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Random Rant Thread

This is a discussion on Random Rant Thread within the The Official Puff Pipers Non-Pipe Related Banter Forum forums, part of the Pipe Smokers Forums category; Originally Posted by Xodar I have actually heard "Did you read all these" more than once when bringing a contemporary ...

  
  1. #196

    Sot-weed Bohemian freestoke's Avatar


     

    Re: Random Rant Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Xodar View Post
    I have actually heard "Did you read all these" more than once when bringing a contemporary into my house and having them see the built in bookshelves in the living room...

    Society fail?


    I have rather a lot of books myself, still only a fraction of what I've read. Nobody I know has any books at all hardly -- even unread ones. I recently read that the average reading level of assigned books in high school is 5.1, the highest being 7.3. We have become a nation of Deltas -- without any factories to work in.
    Last edited by freestoke; 04-17-2012 at 01:30 PM.
    Vegetarian -- that's an old Indian word meaning "lousy hunter". -- Andy Rooney

  2. #197

    Dosidicus Pipa Desertlifter's Avatar


     

    Re: Random Rant Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Xodar View Post
    I think this is a symptom of the decline of literacy in this country. 200 years ago a person could go to school in a one room schoolhouse and come out of it at 17 years old with a command of latin or greek, the ability to write a letter or essay with correct spelling and punctuation, and a grasp of algebra and geometry that would make Descartes proud. Ben Franklin saw unlimited potential in the communication a printing press made available. Now my local newspaper has reduced itself to three sections, doubling up several that used to be individual. On Mondays it is roughly the thickness of a silver age comic book. I have actually heard "Did you read all these" more than once when bringing a contemporary into my house and having them see the built in bookshelves in the living room...

    Society fail?
    This is painfully obvious in my classrooms. There is a lot of chest beating and banter about the negative impact that immigration is having on our schools, but it's simply not true - and I teach in a school district with a significant immigrant population. The problem is with native English speaking children who have a vocabulary that is thousands of words less than the average kids decades ago. Most of my immigrant kids - in my case Filipino and Mexican for the most part - have a far better grasp on their first language, which is something positive to build on in English. For my English speaking kids this is not the case and it is a continual battle to get functional communications from them. Diagnostic scores put the language skills of my 7th and 8th grade students at between 2nd and 4th grade for reading and spoken language. Take that wonderful bit and add to it the fact that I have 15 and even 16 year old students still in middle school. Imagine being expected to teach quadratic equations and Mendelian genetics to a 7 year old. Language and literacy - or the lack thereof - are dragging us down fast.
    Pro Patria Vigilans................... My tobacco cellar

  3. #198

    Codger In Training gahdzila's Avatar


     

    Re: Random Rant Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Desertlifter View Post
    This is painfully obvious in my classrooms. There is a lot of chest beating and banter about the negative impact that immigration is having on our schools, but it's simply not true - and I teach in a school district with a significant immigrant population. The problem is with native English speaking children who have a vocabulary that is thousands of words less than the average kids decades ago. Most of my immigrant kids - in my case Filipino and Mexican for the most part - have a far better grasp on their first language, which is something positive to build on in English. For my English speaking kids this is not the case and it is a continual battle to get functional communications from them. Diagnostic scores put the language skills of my 7th and 8th grade students at between 2nd and 4th grade for reading and spoken language. Take that wonderful bit and add to it the fact that I have 15 and even 16 year old students still in middle school. Imagine being expected to teach quadratic equations and Mendelian genetics to a 7 year old. Language and literacy - or the lack thereof - are dragging us down fast.
    I don't want to sound like I doubt you, Brian, because I don't doubt you one bit. Just a comment/question along those lines. It may be enlightening to hear an educator's perspective.

    I'm the parent of a 3rd grader. From what I've seen (and other parents I've spoken to agree), elementary school seems, from my superficial observations, to be much more difficult than it was when I was in school 30 years ago. My son has to study much harder and spend much more time doing homework than I remember doing at his age. It doesn't add up that kids on the whole would be working harder but be less advanced, you know?

    Any thoughts? Are today's teachers less effective in the classroom? Did we have a better work ethic back then and work harder at school, necessitating less homework? Or maybe I'm remembering my childhood with rose-colored glasses, and I actually *did* work as hard or harder? Do hobby and pasttime differences between our generations play a role? Any ideas?

    I'm grasping at straws here, this is a wild guess more than a theory, but I think the "lowest denominator" effect has something to do with it. What I mean is that teachers may have to "dumb down" their curriculum so that that one kid whose parents don't give a damn can keep up with everyone else. What do you think?

