Friday, June 24, 2005

Enlightenment and Education

When I was a kid, my mom had two favorite quotations concerning education:
**Thanks to Christine for helping me out!!**

1) "Educate a man and you educate an individual; educate a woman and you educate an entire family." ~Dr. Charles McIver

2) Without education we are in a horrible and deadly danger of taking educated people seriously." ~Gilbert K. Chesterton

I was perusing my favorite blog this morning and I came across a post that caught my attention. The fabulous Miss Joan wrote about the youngsters that run rampant on all of our college campuses. You know the ones I mean…the perfectly dressed, just out of high school, immature little kids who all think they know everything and they make you feel old and a bit worried about future generations.

Now I’m not that old…I’m only 24 and I don’t pretend even for a second that I have all the answers…in fact, I’ll be the first one to tell you that half the time, I don’t have a clue what I’m talking about…but I can make it sound damn convincing if I want to. Anyway, while I was reading Joan’s post, I thought about the five years I spent in college…well six if you count that I was taking college classes my senior year of high school because I didn’t like the high school electives offered.

When I started out, I knew that I was smart, I knew enough about the subjects I was taking to at least ask intelligent questions and even participate in the class discussions…if you could call them discussions…I couldn’t believe the imbeciles I was subjected to. Now I have gone to private schools and I have gone to public schools, and if you pick your classes carefully, I believe you can get an equal education in either place. But that also means that there are idiots everywhere…and it seemed that most of them were in which ever classes I enrolled in.

My first semester of college (after high school) I went to a community college in Sacramento. I took three history classes, two sociology classes and physical anthropology. Final score: I got kicked out of class twice for asking probing questions and asking that the other students who wished to vocalize their opinions at least read the material first before wasting my time. I was always polite about it, but I was apparently too aggressive or something by asking that everyone have some basic understanding of the subject matter they wished to debate.

My favorite though was getting kicked out of Physical Anthropology for getting the other students to ask probing questions about evolution that the professor couldn’t answer…I guess it was a defiance of authority to ask questions he didn’t know the answer to…I don’t know for sure as he never answered my own inquiries about the subject. (I guess I always have been a, rabble rouser of sorts)

I was a history major…that means lots of seminar and discussion classes. Usually history professors (many sociology profs as well) are disturbingly awake early in the morning…I am a complete night owl and somehow I always ended up with early discussion classes…the worst was a 7 am seminar on the Philosophy of History…it was awful…no one can articulately discuss historians and their respective philosophies that early in the morning…but we all know that already…and yet there were always at least two of the little teeny-boppers in every class who insisted on complaining about it each and every class period.

Has anyone ever noticed how these little twerps always come in pairs, as if they would drop dead before they would be seen going to class alone…and they’re rarely on time (now anyone who knows me knows that I am very time challenged…but when others are waiting on me, I do everything in my power to be on time...I don’t like to waste other people’s time.)and when they do come to class it’s never quietly…rather it is an entire production and the strutting and posturing for the benefit of…well whomever is unfortunate enough to be within earshot.

I distinctly remember one midterm in a World Civ. class…it was in essay form (of course) and the prof had prepared the class for at least a full week before hand…the man practically spoon-fed us the answers he was going to want (this prof was cool though and always left room for independent thought) and without fail, part way through the test one girl, in a fashion very reminiscent of Cher Horowitz, raises her hand and says, “But Mr. G. this test is like way hard and stuff!! What if I like fully don’t know the answers? Can I like ask someone else?” Are you kidding me?? It’s a college midterm!! Not show-and-tell time at Romper Room!!! I paid a lot of money to be in that class…I do not want my time wasted.

As you can tell my bullshit tolerance is so ridiculously low that I can’t fathom the idea of going back to school right now. I dropped out because of the money, not because I got tired of learning…but after a full day of attorneys, the idea of sitting in a room full of idiotic teenyboppers is nauseating.

Now they’re not all bad, far from it, there are very intelligent and even sophisticated 18 year olds out there, I am privileged to know some, but they go unrecognized for that very reason…they are in college for the right reasons and they want to get the most out of their experience…just like the rest of us old people. ;-)

On the topic of enlightenment...I was reading the news headlines and was surprised to learn how uneducated I am...that or Tom Cruise is seriously's a toss-up, but I'd prefer to think that it's him and not me...otherwise I wasted a lot of money on my education when I could have just joined a cult... read it for yourselves. So, what do ya'll think? I personally think that his antics are starting to border on Frued's theory that women are just flawed men...can't wait to se what Cruise comes up with next.
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