A while back a friend of mine was relating how he lost his grad school fellowship at a large and prestigious university. He refused to tutor remedial reading to some of the undergraduates.
Something you are supposed to learn in primary school. And correct in secondary school. Whenever… but long before you enter a school of higher education. Whether it is a state university, a private school or a community college.
“I needed that fellowship. I needed that monthly stipend desperately,” he insisted, long after finally receiving his Ph.D. in Philosophy. “But I couldn’t believe they wanted me – for whatever reason – to basically teach reading in college.”
In other words, he wasn’t about to quibble philosophically… in any of the three languages he had to master for his degree. The buck actually stopped here – with him.
Hmm… But life went on, anyway.
In truth, many of us were desperate for money in grad school. So it wasn’t difficult for the university to find someone else who needed the paltry $1200 a semester to perform the daily task. I might have. Because having grown up and learned a few things back on the farm I reaped the wisdom to never wrestle with a pig: You get dirty. And besides, the pig likes it.
And that, basically, goes to the crux of the problem. Men and women will do most anything when they are desperate. Even subordinate their basic secular, religious and personal principles – not to mention vitiate the verisimilitude of their private philosophy. (Now that’s a mouthful of pedantic over-education… ain’t it?)
And I appreciate that President Obama is trying to wrestle this land of rugged individualism into an educated country where we’re supposed to know something about everything – and everything about something.
And indeed I am fervently in favor of education throughout your life. You know: Live as if you were to die tomorrow; but learn as if you were to live forever. However (and everything before ‘however’ is bullshit) I don’t want to be donating another $60 billion to the venal institutions of higher education that always seem ready to capitalize on this subsidized welfare faster than corporations moved overseas.
Listen up! It is our primary and secondary schools that are failing. A high school diploma don’t mean shit no more. And instead of correcting the basic problem, we, in typical American procrastination, are putting it off to colleges that are simply cashing in the bounty.
The President wants to put it off to Community Colleges. And after that, to whom or what will we put-off the problem next?
And I can’t stands-it no mo’. Why don’t we just pass a law prohibiting secondary and primary education like we did with alcohol under Prohibition? Then undoubtedly everybody will want it and pay whatever it takes to make it work successfully.
Hmm… I mean am I missing ‘sumting’ here? Am I sorely misinformed? It don’t take no scientific research to understand that you can’t put off being young until you retire. Just like you can’t put off living until you are ready.
Hmm… Or did everybody but me miss that memo.
So, KISS me. Because I hate getting screwed without being KISSed. That is: Keep It Simple Stupid. Fix the first-grade problem in Grade 1. Don’t put it off until Grade 13. Or 14. Or until some philosophical grad student has another mind fart of conscience.
I mean if the government can find $60 billion to extend the basic problem, then it can find the money to fix it and get us back to the basics that all those ‘my-fellow-Americans’ politicians are always promising to get us back to.
Now, go ahead and convince me that I am just being stooopeeed. Yank my super-glued eyes off the Periodic Chart of Elements. Because there is nothing more basic and elementary than the Big Chart where everything that is – simply is! All 115 of them.
Are you following the basic elements here?
If we got back to the strict basics of reading, writing, arithmetic, science, history, language and especially vocational-technology-ed then a high school diploma might mean something again. Make it something worthwhile earning – an honor for the student as well as the job market. Make it tough. Make it entertaining. But mostly, make it right. And I don’t care how painful it has to be. There is no pain without suffering. And to suffer is to learn.
Hmm… take your time and think about that. It’s educational.
I have to admire the President for tackling so many political cesspools that most of his recent predecessors were too pusillanimous to step into. And here he is trying to fix the dismal state of our oxymoronic public education that has fallen into such lunacy.
But he’s looking through a telescope instead of a microscope. He’s viewing the south end of a northbound donkey. We don’t have a revenue problem in this country; we have a shitty spending problem. We always seem to be spending ‘other-people’s-money’ on more unnecessary and unneeded life-rafts instead of simply fixing the bloody ship.
It makes common sense – although that ain’t so common no mo’ — doesn’t it? I mean doesn’t it seem to you that the rocky path of our education has stumbled from cocky ignorance to miserable uncertainty? In trying to please everybody we are satisfying nobody. And we’ve surrendered our duty. What every venerated General, ballet instructor and even your mad mother knows is: Spare the basics — spoil the child.
Hmm… Temporary pain for permanent education.
You know, I have a sexually transmitted disease – children. Apparently so do too many of us. And obviously they are our hope for the future. And I want them to have one. Not just so they can contribute to my diminishing Social Security benefits. But because if they don’t have a future they can afford, they only have a past. And the past is what my generation, that was going to fix duh world, only succeeded in screwing up.
It’s no secret that a real education is the key to everybody’s future. It ain’t football. It ain’t gambling. It ain’t drugs, sex and rock ‘n roll.
On the one hand education may be a progressive discovery of our own ignorance. But seriously it ain’t nothing more than common sense. And as my dear ol’ bourbon sippin’ Pappy always exhaled between those omnipotent puffs on his omniscient corn cob pipe: It is a thousand times better to have common sense without education than to have education without common sense.
And dats yDrewIS on dis penal colony…