  4. #199

    Dosidicus Pipa Desertlifter's Avatar


     

    Re: Random Rant Thread

    [QUOTE]I don't want to sound like I doubt you, Brian, because I don't doubt you one bit. Just a comment/question along those lines. It may be enlightening to hear an educator's perspective.

    I'm the parent of a 3rd grader. From what I've seen (and other parents I've spoken to agree), elementary school seems, from my superficial observations, to be much more difficult than it was when I was in school 30 years ago. My son has to study much harder and spend much more time doing homework than I remember doing at his age. It doesn't add up that kids on the whole would be working harder but be less advanced, you know? [QUOTE]

    Homework doesn't equal results, and for literally generations the philosophy in primary grades was that homework was neither productive nor healthy for young minds. My nephew is an extreme example of this - he is in kindergarten in Olympia. During his first year of school he has had to memorize countries and their capitals all over the world. Never mind that this is a useless exercise and likely demotivating to many of the kids, what is so important about a 5 year old knowing that Zagreb is the capital of Croatia when he can barely write his letters?

    [QUOTE] Any thoughts? Are today's teachers less effective in the classroom? Did we have a better work ethic back then and work harder at school, necessitating less homework? Or maybe I'm remembering my childhood with rose-colored glasses, and I actually *did* work as hard or harder? Do hobby and pasttime differences between our generations play a role? Any ideas? [QUOTE]

    No, yes, maybe, yes. Teaching and teachers are as good as they have ever been, IMO. What I see is that we are less and less able to actually teach. I've literally spent weeks out of my classroom this year to attend mandatory training. In addition, you did work as hard or harder - there was just more focus instead of having to chase the latest hot button politically motivated idea. There has always been politics in the classroom, but I would posit never more than right now.

    As to hobbies and pastimes, it absolutely makes a difference. I've read neurological studies showing strong links between practices such as channel surfing on lowering IQ's, the lack of casual literacy in our society with television and mass-media being the main form of entertainment rather than reading, and a strong lack of physical activity for most of our children, which also has a negative impact on cognition. Meanwhile contrary to the pundits on infomedia outlets, education funding is lower now than it has been in decades. One example of this is that this is the first year in many years that I have a curriculum to teach. I've spent the years prior to this scouring the internet and garage sales looking for materials for my students - we didn't even have textbooks for my science classes. This is not an outlier as I know of several school districts in my area in the same boat - who still don't have curriculum. How effective would your local mechanic be without any tools?

    I'm grasping at straws here, this is a wild guess more than a theory, but I think the "lowest denominator" effect has something to do with it. What I mean is that teachers may have to "dumb down" their curriculum so that that one kid whose parents don't give a damn can keep up with everyone else. What do you think?
    NCLB has absolutely killed opportunity for school districts to do anything else. They are punished if they don't get their low kids up to grade level, not rewarded for further elevating higher performing students. This means that scant dollars must be spent on that bottom level. Add to that an average starting salary for teachers in this country that qualifies teachers in many states for food stamps and a political climate hostile to the profession and it is hard to recruit quality candidates. THEN standards have been raised in many states for teaching candidates. For example, Washington State's standards for a middle level math teacher are now only 2 classes away from getting into a graduate program in engineering. Become a teacher for less than $30k a year or take three more classes to start at nearly three times that? No brainer for many people there.

    Anyway, kind of got away from things there. I absolutely have to deal to the bottom denominator in my classes. Keep in mind that my example is extreme - I teach in an impoverished community on an Indian reservation. This means that truancy rules don't apply to many of my students. I have kids who miss literally months of school every year for hunting, fishing, cleaning garages (true story there), jail, and a myriad of other circumstances that are completely out of my control. They come to me having missed weeks or months of school every year starting in kindergarten - if they even start then. I have students who have never been in school until 6th grade, speak only pidgin English (and no other language), live in cars or couch surf, and often only eat when they come to school. I am evaluated on my ability to teach under these conditions (death threats, drug use among my students....) and expected in a 180 day school year to teach students 4 or more years of school.

