Skip to comments.Americans orchestrating own doom
Posted on 10/21/2006 10:38:35 PM PDT by SmithL
The dispatches arrived in a bunch and pointed too much to the same conclusion to be coincidence. The conclusion: We're doomed. And it's not al-Qaida doing us in. We're doing it to ourselves.
In what is surely the tip of the social iceberg, a New England grade school has joined schools across the country in prohibiting the kids from playing tag at recess.
Touch football is also banned. The schools are growingly - and legitimately - fearful of lawsuits over playground accidents by litigious parents. Seesaws and jungle gyms have long since disappeared from playgrounds.
But there is probably more at work here than just fear of the courtroom: the kids' feelings. Remember a few years ago when the schools started banning dodge ball? The problem was, dodge ball was exclusionary, the point being to knock people out of the game at great risk to their positive self-image.
The problem of unsupervised games and skinned knees may be self-solving because surveys show recesses are shriveling, with the schools arguing they need that time to prepare their students for the tests mandated by the No Child Left Behind Act.
So how's that working out?
Not so hot, according to a Brookings Institution study. It found that, while American eighth-graders professed enjoyment of math and confidence in their math skills, they didn't perform as well as foreign eighth-graders, who were not so happy and confident.
Summed up one account: "Even the least confident students in Singapore outscored the most confident Americans."
Countries like the United States that teach math by trying to relate it to daily life using real-life examples have the worst scores. There's a two-word explanation for that: binomial theorem. When was the last time you had occasion in daily life to use that basic first step in introductory algebra? The more math you learn, the more remote it is from real life.
The final threads of this tapestry of doom came together when the Associated Press filed a story about an NFL program to help combat the epidemic of childhood obesity, a condition caused in part, the experts say, by a lack of exercise like, oh, say, playing tag or dodge ball.
The program aims to work physical activity into the classroom. Reported the AP:
"New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning dropped by a Manhattan public school this week where he showed eighth-graders how to add some exercise to their math class. He had them perform squats, then count their own heart rates for 15 seconds and multiply by four to calculate their heartbeats per minute."
So here we have eighth-graders - 13-year-olds - being challenged to count into the double digits and then multiply that number by four.
A science lesson would teach the dangers of cholesterol and the importance of healthy hearts by having the kids play - get this - tag. Imagine what it will do to the self-esteem of an eighth-grader who in a classroom game of tag is chosen to be cholesterol, heart-clogging fat.
We will ask ourselves how we got to be so fat and stupid. And the answer will come: Education.
Indeed, the descendants of the flinty New Englanders who chased the British redcoats from Lexington Green and Concord Bridge back to Boston are prohibited from playing all unsupervised "chasing games."
There is likely some advantage in approaching a difficult task with humility and trepidation, but we do lead the world, however, in instilling self-esteem.
If you're really good, there are only about five other people in the world you can talk to, and none of them, very likely, is a Singaporean eighth-grader.
For a culture dominated by those who claim to believe in evolution, we're doing a pretty good job of eliminating the natural selection factor. First we get rid of the dangerous toys (pocket knives, BB guns, lawn darts, etc.) that used to remove stupid kids from the gene pool, then we get rid of rough sports. I suppose next some liberal in a position of power will point to a jail cell and say, "If you get in there, it will be much easier to protect you."
Unless you are saving for retiremtne, buying a house, buying a car, laying out a landscape, putting up shelves, connecting water pipes, etc.
You're right - high self esteem will come in time - as it should. High self esteem before it's earned can be a negative. The kids with the highest self-esteem in high schools are gang members ...
You mean you'll go around eating rat burgers? /sarc.
Sadly, INDEED . . . Exceedingly too, too true.
At my HS the most popular kids (Sports jocks, cheerleaders and yes very conceited) became gas station attendants and fat drunks. The one guy that no one noticed became our state rep.
Revenge of the nerds?
This is what happens when you have an education system run by morons.
Most people know (even if subconsciously) that all their fellow earth travelers can be both "good" and "bad" at any given moment in time. (I just had to throw a wrench in perfection, LOL.)
Social and political views should reflect the use of Skinner as a carrot and Freud as a stick to be effective.
Forget the negative consequences (the rod) and spoil the child.
