Thursday, January 24, 2008

Bullying and our Decision to Homeschool

EvolveIntoBirds asked, "if the bullying you experienced (me too) affected your decision to home educate your kids?"

In a word...yes. Though that is not a complete answer and certainly not the most compelling reason we decided to homeschool.

There are many who feel that the emotional and psychological bumps and bruises that one experiences in a public school setting are all a part of growing up. That they make one a stronger person and build character. That they toughen you up for the real world and provide the experience necessary for sticking up for yourself and learning to be your own person regardless of peer pressure. For some people, maybe for most people, that is precisely what happens. But it doesn't happen that way for everybody. Sometimes the hurts suffered can damage the young and developing individual, warping the person they might have become.

I grew up in a small town population 900 with a graduating class of 20 students (10 boys, 10 girls). More than anything else, school was about fitting in with the group. The main issue being of course, which group you belonged to. I have no idea how membership was decided. It would have been a fascinating thing to observe from the outside. But as I look back on who was friends with whom, groups were established almost from the very beginning with very little variance between them throughout our 13 years together.

There were 2 girl cliques in my class: the cool kids and the nerd herd. From about 3rd grade through 6th grade there were a variety of wars: factions split off, insults were exchanged, feelings hurt, and backstabbers crossed back and forth between enemy lines. Teachers and the Superintendent would be obligated to intervene several times a year when emotions got really out of control.

To add to that delightful mix of squabbling, the class ahead of mine was populated with jocks, jerks and jackasses who took great delight in making the life of the underclassmen a living hell, mine in particular but not exclusively. The class below mine was populated with losers, lame-asses and lemmings who would follow along and join in with the aforementioned upperclassmen and participate in the haranguing of anyone coming into their line of fire.

School sucked. Pretty much every single day for 13 years. And the lousy education that I received did not make up for it.

Does everyone experience school that way? Nope. In fact some people have marvelous experiences in school and receive an outstanding education. Good for you!!!! I am genuinely happy that you made it through the system unscathed.

Some parents are able to ride close herd on the school and insure the quality of their child's experience. Some just throw their kids in the pool and hope for the best saying, "It was good enough for me, it's good enough for you." But there is no guarantee that a child will have a good teacher or receive a quality education. I want that guarantee. So, I teach my kids and their education falls on my shoulders. Well.... mine and the Kids' Dad. Our kids, our responsibility.


Xavier Onassis said...

My life in school sucked ass. I was overweight and was made fun of and bullyed. PE caused me more trauma for more reasons then anything else in my life.

But I wasn't an outcast. I still managed to hang out with the cool kids. At least the ones I thought were cool. The smart and funny ones.

We hated the jocks and the "popular" kids.

To this day, I can spot a woman who was popular in school from a mile away. Most of them are attractive, just not nearly as attractive as they think they are. Know what I mean? I go out of my way to make sure I don't even give them a second look. Because they expect and live for those second looks.

I reserve my second looks for those women who are very attractive (in one way or another) but don't know it. They deserve the attention.

Kinda got off on a tangent there. Sorry!

But despite my school experience, I don't think I could ever do the homeschooling thing. What about things like band, and drama, and sports and making milk shoot out of someone's nose at the lunch table?

Plus, I've always had a problem with the lack of knowledge of even the professionally trained teachers in the public schools. I want my math teacher to be a mathemetician. I want my english teacher to be a published author. I want my science teacher to be a scientist.

I would never be comfortable enough with my own level of knowledge in a subject to be confident enough to step into the role of teacher. I'd be afraid I was leaving something out.

But I know there are LOTS of kids who are successfully homeschooled and I think I read that often they have superior results on standardized tests. So the homeschooling community must know more about it than I do and have worked through all of those issues.

Kudos to you for doing what you feel is best for your kids! You obviously love and care and thats more than a lot of kids get.

Fiery said...

I want my math teacher to be a mathemetician. I want my english teacher to be a published author. I want my science teacher to be a scientist.

Those who
Those who can't...teach.

There are some marvelous courses available on video taught by the best scientists, mathematicians and authors out there all available on the internet.

