02 June 2005

The Fury

There's no surf. If there is, I don't want to know about it since I'm in my self-imposed paper-grading prison.

What is going on with our schools? Did these kids learn anything in high school? See, this is why my child will not be going to public school. Either he's going to get his ass kicked for being black—we're having some racial problems right now in some L.A. public high schools—or he's going to be given straight A's even though he lacks the skills necessary to do well in college. These irritating papers aren't even from my remedial students. These are the papers from my freshman comp kids. And have they heard anything I've said? How does one turn in a paper with run-on sentences? I've explained what proofreading is. I've explained the benefits. (Yes, I've talked about run-ons but shouldn't have to worry about this with them.) Why am I still getting sentences that frighten me? Let me give you an example: "This clearly showed that after so many years the way her Father and Mother reacted towards her still haunted her in her head, over all in her family's eyes he did something bad, but in society's eyes she did the right thing." Okay, it's a run-on sentence. "Father and Mother" should not be capitalized. The prounoun "he" is wrong since we're talking about a female protaganist. I want to believe that some of these mistakes could have been caught with proofreading. But what if this student did proofread this paper? This is unacceptable. No, I didn't fail him or anything. My goal is to help these kids improve their writing so I'm big on repeating myself—not that they listen—and giving positive reinforcement. By the way, is critical thinking that hard to do? It must be. I swear that some of the ideas in their papers came straight out of my mouth during a lecture. I don't mind them using my ideas. I do mind that they don't take the ideas a step further and analyze them. We're doing a disservice to our kids, people. They're not learning enough in the public schools and it's scaring me. I can't say that I learned much in public school either. I struggled in college, trying to play catch-up for the first three years. I didn't really learn anything until I lived in the Netherlands. I worked in a bookstore and read over 100 books while I was there. I think I learned more there than I did during the four years in college. Isn't that sad?

Okay, my rant is over for now. Tomorrow I will be surfing. The plan was to hit San-O. I really wanted to surf with Puttzle before he leaves. Unfortunately, our surf road trip plans fell apart and we're staying closer to home. Well, Puttzle, you'll be sorely missed. Perhaps we can have a blogger surf session in Hawaii—you, me, Whiff, Beachgirl, Crusty, RuggerJay, Alan, and Pam. As they used to say, write when you get work! Let me know where you are and what you're up to in Hawaii. Please don't send pictures. The envy will kill me!


At 6/2/05, 10:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think we need better teachers and more parental commitment.

At 6/2/05, 10:20 AM, Blogger RuggerJay said...

Hey Sis - I'm actually thinking of making a trip up to San-O on either Saturday or Sunday; the wife and kid are out of town visiting friends. Perhaps we can rally the others?

As to our school systems: I'm feeling ya. Bill Gates has become a huge advocate for a complete overhaul of our public schools, and bluntly states that our kids are not going to be able to compete in tomorrow's increasingly global job market. As a recruiter, it amazes me that GROWN DEGREED ADULTS can't write a goddamn paragraph, or even a simple sentence. Resumes, letters, bulletins...half the time they look like they were written by 3rd graders.

At 6/3/05, 11:09 AM, Blogger gracefullee said...

The state of public school education today is disheartening. I attended public school in Illinois from kindergarten through high school, graduating in 1991. Senior year of high school, I was taking advanced biology (using the very same book we used in college when I attended a private university), calculus, and a fourth year of Spanish.

In college, when I tutored at a public high school in Philadelphia, I was appalled at the level of education the kids had reached by their senior year. I felt like I was working with fifth graders. Personally, I don't think the problem is just needing better teachers; I think the whole education system needs better support -- both societal support and fiscal support.

In my parents' culture in Taiwan, teachers were among the most revered and well-paid professions. My father used to send gifts of fruit baskets to my calculus and biology teachers at Christmas (the fact that he totally ignored my music teacher is a different issue).

As for curricula, they stopped making students learn how to diagram sentences the year after I learned in fourth grade. And now, in Kansas, there's another attempt to insert Creationism into the science curriculum. (They call it Intelligent Design, but that's just Orwellian-speak for Creationism.) Is this the sign of PROGRESS?!

At 6/4/05, 8:18 AM, Blogger beachgirl said...

WORD... We should all meet up in Hawaii... sigh.. would be nice...


Post a Comment

<< Home