End O’ Semester and Dontists

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19 Responses

  1. Lil says:

    Indeed. How can you live, being so uninterested in everything that isn’t your constrained little world. What a sad life.

  2. kmkat says:

    When Smokey and I were in the Naval Reserve, we journeyed to Okinawa twice for two weeks each time. While we were renting a car and driving all over the island and shopping in strange places and eating weird food like it was going out of style, others were remaining on base 24/7 and saying, ‘Why should I go out there? There is nothing I want out there.” Such are those with tiny minds who cannot conceive of anything outside their own tiny world. One must pity them and rejoice over those (students) who open up to new experiences.

  3. I hear this sort of thinking from some of my patients. And it offends me both as a teacher and as someone who was a student for so long. The sad thing is that she has likely passed that attitude about education on to her son.

  4. pam says:

    Oooo, before you even drew breath for your explanation I was thinking ‘good luck with that’.
    I talk non-stop if a nurse/doctor is taking my blood (usually to the wall as I always look away at the time)- I’m squeamish that way.
    I warn them first that I’m going to do that and ask them everything under the sun, family, travels, interests. Once a nurse said, “Actually I’m more interested in your story, so I’ll talk to you and ask you the questions”.
    Either a very nice person, or thinking “Jeez, this scaredy-cat is a tad on the nosy side!”.
    With root canal, only one thing keeps me going – the mantra “This too will pass.”.
    …and congratulations to you and your new-mother student…now she’s well on her way with the biggest assignment of all!

  5. vagabonde says:

    I was always surprised at how, most average people in the US, don’t value education. There is this intellectual phobia. Courses here, at least in Georgia, are not very difficult. I remember when my two daughters attended public schools I took them on Saturdays to Georgia State University for extra courses for gifted children, and gave them extra reading assignments too. They also followed courses at Kennesaw University while finishing high school. In France you have to take a year of philosophy the last year of high school, it is mandatory, here it is not. In my French high school we had to study 2 foreign languages – I took Italian and English and can speak both fluently, although I write better in French of course.
    I remember talking with two teens in Sierra Leone, West Africa who had just returned from a vacation in Chicago. They were not pleased. They said that the African-Americans they met in Chicago had never visited all the museums in their city and never took them to historical places in Chicago, and also made fun of the British accent of these African teens. The Sierra Leone teens said that the Chicago teens, even though they said they were African-Americans, knew very little about the history of Africa. But I have heard the same from teens in England who studied here – they like to study in the US because they say it is so easy. When I wanted to send my two daughters to France to study I was told that coming from the US they would have to take 2 years of remedial to be able to follow courses there! In Canada, it was only one year of remedial for US high school students then. I read “Just 6 percent of U.S. students performed at the advanced level on an international exam administered in 56 countries.” This could hurt this nation’s future economic growth.

  6. Jess says:

    All I want to know is if her son was planning on wearing his overhauls to the prom.

  7. chlost says:

    This type of thinking is becoming the norm, unfortunately. I think it is tied to the issue of employment becoming scarce. If someone needs a job, they are looking for education which can provide job skills, not brain skills. Unfortunately, that is what employers seem to be preferring as well. Our three kids all attended four-year liberal arts colleges, and have totally non-job related degrees….one music/English double major, and two with theater degrees. Even they are a bit frustrated to be paying student loan debt on jobs which don’t pay a living wage. Education is going to become a luxury which only the super rich can afford. And our society will lose so much….all due to the short-term thinking which pervades the ranks of our leaders.

  8. Robin says:

    Shut the front door. Posts like this are a great reminder for me that the world is not entirely populated with Carleton College graduates and their ilk. I am constantly re-learning that people view the very same world that I view from many very different perspectives. On the one hand, I know this intellectually and it is especially evident in election years. On the other hand, I am invariably stunned when I actually encounter such beings in the here and now, let alone the endodontist’s office. I’m with you, sister. Junk classes? Them’s fightin’ words.