Not so much a teacher as an education facilitator. :D

What about things like band, and drama, and sports and making milk shoot out of someone's nose at the lunch table?

Homeschoolers can do all that stuff too, just takes effort.

Thank you very much for that marvelous comment XO!!!!!

Joe said...

I can't say my life at school was easy. I stuttered worse then than I do now. It wasn't very much fun. Then again, dealing with my bitter and angry brother at home wasn't a walk in the park either.
I admire you for homeschooling the brood. I don't think I have it in me. Then again, if money wasn't an issue, I could really see throwing myself into it fully.

Sean the Blogonaut F.C.D. said...


Speaking as a qualified ex school teacher I really offended(well maybe slightly in a half assed way) by the old chesnut

Those who can do, etc.

In my experience those who can do may teach but when they find out how much their skills can earn them elswhere the wise up and follow the money.

That being said I would home school my children if I had any. I think it is the most effective way of teaching your children, provided you have the resources and a well rounded curriculum.

Fiery said...

Aw Sean, it's a cliche because it's true enough of the time that it called attention to itself, like all stereotypes. They aren't 100% wrong just unfair to inividuals.

I snerked it because of course it isn't always true.

I had a 2/3rds of a Wild Grape wine cooler today mmmmmmmm and apparently that killed the brain cell containing the field you taught in, would you mind reminding me so I don't have to sift through a sea of old emails finding your specialty?

Fiery said...

Hey Joe! My sister was a complete bitch (still is actually) so coming home sucked about as much cock as going to school did. And homeschooling invariably means single income. *sigh*

My kids are getting a decent education and they AREN'T experiencing the hell on earth I dealt with on a daily basis both at home and at school. So no matter what, a win for them.

evolveintobirds said...

Thanks Fiery! :)

I especially liked when you said:
"But there is no guarantee that a child will have a good teacher or receive a quality education. I want that guarantee." That pretty much sums it up for me too.

Sean the Blogonaut F.C.D. said...

I am of the opinion that it is infinitely easier(huge generalisation) to do than to teach.

True enough at the time - I don't buy that. I think the comment is anti -intellectualist (is that a word?).

But anywho - I was an english and history teacher, though I taught outside of those areas too - something teachers are often called upon to do.

Hound Doggy said...

My school make up was like yours. 20 kids. 10 & 10. And 10 of us went through all 13 yrs together. We didn't have all the groups though. There were one or maybe two kids that were minorly picked on sometimes. We weren't a mean bunch. No one went home crying.

On the other hand the education was BAD. We mostly had first year teachers and when they figured out what they were doing they left to go to a bigger school. Can't say that I blame them.

This was before the time of homeschooling. I generally for it. But there are absoulutly people that shouldn't even think about it. If the parents have some sense then I think it is great. You can do soooo much more and really explore what is interesting to your kid. And who knows better than you the style in which your child learns the most effectivly.
YEAH.....people with sense!!!

Stardust said...

Our three kids all independent studied for high school. We live in an upper-middle class suburb of Chicago. Both the elementary and high school districts are "award winning" (meaning they get superior ratings for memorization and regurgitation on academic achievement tests). When our kids first started school, we lived in a neighborhood where schools weren't rated very well, and we blamed the bully problems, and lower education standards on where we lived.

Well, we bought a house in a more affluent town, and the schools were just as sucky despite paying five times the taxes. The bullying was awful, mostly for our oldest son who is a very quiet guy, and a brainiac bookworm, which automatically makes one a target in the school setting. Our middle son was more rambunctious, and though he had those who tried to bully him...he was giving it right back.
The problem wasn't so physical for our daughter, and she was always a social butterfly, but still there were often hurt feelings from the quite mean crap that little girls can pull on each other.

All this aside, and on to the subject of academics. They weren't learning anything new. They were memorizing and regurgitating in herd mode. Schools are factories to produce all the same product, with those who do the best memorization and regurgitation (and best obedience and asskissing at the top). When our oldest son did his chemistry problems a different way, but came up with the correct answer, he was marked wrong anyway because he did not follow directions. Then when our daughter was in junior high she had a PE teacher for US History and he marked many answers right on her pre-test that were WRONG. When we went up to school about it, he said "what's the matter, she got an A"

Our oldest son was in the Marching Band, the Wind Symphony where he held first chair for both groups, and he was in chess club and he did very well in his grades...but he was so unhappy. So in the middle of his sophomore year we gave him the choice...and he decided to leave. And he tested high enough to go to the community college and took all college level courses and earned his AA when all of his ex-peers from high school were getting their high school diplomas.