    There are a lot of things that can change. The common complaint about teachers working 180 days a year with short days? Last year I had 7 days off all year, and I average a 50-60 hour week. That whole notion is silly. That is not to say that the idea of summer vacation is an anachronism. Kids are not working on farms nor are they participating in harvests in the vast majority of school districts in the country. We need to continue working toward high and consistent standards, but they need to guide instruction, not dictate it. We need to begin to honor all professions and recognize that not every student wants to go to college, and we need to stop looking down on those kids. Mechanics, electricians, plumbers - all of the trades are as important to this country as other professions are. We need to stop using our most important resource - our own kids - as political footballs chasing ineffective ideas, particularly when they have been shown over and over again to not work. Charter schools are a great example of this - 50% of charters have equal test scores to the public schools that they replace, 48-49% perform worse, and only 1-2% of them have ever performed better than the schools that they replace. It was an idea worth looking at, but it is a dead horse at this point. We need to recruit good teachers and pay them a fair wage for the education and responsibilities that they shoulder.

    I don't really see it changing any time soon. It's too easy to shout hot-button slogans and blame educators and unions for problems outside of their control. There are things that need fixing on all sides of the equation, and that is not a popular thing to say. Accountability must apply to all parties involved if it will ever make a difference, and I don't see that ever happening.

    In the end, I love what I do. I care about the kids that I teach and I work my ass off with little recognition for it. As a union president I deal with crap that is unconscionable, such as a principal who is trying to fire a teacher with 18 years of experience (mind you the principal taught for 5) for having an accent. That was just this week so far, and I haven't even been in my classroom.
    Pro Patria Vigilans................... My tobacco cellar

  5. #200

    Sot-weed Bohemian freestoke's Avatar


     

    Re: Random Rant Thread

    A very tough row to hoe, Brian. I agree completely with your observation that we should be teaching more trade skills, rather than feeding the kids with zero interest in mathematics a steady diet of algebra. Unfortunately, like the hospitals, nursing homes, prisons and a myriad other public service institutions, the public schools are being turned over to private enterprise. The charter school is the foot in the door to eliminate public schools in toto, so that the principle and administrative staff (no teacher requirements, they can hire family) will be able to skim off most of the money for the stockholders and their own salaries, stop making repairs to the grounds to make even more money, turn down the heat and turn off the air conditioning, and ultimately start charging monopolistic-level fees to attend (which school vouchers will scarcely cover). Personally, despite having gone to the best private high school in the states (I kid you not), I'd like to see private high schools completely eliminated, forcing the rich to take interest, both financial and personal, in their local schools; not every rich family is going to want to send their kids to Switzerland.

    Very informative, Brian! Hats off to you!
    Vegetarian -- that's an old Indian word meaning "lousy hunter". -- Andy Rooney

  6. #201

    Codger In Training gahdzila's Avatar


     

    Re: Random Rant Thread

    Fantastic post, Brian! Thank you for your insight! Somebody bump this man for me, I'm all out of ammo!

    Quote Originally Posted by Desertlifter View Post
    Homework doesn't equal results, and for literally generations the philosophy in primary grades was that homework was neither productive nor healthy for young minds. My nephew is an extreme example of this - he is in kindergarten in Olympia. During his first year of school he has had to memorize countries and their capitals all over the world. Never mind that this is a useless exercise and likely demotivating to many of the kids, what is so important about a 5 year old knowing that Zagreb is the capital of Croatia when he can barely write his letters?
    My son is learning state history/culture/politics/government in his 3rd grade social studies class. Again, it's certainly possible that I just am not remembering accurately, as it was 30 years ago, but some of it is stuff I don't remember ever being mentioned until somewhere around 8th grade when I was in school! I remember enjoying social studies in 3rd grade...the lessons were interesting, but it was very simple stuff and easy to learn at the time. He, on the other hand, is having to memorize facts and dates, and having a hard time with it. It's not fun, it's not challenging, it's dreary and monotonous and mundane.

    Same thing in science. He enjoys science much more, but he recently had to memorize the scientific names of most of the major bones in the human body. I'm not talking just skull and ribs, we're talking humerus, radius, ulna, femur, tibia, fibula, phalanges. REALLY?!? What use is this information to a 3rd grader? Particularly since he's only memorizing it enough to pass the test and he forgets it two weeks later? I don't recall ever having to learn that stuff until college level anatomy, and only then because it pertained to my major! So yeah, your example was certainly extreme, but I can definitely relate.

    Teaching and teachers are as good as they have ever been, IMO. What I see is that we are less and less able to actually teach. I've literally spent weeks out of my classroom this year to attend mandatory training.
    Yep, I hear this a lot as well.

