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School’s Out!

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May 23, 2012 by Annie McCormick

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I’ve been attempting to practice patience lately.  I’ve been told that I’m way too impatient, especially with the tv remote.  Technology has enabled me to have some things in a nanosecond and I have gotten used to it.  Waiting at a traffic light seems like it takes forever, when it is really only 45-60 seconds.  I could go through my email in that amount of time but I don’t have a phone that does email.  Oh, well.  It seems like everything is speeded up nowadays.  Kids talk so fast I usually have to ask them to repeat what they said, slower and in English.  Words are abbreviated for the sake of  expediency as well.  I’d hate to be a school teacher and have to deal with a room full of  children with this kind of limited attention span.  The educators of today are truly warriors.

Not that they weren’t when I was in school, just a different kind.  When I was in grade school (yeah, yeah…a long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…) children were basically all taught the same thing in the same manner.  First grade served to weed out the “A” students from the others.  The problem was that the kids sent to the “C” classes weren’t all really dumb, as they were labeled.  Looking back, I can see that a lot of my classmates probably had learning disabilities.  Now the disability can be identified and the kid can get help.  They aren’t labeled as “dumb.”

Studies show that one of five high school graduates are functionally illiterate, but they still graduate.  I remember a teacher some years ago who was talking about one of his students.  The boy was flunking out but the school kept giving him “social promotions.”  It was explained that the school system didn’t want to hurt his self-esteem.  Really?  So the kid gets out of school and can’t read or write.  What does it do to his self-esteem when he can’t even complete a job application?  The idiotic philosophy of his teachers and the school set him up to work minimum wage jobs or worse.  This country pumps more money in prisons than education so I guess incarceration is the fall back plan for kids like this.

I’m lucky that my parents put a value on education.  My grandfather was the first in his family to graduate high school.  My dad was the first to get a college degree.  I learned everything I needed to know in first grade before I ever started school.  There was a library in my house and I loved to read.  Still do.  I learned the rules of sentence structure and spelling.

Has this all gone by the wayside?  Am I a grammar snob?  I don’t judge people by how well they, let’s say, write. There are so many factors involved in how a person learns, or was taught.  If somebody doesn’t spell everything correctly dyslexia might be the culprit.  Maybe their teachers kept promoting them right out of an education.  Maybe they needed glasses.  Who knows?  I misspell stuff all the time but I was taught to use a dictionary.

I don’t use spell check because it makes mistakes to. two. too.

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