It is important to take stock of your life from time to time. When surrounded by ignorant and asinine people and situations, it is as though you won’t ever wriggle out from under them. As they say, “if you walk with a cripple, you start to limp”. What is fundamental is the ability to recognize the truly puerile and expose it for what it is. A spark of genius is then called for.
I want to take stock of the exceptional parents I had and the experiences and education they afforded me. It’s rare in today’s world. Our educational system is not what it was. Gifted and talented meant you really were gifted and talented. Today, everyone is gifted and talented. I beg to differ…
Sometime after 1977, during the infamous and heavily ridiculed “Carter” years, amongst a host of inept social programs and a massive deficit, our educational “tracking” system was eradicated. The kids that were slower to learn or in classes modified to meet their needs, were suddenly in classes with the “accelerated” group. I was one of those “accelerated” kids and it changed the face of American education forever and it also changed the direction I would take. Suddenly everyone was “regular”. Believe it or not, they actually instituted that label to differentiate from “accelerated” or “modified”, the latter meaning unusually slow to learn. Bless those liberals.
The kids destined for “vo-tech” and took “shop” class, in other words, the not-ready-for-prime-time-players, were now in my Algebra and English Lit class. While raising my own children and putting them through the public school system, it was common practice to lump all the students together and create a simpler curriculum that everyone could grasp. (Against my better judgement, I adhered to my then husband’s Canadian wishes and kept them in public school). It was brutal to watch. Smart kids sleeping, bored out of their wits while the poor little dumb kids were catered too. One of my son’s teacher’s took offense one afternoon and sent him home with a note that read,”Your son feels the need to “shine” constantly and it is not fair to the other students”. He was in the third grade at the time and had corrected her that on that particular year, Pluto was not furthest from the sun because every 12 years Neptune trades places. Vexed she was as I recall. (Readers, please don’t take offense here if I am hitting a nerve, I am not judging the less scholastically inclined nor the mentally acute, I am merely making a statement of fact.) Fortunately for my son, by high school he had one teacher that applauded his brilliance and had him teach the sophomore astronomy class the entire year. She was unable to explain dark matter, black holes, “spaghettification” or the time space continuum to 16 year old’s. And apparently, he could.
Liberal minded governing entities decided it wasn’t fair that some kids were labeled “smart” and others were not. Ask yourself this: How many people do you know with a college degree that got into college when they probably never should have graduated high school? Or take a look at a local newspaper, a sales ad, a real estate slogan or what some people refer to as art or music. Have you noticed the plethora of idiotic ramblings purported by so called specialists in their fields? College graduates now speak and write in juvenile mumbo jumbo as if it were grammatically correct and are no closer to realizing that,”wuz”, “cuz”,”wanna” or “i be” are actual words than my cat realizes his own sentience. Even while perusing job ads one finds typos, text message style abbreviations and absurd remarks. It’s disheartening to say the least.
We used to have structure in school. Our curriculum’s made us think and work. I studied ballet my entire life and played violin at the age of 4. We had mandatory language classes starting in the first grade. We had to WRITE our papers longhand. Which meant we needed to spell correctly and understand diction, phonetics, syntax etc., and not rely on spell check; which never works anyway because it cannot recognize the difference between “there”, “their” or “they’re” for instance. It is astonishing the drivel one runs into today. I refuse to watch any television for this reason, especially local or national news. I am fully aware that if you allow yourself to be duped and manipulated by the propaganda regurgitated by the corporate media whores, whose main interest is consumerism and not the welfare of the nation, you will mindlessly plod through life with the rest of the herd idling towards the slaughter-house sitting in an easy chair while watching Jackass or Jersey Shore. We should all be terrified of where the future of the American intellect and ingenuity is heading.
I suspect there is at least one social program afoot, (please note the inherent sarcasm) to blame in the dumbing down of our nation’s educational system. Having been raised by a Yale PhD, Columbia U professor and NSA/CIA father, I received an exemplary education. An education is not exclusive to being able to graduate from college and walk away with a piece of paper. A good education begins in the home and is cultivated by capable parents and a well rounded experience.
For a good idea of American intellect, ingenuity and strength, Alexis De Toqueville’s, Democracy in America outlines this superbly well and is one of, if not the best read and should be required in middle school along with classes in civics so our populace has a grasp on who is really in charge here. The Washington pundits have all read it. It’s required reading for anyone studying political science or law and somehow, they have tossed the book on the back of the shelf as if it were some sort of nasty little secret. Toqueville even prophecies on what will happen when capitalism and democracy fall into the hands of the ill-equipped, illiterate and greedy. Smart populace=Strong nation people.
Did you read my post about the Social Disaster? How on earth can a person claim to be a specialist in the field of social work or in helping battered or abused women in a shelter, when they have never had children, been married or divorced, survived a battery or rape or have any practical social skills to bring to the table other than a piece of paper and a measly year in Africa at the governments expense? You’re kidding right?
Take the music industry today. Everyone thinks they can be a rockstar or get a signed record deal. All they have to do is either get the funding, (many times through illegal activities as in some Rap artists) or know someone, as in the nepotism running rampant in the music and film industry. Talent is no longer necessary nor is paying your dues. Everyone gets a free pass, makes a million overnight and gets their asses all over the television. Re: The Kardashian dolts.
Though, I must ponder. I’m a humanist, an animal and environment lover, with a brain and an extremely versatile education and background. Where are we going with all of this degradation? What do we have to look forward to 10, 15 or 20 years from now? A welfare, “socialist” state saturated with the socially and scholastically inept? Where is the spark of genius that America is known for? Our strength lies in our populace. Our populace is getting weaker by the second as millions gorge themselves on national news, the disasters and the mayhem, the fear and loathing and political scandals all designed to keep our eye not on the ball. Why are we taking political sides as if one is any better than the other or care about what Lady Gaga or Charlie Sheen are up to? Who really gives a crap?
Has not one person noticed that a bi-cameral system doesn’t work with over 300 million citizens and that Lady Gaga, (who actually is quite a talented pianist, go figure) and Charlie Sheen pay their publicists to start fires to increase their notoriety? Are the American people this inane? What happened to taking pride in our hard work and ethics? We were founded on that principle and farmers with pitchforks and 12 year old boys with muskets proved it to an entire armada of British soldiers.
Please America, wake up from this nightmare. Please bring back the genius, the spark and the reason that the entire world envies us and leans on us for leadership.
For those who do not possess this spark of genius, please refer to our neighbors to the north for assistance and asylum. They love to feed and house drug addicts, tax over 60% to your income, permit known terrorists entry and club baby seals. They certainly do send a mixed message to all those tree hugging liberals don’t they? Sure, they’re a pacified bunch I guess when it comes to having a military industrial complex, but then why do they do hang onto our skirts, pockets, purses, technology and charm? And then have the audacity to snub their noses?
If something doesn’t happen soon, I am going to find a third world nation rife for a takeover, where its absentia inhabitants are here, getting American financial aid, starting businesses and getting college grants and start my own social reforms and government.
Screw it. 😦