I'm only on here for a minute, this morning, and ran into your post.
I hope you don't mind, I've put it on my homepage : )
"Fat, drunk, and stupid is how we want you to go through life son."
That's an interesting idea; survival of the educationally fittest, in essence, based on the "evolution" of the educational system, when in reality, it has been the devolution of the educational system. But who are the fittest? Many will come from home schooling!
A burger flipper ought to be able to figure out a bill when the register is broken. Perhaps even the tax (from a table, not too hard.) A few can do this. Most can't.
How can they even hope to get promoted to a headwaiter as the requires remembering people's names and likes over various visits.
Summed up one account: "Even the least confident students in Singapore outscored the most confident Americans."
And guess what?
Their class sizes are BIGGER than 18-20 students!
You're being mislead there to fill their coffers for a new baby grand piano, heated sidewalks, a new orchestra pit for high schoolers or a new facade for the building to make it look nicer! Anything else but on legitimate EDUCATION.
#14 Sounds like MY childhood!
We had a ball!! Just as you say ... I agree with all you wrote. I'd gladly give up a cell phone, text messaging, PC's and color TV for my daughter to have my wonderful childhood. Also Mom stayed HOME. They weren't off fighting wars. That was for the men. People actually went to church on Sunday - the whole family!
Nah, I wouldn't trade MY childhood for todays view of childhood.
While people were lining up for the buses, I simply told my wife and son that I'd meet them over there because it was a perfect autumn morning and I wanted to get some fresh air.
Everybody lined up for the buses thought I was nuts as I simply crossed the street and started walking. I beat my family there by about 20 minutes and then on the way back to the auditorium, I beat them there too. Bear in mind that it was a 45 minute to one hour wait to board the buses!
Out of the several thousand people who came to this open house, I was the only one of them that decided to walk to the campus and back from the auditorium. To me, it was nothing at all. But for most others, you might as well have told them you were going to be hiking the Appalachian trail.
The point is, most people today would never think of walking a mile someplace. Maybe that is why we are all so fat.
Perfect analogy of what is wrong with the extremes of Western society. Some long to get fat and lazy or help someone else get as fat as the other guy.
Be careful of what you wish for, you just might get it.
Witness France, paying anti-western, Christianophobic, murders and thugs to do their "work" for them.
Oh Rome! I see you more clearly by the day.
We can thank the NEA for that mess. Once teachers start teaching, it's almost impossible to get rid of bad ones and kids are paying the price.
Absolutely and utterly true.
I spent almost 30 years watching book taught engineers go all lame when what was 'supposed to happen' didn't. And (really), creating a huge, SS, nut, with non-standard threads, to solve a perfectly not complex assembly. (He thought it was eligant, it rusted anyway)
My personal favorite was the guy who raised his hand after an hours long design review and shyly announced that "all we wanted was a cherry picker".
My childhood took place in the 1980s -- during the Reagan years -- and was similar to what you describe. Lots of bike riding and playing outside. Computers were pretty primitive and there was no internet. We played with those plasic green army guys and had cap guns that looked like real guns (gasp! can you imagine?). Phones still had cords and rotary dials and weren't much good for standing on street corners with. In a lot of ways, it wasn't too different from the 1950s, I don't think.
Several of my elementary school teachers were women in their fifties. They would have been in their twenties when they began their teaching careers, which would've begun in the 1950s. So these were some of the same women who taught your generation. Your generation and mine have them in common.
It's funny being a GenXer because we have these Leave It to Beaver early childhoods playing wiffleball in the street and that kind of thing (but with feminist, divorcee moms yelling for us to come home in the evenings) followed quickly by highschool years that included the internet and Bill Clinton. A lot changed between 1979 and 1992 (my school years).
The country is doomed. I was shoveling snow at 6 this morning and about a dozen kids came out from the house opposite and commented that I was up late. I must say that they had no idea that they were also in this scene.
It's already happened, the welfare system.
I don't mind at all. Send me a link!
The Utopians fail to take into account the Pride of man, which is called the greatest sin. Those who rise to power will become full of it, and they will have to deal with hordes of people who will not think Correctly. Reeducation camps, executions. Same old same old. They never, ever learn.
Yes, there's nothing sadder than meeting someone who's high point in life was high school...