Our second son was learning how to lie, fight, and he said he was bored and hated school. He was also in marching band, but hated the joy that other band members got bossing other band members around. He is a good artist, and in high school everyone had to draw the same exact things...which bored the shit out of him. We let him take the route of his brother and he started at the community college at age 14. He earned top recognition for his artwork and both boys were involved in the community band and had jobs. They were so happy to be out of "prison".

Things worked out so well for our sons, so we thought why put our daughter through any of that, so she did a combination homeschooling and community college at age 14, tutoring adults in English and other subjects. She studied Math at home, my husband being her teacher. When she was up to level to take college Algebra, she went full time to community college. She was involved in the CC jazz band and outside symphonic being the Chicago Youth Symphony. She then went on to earn her AA at age 17 from the community college, her BM at Curtis in Philadelphia and her Masters at Yale University and is now in a major symphony orchestra and teaches music at a university...and is only 25.

So...the bullies did us a favor, actually. Our oldest son went on to get a degree in Physics. Our middle son a degree in Graphic Art (is now back in school working on his degree in Accounting).

As a past teacher, I can say that teachers don't really teach in the school systems. They force kids to memorize crap the school board wants them to. In elementary and high school, teachers have little time to break from "the plan". The big advantage to homeschooling is that the parents are in charge, and they can guide kids and they know what motivates their kids, what their personalities are, what their strengths and weaknesses are.

And as for 14-year-olds being mature enough for the community college setting, we have found that kids adapt and when they are expected to behave a certain way, they do for fear of embarrassment. Most younger students don't want the older students to know how young they are, so cooperate quite well. And there are no punishments hanging over their heads at the cc...and most younger students do quite well without threat of detentions.

This isn't the option for everyone, but it is a good option for those who are looking for an alternative educational path for their children.

Richard said...

Okay, I am wading in.

When I moved to Canada I was four. At five I was put into a preschool year. I had to paint and 'stuff', and I was taken to a park to play. We all had to form a line and hold a rope as we walked to the park. I deliberately put my hand over the rope, but was careful not to touch It pissed me off (remember, I was five years old) that we all had to hold a freakin' rope just to walk along the sidewalk. Was I an idiot that could not stay with the leader? ...piss offf!!!

I could not wait until grade One, then I would really learn about my World and how to be the great "something" I wanted to be.

So there I was in Grade One. "F_ck', why am I coloring a freakin' apple (I didn't know the swear word then, but the sentiment was there).

I know apples are red, and so what if it begins with 'a'... gimme something really great. Help me discover what is great about this freakin' world

WHAT???? Two fingers held out on my raised arm mean I need to crap, and one finger means pee. Why does everyone have to know what I'm doing at the toilet???? Jeebus!

Recess: Hey, let's play on this teeter totter. What? You call it a "see-saw"? Where are you from kid? (answer: England)

So get on the 'teeter-totter'. Well the teeter-totter is beside a brick wall. The kid thinks it's funny to jump off when I am at the top. Ever had your face fall into, and dragged down, a brick wall! F'ckin' ain't good. Blood everywhere and my nose is forever altered.

Grade Two. Northern Ontario. One grade per row of desks, up to grade eight. Indian kids sat at the back. Indian kids had to arrive at 0800 am to light the wood stove that heated the building, so us White kids would not be cold when we arrived. At six years of age it was plain that that was wrong! Winter temperatures sometimes hit -50 degrees Celsius (-59 Fahrenheit). School was closed at -40, —we just went outside and played.

Teacher: "Who do you think you are talking down to me, like that?"

What was I doing as a Brit? I spoke with an English accent. Words like 'ball" and "tall' came out differently. They sound 'superior' so I thought I was "superior". Right!! ...I was six years old! I got the strap for being superior and not just once.

