Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The real public education.

I never questioned the way kids treated each other in school. I thought it was just normal that everyone paired off into their subcultures. The group that stands out the most is made up of student star athletes followed by their entourage of team members, cheerleaders, etc. What makes certain groups of students special is the privileges and impunity they are given by the adults. Therein lies the tools of social governance at a sports-oriented school.
Sports at school is the embodiment of training in discipline, order, distraction and unquestioning loyalty. Such a school that emphasizes athletics over academics is for creating a workforce that is trained to follow instructions and apply a specific skillset. Such a school trains job-seekers instead of entrepreneurs, with very few rare exceptions (mostly due to outside influences).

While most of the students are not athletes, the social influence of special students is astounding and completely outside the scope of reasoning.

The rest of us simply looked up to students selected for special privileges, such as extra latitude for misbehaving, allowances for skipping classes, school jackets, pins, access to especially beneficial classes,  even the appearance of authority over some teachers.

This kind of values learning that works against the interests of students in their futures is found mostly in consumer-driven economies. The highest paid employee of the entire state of Washington is the Coach of the University of Washington. Why else would professional athletes get such high salaries?

It's well-known that students learn more social skills, including a second language, from their peers rather than from formal instruction. Students see the special treatment of athletes and other socially affluent throughout their formative years and derive a distorted set of values based on those privileges, in the hopes of achieving a similar status.

What they don't realize is obtaining such status looks much easier to achieve than it really is because you don't see first-hand the exact moment when someone is handed his or her status and privileges on a silver platter. We all just think they do the same things we are doing and it happens to them and it almost--but does not happen to us. It makes us feel like failures because we don't know that those people were already targeted for help up the social ladder by their inside connections. It makes us clamber thoughtlessly in the same direction and they profit from our effort. It's time to stop following.

Take your academic subjects seriously enough to find alternative sources than those just handed to you at school and look for what is missing from your curriculum. Learn the skills of those who delegate tasks, not those to whom tasks are delegated. Probably most importantly, turn off your television and your game console because your lifetime is being stolen by those things. Never stop learning.
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