Sunday, March 1, 2009

Smart Children Are Too Stupid To Read

Nanny state...or schools? Hmm...

Since I'm writing this post instead of completing some homework that involves coloring things in, I'll go for schoolcentric rant today, I think.

I can't believe they're having me color things, damn it. Due mostly to parental influence, pretty much every course I've taken in high school has been Honors This or Advanced That or Ap Something or Other - this would lead on to believe that these courses would be more difficult than the regular courses, no? For the most part this is true, except when it comes to Honors English classes. In a continuation of a pernicious thought system I first encountered in elementary school, the Honors English class has, as of late, been treating me and my 'gifted' peers like babies.

Pernicious Rumor Believed by the School Board #1: 'Smart' kids enjoy being 'creative'. Sure, we enjoy being creative, in our own way, doing things we actually enjoy, but the school systems seems to think 'creativity' is tantamount to acting like a four year old. Instead of doing any writing, we color things; instead of contemplating Shakespeare, we are ordered to make up rap songs in groups about Romeo and Juliet and sing them in front of people. (During this particular episode, I jotted down some lines, shoved them at my groupmates, ordered them to sing if they were spineless enough to comply with the assignment, and wrote on the whiteboard while they were doing so that I was 'abstaining on educational principle').

Pernicious Rumor #2: People learn if they are put in classes where we are forced to do so-called 'creative' things. Public humiliation via rap songs does not teach me anything about classical literature.

Pernicious Rumor #3: Classical literature, especially Shakespeare, is far too complex for our poor minds to comprehend. Everything that we actually do read in Honors English is accompanied by long, tedious, completely unnecessary 'translation' spoon-fed to us by the instructor (I of course do not understand Elizabethan slang, but I can figure out that the phrase "In fair Verona, where we lay our scene," means the play takes place in Verona, dammit). This, I might add, comes a few years after a classic episode in middle school wherein the English teacher helped us dumb down the Gettysburg Address into a few short lines, containing words no longer than six or so letters, because the we couldn't possibly be expected to understand the original.

I wonder if the kids in English classes for non-'gifteds' actually, you know, study English.

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