    For example, Washington State's standards for a middle level math teacher are now only 2 classes away from getting into a graduate program in engineering. Become a teacher for less than $30k a year or take three more classes to start at nearly three times that? No brainer for many people there.
    Agree 100%. Two classes away from an engineering degree is extreme, but I do think our teachers should be well educated (I'm sure you agree). That said...they should be fairly compensated, and they aren't.

    The latest issue in Louisiana - tenure. The legislature recently (as in, like two weeks ago or so) made obtaining tenure more difficult, and made taking away a teacher's tenure easier. The proponents make a good argument - make it easier to get rid of poorly performing teachers. But I have serious problems with this. For one, how can one objectively measure a teacher's performance? I'm of the opinion that there are so many factors involved that a teacher's performance can't be assigned a number or letter grade. For example, a teacher working under your conditions would almost certainly number-wise generate a lower "score" than a teacher in an economically affluent area. Secondly, I'm of the opinion that our teachers are poorly compensated for the work that they do, and I consider tenure part of their benefits package and compensation...so the way I see it, what the state did was to effectively give our teachers a pay cut.

    We need to recruit good teachers and pay them a fair wage for the education and responsibilities that they shoulder.
    EXACTLY!!! Recruitment and fair compensation should take much higher priority than stuff like punitively taking away tenure as Louisiana is now doing.

    Anyway, kind of got away from things there.
    LOL, so did I.

    I don't really see it changing any time soon.
    Nor do I, unfortunately.

    In the end, I love what I do. I care about the kids that I teach and I work my ass off with little recognition for it.
    And here's the crux of the issue. I've never met or heard of a teacher who hates teaching, or a teacher who started teaching so that he would have long summers off, or a teacher who started teaching because he thought he would get rich doing it. Teachers teach because they love what they do PERIOD. Let's fairly compensate these people for their hard work, and let them do their jobs!!

  7. #202

    Codger In Training gahdzila's Avatar


     

    Re: Random Rant Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by freestoke View Post
    Unfortunately, like the hospitals, nursing homes, prisons and a myriad other public service institutions, the public schools are being turned over to private enterprise.
    This is happening here, too. I'm as libertarian as the next guy, I suppose, but this one completely baffles me. I can't wrap my brain around it at all. What the hell are these people thinking?!? What are we going to do when the private corporation running a maximum security prison suddenly decides it's not making enough money and just says, "eh...we're not gonna do this one anymore." What if something even more catastrophic (unlikely as it is, but certainly plausible) happens? What if the company suddenly and unexpectedly goes belly up? Guards, you're not getting paid this week...or at all for the foreseeable future. Can you say MASSIVE WALKOUT?!? Inmates - you guys better hope the corporation kept the food shelves well-stocked, because you're not getting anything else until the state gets this thing figured out. They didn't pay the electric bill for the last 3 months either, so LIGHTS OUT!

    I'm not in favor of massive government AT ALL. But some things just should not be privatized at all in my opinion.

  8. #203

    Sot-weed Bohemian freestoke's Avatar


     

    Re: Random Rant Thread

    Add M&M's to the list of things that have vanished from Western Civilization. They look like M&M's, but they are aliens -- as in Invasion of the Body Snatchers alien. Like my squabble with soda pop, the culprit is doubtless HFC. The shells are softer and not as shiny, with a matte finish similar to a Vulcanite pipe stem soaked in bleach. The chocolate now has that nasty, overly sweet taste of the cheapest imaginable chocolate one could buy 40 years ago; no longer creamy and barely even tasting like chocolate any more, one wonders how the cocoa content compares with real M&M's. Sad. I wonder how long it has been this way.
    Vegetarian -- that's an old Indian word meaning "lousy hunter". -- Andy Rooney

  9. #204

    Maturing Puffer Fish markov's Avatar


     

    Re: Random Rant Thread

    Seen an interesting graduation speech by a student on youtube lately:

    Raises some interesting points on education.

    And don't think you guys in US are alone in this, the education is deteriorating pretty much everywhere. Maybe it's due to the amount of information and facts kids have to learn these days. The library of human knowledge is increasing at light speed, but human capacity to embrace it is more or less same as that of ancient Egyptians for example. This could explain the fact that kids, to be able to process such ammounts of knowledge, have to do it in shallow and general way. I remember calculus used to be multi-year subject in colleges here 10 years ago, now it lasts one semester (6 months), but the scope of the subject hasn't reduced at all.