And, so did the Indians. I could not understand why, but the hate in their eyes, as they endured huge pain, taught me not to flinch. If I told my parents, He said, it would be even worse.

Didn't get my math homework right... the strap! Spoke with an English accent... the strap!

What was the strap? A strip of black material, like tire rubber, that seemed to have extra weight to it. We had to hold out our hands, of our own volition, to receive the brutal whacks... every time. The aforementioned hate in the Indians' eyes was shocking. They were mostly between eight and twelve years old! Would you beat an eight year old for having an accent?

Who was the bully? The teacher!

We moved to Toronto when I was eight. For the rest of my Public Education, only two teachers did not seem to fit that type. It was fucking Hell.

That is why this poem means everything to me:

A Little Boy Lost
by William Blake.

[Note that "Albion's Shore" refers to England's south shore.]

"Nought loves another as itself,
Nor venerates another so,
Nor is it possible to thought
A greater than itself to know.

"And, father, how can I love you
Or any of my brothers more?
I love you like the little bird
That picks up crumbs around the door."

The Priest sat by and heard the child;
In trembling zeal he seized his hair,
He led him by his little coat,
And all admired the priestly care.

And standing on the altar high,
"Lo, what a fiend is here! said he:
"One who sets reason up for judge
Of our most holy mystery."

The weeping child could not be heard,
The weeping parents wept in vain:
They stripped him to his little shirt,
And bound him in an iron chain,

And burned him in a holy place
Where many had been burned before;
The weeping parents wept in vain.
Are such things done on Albion's shore?

Stardust said...

richard, I am so sorry to read about your experiences in school. How awful for those Indian children.

I didn't have it as bad as you did, (I was never hit by a teacher) but experienced verbal and emotional abuse from a few. I was picked on by kids for being skinny. And to make it worse, my last name was Pressley. I was called Elvis even though I was a girl "hey, sing me a song, Elvis", or they would change my name to Pretzel...a play on being skinny and my last name. I was always shunned, the last one picked for teams because I was asthmatic and slow. Kids would make fun of my wheezing, I had to go to school wheezing often or I would have missed much more school days than I already had.

As for teacher bullying, I will never forget my nightmare year in 5th grade with a sadistic bastard of a teacher named Mr Fealy. Mr Fealy was a short, fat, and very mean. He taught us absolutely nothing except fear and anger. He would look around at each child with contempt in his eyes. He would make us stand up at the side of our desk and tell us what he loathed about each of us, even those of us who were on our best behavior and tried our best not to do anything wrong or anything that would disappoint him, but it was no use. If there wasn't anything, he would think of something. "Too skinny, and pathetically sweet and so quiet" he would say very close to my face me as I stood there trying not to cry. He would take kids who committed some "crime" and make stand at the front of the room while each of us took our thickest book and walked in a line around the room, stacking them in the boy's arms. He had to hold the books the ENTIRE DAY. This bastard would take a child and draw a circle at the bottom of a chalkboard and make them bend over with their knees straight, holding their nose in the circle...they would cry and snot would slide down the chalkboard and if anyone dare laugh or defend...they would join him with their nose in another circle. He would hold boys in a headlock, or even smack them. Then he would warn us never to tell anyone or he would "hunt us down".
I tried to tell my parents, but they wouldn't listen. They said Mr Fealy was the nicest man at Open House and I just didn't like that he was strict so exaggerating!

Three years later, my brother had him. It really messed him up since this fucker like to go after the boys more than the girls. The bastard failed my brother, and did they put my brother with the other 5th grade teacher for the following year? No...he had to have him AGAIN! My brother not only had to suffer the humiliation of being held back, he had to endure another year of hell.

My other worse school memory was of being locked in the supply closet by my teacher for talking during art KINDERGARTEN. I was terrified. I am still afraid of enclosed places.

I went to a Chicago public high school, and the kids I went to elementary school with all followed me there, except it was diluted some with kids from other neighborhoods who didn't know me, but the kids who did know me quickly spread the word that I was a skinny, wheezy nerd and the meanness continued, but not so intense. I got involved in chorus, and art club. That helped. But I was thrilled to graduate and get the hell out. My primary and secondary education turned me off of schooling so bad that I didn't go on to college till I was in my late 30s!

