Another major problem is the deranged, delusional, and despicable promotion of "Go to college! Go to college!! Go to COLLEGE!!" I've said this before and I'll say it again, with the recession, and people thinking that now more than ever they have to go to college, (and sadly grad school) the situation will only get worse. The education bubble will collapse, and sadly I think it has to before people will finally get it.
 
2010-08-08 01:58:48 PM
It comes down to a simple question: You either think coercion is necessary or you don't.

But also, most learning happens while we're not aware of it (since the brain is learning all the time). If you spend age 5 to 18 being told what to think and when to think it; what do you suppose you're learning?
 
2010-08-08 02:28:32 PM
peart2112:
Another major problem is the deranged, delusional, and despicable promotion of "Go to college! Go to college!! Go to COLLEGE!!" I've said this before and I'll say it again, with the recession, and people thinking that now more than ever they have to go to college, (and sadly grad school) the situation will only get worse. The education bubble will collapse, and sadly I think it has to before people will finally get it.


The GO TO COLLEGE drumbeat will cease when employers stop asking for potential hires to hold college degrees for positions which at best require a 10th grade education. If they insist you have that piece of paper before they will hire you, then that is what you will get before they will hire you.

Since when did "receptionist" or "office assistant" or even "corrections officer" require an AA or BA?
 
2010-08-08 03:07:49 PM
Hell I wish students who think for themselves would come along more often through my room. Almost all 9th graders I get in my social studies class have been conditioned in the "this is important, write this down, memorize it, pass the test, repeat" method of teaching that trying to get them to form opinions and question what we go over is always an uphill battle. Countless times I will stop on a subject and prompt a discussion, only to get "Can we just finish taking the notes?" or the dreaded blank stares and silence.

Somewhere along the line leading up to high school we have to start stressing the importance of reasonable free-thought in the classroom (by that I mean enough to allow learners to go their own way without undermining the necessary organized classroom environment). Once they reach 9th grade I believe it is just too late to start that process.
 
2010-08-08 03:13:10 PM
Content aside, i like the oratory here. It's simple in the classical style.
 
2010-08-08 04:24:24 PM
rewind2846: redwards29a: Valedictorian makes trite, whiny speech. the kind of speech filled with the kind of ideas most adults once had before life beat all the creativity, passion, playfulness, insight, daring, curiosity, and energy out of them and replaced it with coldness, shallowness, greed, avarice, heartlessness, drudgery, misery, pain, suffering, boredom and eventual madness.

FTFY

You get one chance at this life, and too many of us spend that precious time neck deep in bullsh*t because that is what you were told you were supposed to do by people who are envious of your dreams because theirs were destroyed so long ago. Adults who forget what it was to be children are adults who forget what it was to be themselves.

She should be afraid. She should be very afraid.


Thanks for cutting through the mustard. The level of cynicism in this thread is astounding, and I can only assume that it extends from the resentment people have for those who speak the truth. Kids are an easy target, and yes they can be silly, but they often have perspectives unbent by the daily psychic bludgeoning of so-called 'real life'. For some reason, abandoning all that makes us truly human, all that promises to fulfill our full potential as humans, is called 'growing up'. I tend to think of it more as the first stage of the very slow death we call adulthood. I might share that depressing attitude, were I not so certain that with just a few changes it could all be so different.

I have to assume that the only reason anyone would berate someone else for arguing in favour of happiness is that they're so very unhappy themselves.

/Would buy you TF if you didn't already have it, and if I got along with PayPal.
//favourites list will have to do
 
2010-08-08 04:32:26 PM
Lets see, the US public education system is based directly on the Prussian system that led to such greatness....

History of compulsory schooling in America
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBNh543A81U&feature=related

John Gatto Prussian Education
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_CeWip5BpU
 
2010-08-08 05:12:28 PM
"Call me Mr. Gatto, please. Twenty-six years ago, having nothing better to do, I tried my hand at schoolteaching. My license certifies me as an instructor of English language and literature, but that isn't what I do at all. What I teach is school, and I win awards doing it.

Teaching means many different things, but six lessons are common to schoolteaching from Harlem to Hollywood. You pay for these lessons in more ways than you can imagine, so you might as well know what they are....."


The Six-Lesson Schoolteacher

by John Taylor Gatto, New York State Teacher of the Year, 1991

http://www.fark.com/cgi/comments.pl?IDLink=5538831&startid=62480416


I Quit, I Think
http://www.johntaylorgatto.com/underground/prologue2.htm


If you HAVE to have a building to send your precious snowflake to...

Sudbury Valley School
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awOAmTaZ4XI
 
2010-08-08 05:55:12 PM
1macgeek: Animatronik: Sometimes the purpose of learning to do something a particular situation is to learn how to use a particular tool in a particular manner that may be important in ways not immediately obvious.

I can appreciate your perspective, but that was not this situation. Here is what it was : You can't paint the Mona Lisa because I have yet to teach you how to finger paint. Seriously. As the saying goes, sometimes a cigar really is a cigar.

Nearly the same thing happened at college with PASCAL. During the summer break before college I learned UCSD PASCAL on my own. The 'professor' got tired of me pointing out her mistakes after the first week, and gave me my first slip to skip the entire semester. As I recall her words,they were akin to : I am giving you an A and an order to never set foot in my class again.

Business classes were the same. The 'professor' managed up-and-coming bands into the ground on the side, so I asked him the salient question : what can you teach us given that the real world application of your knowledge fails so miserably? Another slip, another 'get out of jail free' card as it were.

Believe me, I could go on for hours and many, many pages. I have yet to begin scratching the surface. But the point still holds - our education system is royally farked up.

But the gauntlet has previously been placed before us - how do you fix it? I cannot claim to have the in toto answer, but the immediate cessation of rewarding mediocrity seems to be a brobdingnagian first step.

Swing of the clue-bat : I wasn't speaking of the performance of the children.



Wow, a genius like you can't figure out how to fix the dysfunctional American educational system?!? Oh boy, we're all doomed!
 
2010-08-08 07:19:19 PM
It is obvious that her school failed to educate her. She went to a school named Coxsackie and is using her mouth for entirely the wrong purpose.
 
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