  9. Applauding you through this whole post. It’s a shameful thing to ever hear knowledge shouldn’t be valued. What the WHAT? You handled it eloquently and gracefully–and maybe even made her think a teensy bit.
    Off to watch “Come on Eileen” on YouTube now.

  10. It seems like a large portion of this country is of the opinion that thinking is not important. Sigh.

  11. Fragrant Liar says:

    I am contemplating the need for overhauling my overalls, though overall I think such an undertaking would be overhaulingly difficult. I think that last one is a most excellent variation of an otherwise ho-hum, if not misunderstood, Bon mot. But with my critical thinking skills herewith exhausted, I shall go wield something that needs welding.

  12. sweffling says:

    Words fail me! Do you have Life-long Learning over there? Yes we have to pay for it here, but not necessarily a great deal, and learning was always for personal development not just wage levels, although this and the last government have been/are trying to change this ethos. We still have the Workers Educational Authority which subsidises people up to age 25 and provides free creche facilities and some, though diminishing, Extramural Departments in some of our Universities. I feel we are following you in many ways now. You were so eloquent and restrained, I salute you:)

  13. lime says:

    this, THIS is one more example of why you are my psychic sister. i felt myself getting all teacherly in response to the receptionist’s remark about junk classes and could have spit out the defense you did with the same impassioned verbosity. reading what your students wrote brought me to tears shed in a sense of victory after a long hard labor, having finally brought forth a healthy baby which may now grow to maturity. you are a midwife to the intellect and emotional maturity of these students. and this is my goal in my little libraries with my little kids. it’s why i teach them a college level word like bibliophile because maybe they will roll it around their mouths and brains and find pleasure in it and use it and find out it is gratifying to know things and want to know more. it is why i point out that they have chosen an award winner when they check out a newbery or caldecott or c s king or pura belpre book….and then i tell them they have to promise to ell me whether or not THEY thought the book deserved the award and that there is no right or wrong answer.

    thank you. thank you. thank you. what you do matters so much.

  14. Much food for thought here. The value of education escapes some people so often that I do wonder if we are raising the next generation to sport a T-shirt that shouts out: “Illiterate and proud of it!”.

    You’re right. Your everyday work is so powerful. Many thanks.

    Greetings from London.

  15. Bone says:

    You had me at Dexys Midnight Runners.

    And I’ll hum this tune forever.

  16. Maria says:

    Did she have bad breath? Because I find it rather odd that most people who work in dentist offices seem to have bad breath. I mean, that is like me having to do something ten times in a row before I can stop at my office. I just expect everyone in the dental office to have really minty fresh breath. And since they are so up close and personal with us, I think it should be a rule.

    I cannot stand dental dams. And why are they ALWAYS pepto pink? I think I should at least be able to choose my own color.

  17. Meg says:

    Your students’ responses to your exam question gave me such a rush of gladness. You did it! YOU guided them to something and that something reached them. Sometimes leading a horse to water and providing encouragement to take a teensy little sip is quite enough to cause it to drink deeply from the trough. (Oh how I love me some tortured metaphor!)

    Oh, and my standard MO when I am facing frightening procedures is to inform the healthcare person to ask me a question, any question, and that I will speak incessantly on such topic until the frightening procedure is concluded. This doesn’t work so well in the dentist’s office.

    Finally, you must come to Cleveland so that I can take you to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, where we shall sing and dance ourselves silly though all the decades of music. I embarrassed my children there just last weekend when one of them made a disparaging remark about the appearance of A Flock Of Seagulls. For shame.

  18. magpie says:

    you’re so friggin’ awesome.

  19. logo™ says:

    I’ve known too many people who thought that way… and they all drive me nuts. So glad you attempted to enlighten. It makes me feel better that you did; it made you feel better… even if it didn’t make a dent in her, it it was a net positive in the world. Well done.

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