Today, I could not decide whether I should post anything or not, because I’m feeling a little bit guilty for neglecting the feast of the Assumption yesterday, though, if you think about it, I shouldn’t. After all, what is Mary’s Assumption about if not hope? Yes, there’s hope for all of us.
… which brings me to my second point. I also could not decide whether I wanted to reblog this illuminating post from a fellow blogger and friend, Trebor Fairwell (pronounced: //’Lĕh-‘nérd ‘Skin-‘nérd//), or just link to it, which would allow me to elaborate on it here. As you can see, I ended up choosing the latter.
Trebor asks, “Are you smarter than an eighth-grader?” In 1912, that is. To find out, click on this link and see how well you do on this high school entrance exam — not college, high school.
I’ll share here what I commented there:
There are numerous causes of the dumbing down of public education in this country. I think they can mostly be boiled down to one main contributor, two if we are cynical.
The cynic would insist that education’s demise in this country was simply a matter of orchestrated social engineering. I’m not ruling that out, because in part I think that’s true. But I can’t bring myself to say that’s the primary factor, since it makes more sense to believe that most educators want to optimize student’s learning potential, not inhibit it.
When you look at what has been lost over time and how the standards have been dropped in just over 100 years (as evidenced by this exam), you see a dramatic loss of faith in the mind’s potential, especially with regard to the young person’s mind. As a result, we’ve become skeptics about… just about everything.
Why? Not only because we can’t know (because we haven’t been properly taught); more importantly, because we no longer have the whereabouts to know that we can even know things that used to be taken for common knowledge. For example, just basic knowledge of things like pythagorean triads makes the first question you posted a no-brainer.
That’s why this is scary. We are no longer being taught to use our brains. Then again, why should we anymore? This is why we have Wikipedia, after all.
On the positive side, this exam reflects what we once knew for certain — that we can still be a smarter society if we teach our citizens to apply their mind’s full potential.
Back to my original point, there’s hope for all of us, still.
A third reason I could not decide is that today is the anniversary of the death of “The King.”
The King of Rock and Roll, that is, in case I needed to specify.
Now I’m faced with the problem of tying all this together, and… I can’t. But still, I can’t help ending with a small tribute to Ea-yell-vuhs (that’s Graceland dialect for Elvis).
And that’s why they call him “The King.”
While we’re on the topic of Elvis, take time to watch this cute baby video. You have to watch it to the end. And try not to smile!
And where there’s smiles, there hope!