Fiery said...

Sean, I agree that to properly teach someone to do something you must understand it on a much more conscious level then if you can just "do" it.

The old saw about "those who can't teach" I think is more a reflection on all the idiots that have been allowed into the teaching profession. All the coaches and p.e. teachers who majored in history/social studies so they could coach at the highschool level. *rolls eyes*

Our head football coach was the history teacher for years 7 and 8 and the guy was an absolute moron. And I was an absolute smartass in class because I would read the chapter he would be covering and retain more information than he could off the overhead projector notes that he'd written up 4 years earlier and was still recycling. *sigh*

I remember sitting in class and him telling us that Lewis (of Lewis & Clark) had blue eyes. What I don't remember is how those two of equal rank were able to successfully co-lead an expedition
there and back again.

Stardust, I had absolutely no idea that was your background with your kids education, that is fantastic!!!!!!!

Richard- corporal punishment is an evil EVIL concept. Spare the rod, spoil the child. *shudders* Discipline does not begin at the end of a belt or a strap, a paddle or a hairbrush.

Fiery said...

Stardust, when I posted my last comment I hadn't updated the page and didnt know you had posted again.

That Mr. Fealy was an evil twisted bastard. It is horrifying that no one was able to stand up to him and turn him in to the proper authorities, but teacher's are in such a position of power. What a vile and loathesome subhuman.

Sean the Blogonaut F.C.D. said...

I had a blessed school life, except for one teacher - Miss Carmel O'Shaunesy, a young teacher she seemed to target me mercilessly. She loved to call you out in front of class for things like picking your nose, except that after the first time I NEVER picked my nose in class. If that finger so much as went within a foot of my face she would yell at me in front of class.

The worst was when I was made to kneel on concrete for taking too long to paint a box. The paint was too thin and I couldn't get enough coverage.

Evil whench that she was.

evolveintobirds said...

wow...i just came back and read the last half of these comments.

i usually had good teachers who at least occasionally would offer me refuge from the relentless bullying of my classmates...though usually they turned a blind eye. my third grade teacher, however, made that year pure hell for me...she was not fond of the disorder that comes from a precocious child.

reading others' experiences brings back many painful memories. i'm so thankful that my children will only understand the pain that comes from being bullied from my stories.

Stardust said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stardust said...

That Mr. Fealy was an evil twisted bastard. It is horrifying that no one was able to stand up to him and turn him in to the proper authorities

fiery, the really sick, twisted thing is that this mentally ill bastard went on to become PRINCIPAL of the elementary school! I could NOT believe it. My youngest brother is 11 years younger than I am so he was there when this psycho was principal, and fortunately he never had to deal with him directly but those who got into trouble had horror stories to tell! MY parents still had their eyes closed about him, and when they went up to my brother's open houses they would actually talk to Mr Fealy! Then they would come back and tell me: "Mr Fealy asked about you....he's really a nice man". I then told my mother he was a sick-evil &*(^&%&^%#@ and I never wanted to hear about him again! My brother who was also in this dickhead's class for two years also told her he never wants her to bring up Mr Fealy's name again. So she has never mentioned him again to us. I wonder if deep down she knows we were telling the truth about him but feels bad for not doing anything.

Parents should listen to their children...REALLY listen and analyze what they are saying and don't blow it off. It could be a serious abuse situation and not just some childish exaggerations.

Stardust said...

When we first moved to this town we thought how neat it was to have school bus service to take the kids to and from school. However, I ended up driving them after I saw my son, then about 7 years old, on the bus leaning way forward in his seat. I asked him why he sat so far forward and he said it was so other children in the seat behind him didn't pull or put stuff in his hair and down his collar. I reported it to the school principal and the bus driver and they would do nothing about it because the kids denied it. Other crap went on constantly on the bus that the drivers overlooked. So, I drove them to give them at least some peace before going to endure more crap in the school building. I wasn't the only parent to do this. Car traffic in front of the school was extremely congested despite having a fleet of school buses.