  10. #205

    Sot-weed Bohemian freestoke's Avatar


     

    Re: Random Rant Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by markov View Post
    And don't think you guys in US are alone in this, the education is deteriorating pretty much everywhere. Maybe it's due to the amount of information and facts kids have to learn these days. The library of human knowledge is increasing at light speed, but human capacity to embrace it is more or less same as that of ancient Egyptians for example. This could explain the fact that kids, to be able to process such ammounts of knowledge, have to do it in shallow and general way. I remember calculus used to be multi-year subject in colleges here 10 years ago, now it lasts one semester (6 months), but the scope of the subject hasn't reduced at all.
    What has replaced the erstwhile standards, granting this expansion of knowledge? Students no longer learn grammar, syntax, or spelling any more in college, judging from my own experience in watching the broad decline of writing skills over the years. The classics departments have vanished in most schools where a reading knowledge of Greek and Latin would have been a prerequisite for entry 80 years ago. Polls indicate that people have a far more tenuous grip on history, politics, science and government than they did 50 years ago. While people have become bigger in the US, I don't see the power of their brains increasing in tandem with their belt size, which is to say, I cannot believe that the calculus I laboriously ingested over 15 semester hours, hours that took me to limits of my capacity to abstract at the gates of differential equations, can be absorbed in six months. I could never have covered that ground in 1/6 the time I did, and I had far above aptitude for math as measured by the SAT. Calculus may have not have changed, but something has. (Do they still have to derive the trigonometric identities from the Unit Circle now, given nothing but a blank piece of graph paper, for example? I don't know what they could learn in that short a time. Nothing short of a musical genius will be able to play even a Level 5 transcription of a Bach prelude on classical guitar after six months study, to point to another field where human limitations are more obvious.)

    Minimal proficiency in a foreign language no longer is a requirement for, say, a computer science degree, at least not in most colleges, even some good ones. What information has replaced it? Video gaming skills? How to avoid identity theft? What's the best sports app for my tablet? I offer the thought that, while what we know about the world has increased in an absolute sense, the datum of consciousness has not changed a whit. Just as much information gets crammed into the cranium as before, but now too much of it serves no purpose. Is it of any real use to know the philosophies and philosophers of the Enlightenment, or to know the part they played in the creation of a government for the people and by the people?

    Outside the schoolroom, the crush of information is almost entirely ephemeral and oddly disjoint from consequential current events. I can't remember the figure exactly, but a discouraging number of college graduates do no know the name of the Vice President of the United States and can not name a single Supreme Court Justice, for example, while almost everyone polled knew who the star of some reality show or another -- and her boyfriend's name.

    So, faced with a paucity of knowledge in science (51% don't believe in evolution and a similar for figure for planetary warming), abysmal reading skills and even poorer writing skills, no grasp of political science or economics, foreign languages (extinct or otherwise), history, or much of anything else that I once took for granted in a person with a bachelor's degree, what are they now learning in their stead?
    Vegetarian -- that's an old Indian word meaning "lousy hunter". -- Andy Rooney

  11. #206

    Maturing Puffer Fish markov's Avatar


     

    Re: Random Rant Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by freestoke View Post
    Calculus may have not have changed, but something has. (Do they still have to derive the trigonometric identities from the Unit Circle now, given nothing but a blank piece of graph paper, for example? I don't know what they could learn in that short a time. Nothing short of a musical genius will be able to play even a Level 5 transcription of a Bach prelude on classical guitar after six months study, to point to another field where human limitations are more obvious.)
    I can speak about Europe. Here, school system went through massive reform, which some of you might have heard about - Bologna reform. It increased number of subjects, it increased the number of both home and school work, and massively increased pool of subjects to choose from. Students are overburdened yet results are worse than before. There is a general consensus that reform failed and students are leaving universities with lesser degree of knowledge and questionable functional literacy. While in US this transition might have been gradual, here in Europe it was pretty much caused by one single reform. Many countries are already thinking of another reform or even reverting to the old system.

    Calculus is good example. Students here now use matlab, mathematica or similar software at every calculus class. All assignments and problems are done on computer and not on paper. While it surely speeds up the process, students actually have no idea what's happening in the background and how computer gets these results. They were told and shown at the "theory" classes, but in reality, they don't and can't understand it so quickly, especially when a machine does it for them. So what we are producing now is massive number of people who are just capable enough to do required tasks (like calculating an equation with computer for engineering reasons), but absolutely incapable of any kind of creative or deeper thought process.

  12. #207

    Codger In Training gahdzila's Avatar


     

    Re: Random Rant Thread

    I share your concerns, Jim. But I do have a minor quibble.

