Dickran's Blog

Just a few drops in the bucket

Congratulations! You graduated without doing anything!

Ignorance is bliss.  Learning about what goes on in the world is depressing.  Who knew walking into Wal Mart could be so enlightening and so disturbing?

While waiting in line to check out, I noticed a newspaper for sell.  The headline talked about policy changes for the local school system. I don’t know what all of the new policies were. I didn’t finish reading the article.  I was scared to actually.

One of the new policies…the one that made me quit reading…the one that pushed me to write..did it inspire me to write?  That’s too much of a compliment.

The lowest grade that a student can receive in this particular school system is a 55.  What?  Are you serious?  So I can get half the problems right on a math test and get the same grade as the person who didn’t do anything?  I’ve heard of grade inflation, but this is ridiculous.  We’re talking about HIGH SCHOOL.  High school isn’t that hard. I didn’t say students had to take AP Calculus and AP History.  Basic maths, histories, sciences and literatures are not that demanding.  Throw in a few PE, band, art, and technology classes and you’ve got a high school transcript worthy of a diploma.  If students aren’t willing to do this baseline level work, they shouldn’t graduate.  Maybe they shouldn’t be in school.  Maybe they need to be left behind.

If administrators are just trying to push people though the system, then what’s the point of a high school diploma?  It can be argued, that a high school diploma has very little value.  There are thousands of college graduates who are struggling to find a job, so it’s not like a bachelor’s degree is the final answer either.  But why give someone something that hasn’t been earned? And this is the bigger issue. Can I decide to not show up for work and still receive 55% of my paycheck?  What are we teaching kids? Who really cares if they know the capitals of all 50 states?  Do they understand that to get something you have to work for it?  With this system, they aren’t learning either.

Here you go, you can sit on the bench for the whole game, but we’ll still give you 10 points and 5 rebounds anyway.  Oh, you finished in last place?  Here’s a trophy for participating.  Can we get back to earning what we get?  Earn is such a strong word that it doesn’t even have an antonym according to http://www.synonym.com/antonym/earn/ Interesting?  I think so.

There are consequences to all of our actions.  This country will pay dearly for such policies. While we may be destroying our earth with pollution, littering, and oil spills, we are destroying our future generations with the lack of attention that we’re giving to teaching our children properly.  What makes us think we’re invincible?  It is our people that made us great in the past.  Not our technology or our weapons.  We’re not going to have enough great people in future years to keep us great if we continue down this road. America will eventually pay for allowing and supporting such policies.

May 30, 2010 at 6:44 PM Comments (0)

A Question for the Class of 2010

Class of 2010,

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!  You’ve worked hard, you’ve jumped through all the hoops, you’ve persevered. It feels great! Exams, papers, and projects are now memories you’ll share with friends instead of events that you have to dread. Great stuff right? I’d like to give you a present for your achievement. This letter is good for a ticket into the largest amusement park in the world. It doesn’t have an expiration date.  You can use it now, or later if you decide you haven’t had enough school.

I imagine your next question might be, “Where is this amusement park?”  Your mind might wander to thoughts of Six Flags, or Disneyworld, Busch Gardens, or Cedar Point. Nice try, but try again.  This one is bigger.  Some of the rides are faster and more dangerous than anything these could offer. Don’t worry, it’s got the slower rides as well.  It’s got locations all over the world.  You can visit these parks in every city and town across America and the world.  Yes, there’s one right in your home town.  You didn’t know?

This park is called Life.  The question is which rides will you spend your time on?

Do you prefer the roller coasters or merry-go rounds? Will you have the guts to ride the roller coaster, even though you’ve just seen 10 people getting off the ride pale as ghosts?  Will you sit on the merry-go round and just listen to the screams of the scared throngs on those wild and violent rides?  When you ride that fast one that makes you nauseous, you think you’ve had enough, and you can’t take anymore, do you buckle up again, throw your hands in the air and ride it all over again? Or do you go over to the merry-go round and ride in circles.

When I graduated, I started off riding the merry-go round. It was easy.  It was comfortable.  There weren’t any bumps in the road.  The problem was that the view was always the same.  I was always looking at the back end of the same horse.  When I felt like I met the height requirement, I jumped onto another ride.  It was definitely more exciting, but only because the horses on this merry-go round were closer to thoroughbreds than the ponies on the first ride.  Neither ride could match the feelings that I’ve had for the last 4 years.  Yes, the ride is fast and furious.  Yes it has its ups and downs, and even upside downs.  Many times I can’t see the twists and turns that are ahead.  And sometimes I look over at that merry-go round and think about making the switch.  But then I consider the view, and the back end of that horse is pretty unappealing.

Which rides are you going to ride?  Life has rides of all shapes and sizes.  The largest amusement park in the world wouldn’t be complete without the full compliment of rides.  There will be people riding all of them.  Some people will stand in line for hours just to get on one ride.  I would encourage you to try them all. Figure out which ones you prefer.

I like a change in scenery.  I like not knowing what’s next. I cherish the dips, twists, and turns. Maybe I’m a glutton for punishment, but I do know they make me a better person.  I’ll look forward to seeing which rides you decide to take.  Congratulations again.  Welcome to LIFE.

May 28, 2010 at 11:07 PM Comments (0)