We aren't all doomed. What we are doomed to is bigger and bigger cultural, educational, and income gaps. It is happening already. So far it works to conservatives advantage because as a group conservatives work and don't snub entry level work they work themselves up the ladder or they start business. Capitalism in this country still favors harder workers. Liberals have a small number of intellectual elites that think nothing of lying to the masses to keep them down and on welfare just to keep political power. This why the income gap is going to grow and why going to the inner city is like visiting a different country.
I only learned numeric bases after I bought an M1 Garand. You have to know your octets to know how many rounds fill how many clips. Finally I understood.
If humans had left off counting our thumbs when our numeric system was created, we'd all be using a system based on eight.
Where are all the kids playing football in vacant lots?
I live very close to a small inner-city community in NJ. I'm always astonished at the poor, black kids who still gather in dusty, empty lots to play ball and other games without any parental or adult supervision. It's like the 1950s come back to life.
Our company was in the inner city in the '70's. Kids in the neighborhood were out playing like that, during the week, during the school year...
Amazing!!! There must be an election coming up! All of us 'Olders' are showing-up on threads about stuff that offends us, and that's a good thing!
Good to see all youse guys and gals! I'll just assume we're all gonna go kick some democRAT ass on Nov 7. Stay well y'all, and if you have a mosque in your neighborhood, get a firearm and ammo.
Stay well - good to see y'all.................FRegards
Thank you for the link, I have passed it on.
An excellent site.
The 1st organized leagues for children are hitting the ball off a tee...no outs recorded...no scores recorded.
You can be sure Albert Pujos and Alex Rodriquez didn't start there.
It's not so much that I can't do the math (I can't, but that's not a material issue because I don't have to). I just literally didn't understand the concept. Sort of like base 10 was how God intended it, and there is no other possible system.
I once heard about a study where it was noted two boys playing in one of those non-violent, no toy weapons type day care enviornments picked up a couple of Barbie dolls...and immediately began using them as swords to fight with.
Click my name...my FR homepage ; )
BTW, what is really fascinating is......
my daughter and I went out for dinner Friday night, grabbed a paper to read while we ate. This article was in the paper, and I read it outloud to her.
(P.S. I was not a cut and run advocate of public schools...I was, nay "am", a thorn in the side of our public schools for many years, and raised my children outside ; )
(P.P.S. There is hope. Several kids I've 'mentored' are becoming teachers : )
Fancy meeting you here. LOL!
Anyway, I think a lot more folk are "up" on these matters than we're led to believe. The majority of them, however, don't know what to do about it and thus trust the system regardless because everyone else seems to trust the system. If you say something or, worse, try and take action, those holding the reigns (and, again, I mean the unions, the bureaucrats, and other "embedded" moles) do what they can to subdue you. This is especially evident at the local level. If you go after the state or federal levels it's reduced to a "political issue" making it easier to marginalize and, in the end, ignore.
I agree that the situation, our education system combined with its effects on society (and vice-versa), runs in cycles and that, eventually, something resembling sanity will take root again - unless, of course, the cycle of history leads us down the Roman path. It's just that I'd like to see it in my lifetime, preferably sometime before my kids graduate from elementary school.
I know what you mean. When my oldest was five I bought a huge box of Popsicle sticks to teach him the concept in base 10. I made up bundles of ten with him. He struggled & couldn't get it. Meanwhile, his younger brother who was barely verbal learned it. When my three year old learned something beyond the measure of many who are older, it gave me a greater understanding about differences in innate abilities, as well as different learning styles.
My oldest son's reading abilities allowed him to learn more advanced math later in his life. (He began learning to read on his own, starting around age three.) I taught my middle son how to do long division one evening. He had skipped the year of math where it was taught to his peers. This middle son is the one that learned how to do the different bases with about 5 minutes of explanation. Despite his natural aptitude, he burnt out on math during his sophomore year of HS.
I have to do work arounds for my inability to remember the multiplication tables. LOL Trust me, math concepts use a different part of the brain.
Pings are just a heads up to lead you to a good post or thread.
I know "subdue", it having been tried on me, on several occasions : ) I could never leave all those kids to let those weirdos distort their minds. So, I did what came naturally. I fought back. And while I did, those kids watched..........................................and learned.