    I'm making the generational gap painfully obvious here - I never studied Greek or Latin, not one iota, save where it was mentioned in passing in various science classes that "xyz comes from the Latin word xyz-ticus, meaning xyz.". And frankly, I don't see the point. Maybe a bachelor's degree is something different now than it once was? A bachelor's degree today seems to be mostly vocational preparation. Sure, I had to study some general English and science and history and mathematics that was not directly related to my field, but there wasn't a lot of it TBH. But if I had been required to study Latin and Greek and take a couple more years of history and calculus and civics and government, I would have been in college for a LONG time...only to prepare me for a vocation that, 100 years ago, required nothing but a 1 year internship.

    Anywho...again, I share your concerns. I don't know where the line should be drawn, though. Should a college graduate have at least a rudimentary understanding of the English language, mathematics and basic algebra, general sciences, history, and government? At least enough that they can perform in society intelligently? ABSOLUTELY! Calculus? Latin and Greek? ummmm....I'm not so sure.

  13. #208

    Sot-weed Bohemian freestoke's Avatar


     

    Re: Random Rant Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by gahdzila View Post
    IMaybe a bachelor's degree is something different now than it once was?
    Most definitely, and it starts earlier. To reach the information content of a 1960's high school diploma, one needs to have about an Associate's degree now, as I understand it. When I went to school, there was definitely an effort to prepare the student with skills that were not merely useful, but also ennobling. The object was to produce a person who could think, not simply one who could do a job. I don't think many college presidents today are even aware that such a concept ever existed, and if they are, they would consider it just another of those stupid, inefficient, romantic ideas of the past, hardly worthy of weighing against the network income from the sports teams.

    A bachelor's degree today seems to be mostly vocational preparation. Sure, I had to study some general English and science and history and mathematics that was not directly related to my field, but there wasn't a lot of it TBH. But if I had been required to study Latin and Greek and take a couple more years of history and calculus and civics and government, I would have been in college for a LONG time...only to prepare me for a vocation that, 100 years ago, required nothing but a 1 year internship.
    Certainly a difference still exists between a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Arts and the divide is even wider than before: less expository skill is required of the mathematics major, less mathematics of the English major, to the detriment of both. I remain baffled about today's college curricula. The same four years elapse, but not quite as much seems to happen.

    You write well and seem well informed, so I'm a bit uncomfortable arguing my position with you. Saying that a broadly based education improves one's quality of life and one's appreciation of the arts seems so lame.

    Latin and Greek? ummmm....I'm not so sure.
    "Learn Greek: it is the language of wisdom." George Bernard Shaw

    "The more I read the Greeks the more I realize that nothing like them has ever appeared in the world since...How can an educated person stay away from the Greeks? I have always been far more interested in them than in science." Albert Einstein

    "I have become convinced that of all that human language has produced truly and simply beautiful, I knew nothing before I learned Greek...Without a knowledge of Greek there is no education." Leo Tolstoy
    Vegetarian -- that's an old Indian word meaning "lousy hunter". -- Andy Rooney

  14. #209

    Elder Puffer Fish Leader MarkC's Avatar


     

    Re: Random Rant Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by freestoke View Post
    Students no longer learn grammar, syntax, or spelling any more in college, judging from my own experience in watching the broad decline of writing skills over the years.
    Nor should they, if they ever did. This is something that should be taught long before college.

    The only education complaint I'll offer to the discussion is this: I returned to college in my early forties (it's amazing how much more enjoyable learning is when it's for yourself rather than someone else!) and the class that shocked me was the intro to logic class, or whatever it was called. After studying the grades and matching them up to my fellow students, I realized that if you understood the class, at least most of the time, you got an A. If you understood the class only part of the time, you got a B. If you had absolutely no clue, you got a C. Fortunately, this allowed me to understand why so many people with college degrees are such incredible suckers and idiots...
    ********.com

  15. #210

    Sot-weed Bohemian freestoke's Avatar


     

    Re: Random Rant Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkC View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by freestoke
    Students no longer learn grammar, syntax, or spelling any more in college...
    Nor should they, if they ever did. This is something that should be taught long before college.
    Exactly "write". I had meant to make the point that a large fraction of the sheepskin crowd no longer learn have basic writing skills that once were the mark of those who had been to college, even if they had no degree, since the colleges required such skills for acceptance.
    Vegetarian -- that's an old Indian word meaning "lousy hunter". -- Andy Rooney

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