The thing that irks me is that the teachers turn away so much from bully problems. In junior high the boys' school had a "peer mediation" program and what a crock of crap that was! Have the bully and the bullied sit together with a "peer mediator" who was often the bully's friend! We told the school that our kids were NOT participating in the peer mediation bullcrap and told them to do something or we would just call the police to come investigate when we felt they weren't doing enough about the abuse our son was made to endure. We did call once or twice when bullies brought things like nunchucks and other sorts of weaponry to use on other children.

Some student at our local high school brought a gun to school and had it in his locker because of bullying and that led to a big deal and frequent locker inspections thereafter. Don't ever think this stuff can't happen in nice neighborhoods. Just look at Columbine.

Richard said...

Life is without meaning. You bring the meaning to it. The meaning of life is Whatever you ascribe it to be. Being alive is the meaning.” Joseph Campbell

Ayn Rand agrees, and has applied sheer genius in showing how to ascribe meaning to your life.

[Note to Stardust, in your book list on your Profile, you left the 't' off the "Albert" of Albert Camus.]


Stardust, cripes!, Fealy is just the kind of bastard that turns a subject into a source of lifelong mental paralysis for his suffering students. I cannot imagine having to stick my nose in an f'ng circle on the Black Board, bending over for even five minutes.

The worst outcome I ever saw on teacher abuse was a kid being made to stand in a corner, before lunch. Turns out he had not had breakfast and went hypoglycemic. His head fell back (I happened to look at him as this started) and, straight as a plank, he fell backwards. The first thing to hit the concrete and linoleum floor was the back of his head. He started twitching and writhing like a fish out of water. The teacher, who was actually rather nice, called the office and he was whisked away by two male teachers --15 minutes later we heard the ambulance arrive. He did not return to school for two weeks. It turned out that he had been severely concussed, and had to spend a week in hospital. No student was required to stand in the corner after that.

As for the impact of teachers on one's grasp of a subject, I still cannot trust myself to do basic math calculations in my head! It was a hell of insecurity for me to get through University chemistry, physics, calculus and statistics courses!

For my MSc. I had to do a lot of statistical analysis so I re-taught myself everything about stats and became the GoTo-Guy for other students, and even my thesis director. But I still can't trust myself with that basic arithmetic... nutso!

On schools: here in the Greater Toronto Area it has recently come to light that major bullying (with significant injuries), gun shots, and of course drugs, abound. Principals do not like to report the incidents because doing so puts their careers on the line. Teachers don't like to report either, for much the same reasons.

In the private school where I taught, there was one boy, P.Bolt, who carved (hence was carrying a knife) the vinyl material from the back of the driver's seat of the school van. There was no doubt it was him, but he was THE bully of the high school. The other kids refused to comment. He even spat on one teacher regularly and she did not turn him in.

This boy was the son of the president of a local college!!! I was at the meeting with them, and they defended him, even after we made it abundantly clear he was the culprit.

The upshot is that parents have to know their kids. They have to know them so well, that when they lie like P.Bolt, that they can see through the lies!

The problem is that parents can have good and bad kids in the same family. One could be legitimately bullied, and another could be the bully! It is really tough for a teacher to make a case when the parents won't/can't see for themselves.

I believe that a big chunk of the problem among boys is that parents truly think, "boys will be boys" and literally allow rotten behavior. This, to me, is disgusting of them, but it is so widespread that people think it is normal. Normal? Sure... like burning witches was normal.

And the boys that are decent get screwed by having to face the irrationality of bullies, often every single day.

In grade school (age 11) I was terrified of one boy and his little gang. One day they caught me in a field where there was no chance of escape or adult assistance. They poked me and gave me punches that hurt but were not damaging. They were obviously hoping to get me to swing back at them ...basically working up the fervor to really beat me up.

I figured my best chance was to be the first to really do some damage. When their leader was in my face, I punched him in the nose as hard as I could. Blood exploded from his nose, and his upper lip was split open too. He hit the ground crying. The others backed off.

I was horrified at the damage I had inflicted, but it turned out to be exactly the right thing. I walked off, knowing that if I ran it would convey the wrong message. They never crossed me again.

Why did I do it? It was at about that age that I had really started reading. I had learned 1) that bullies were really cowards, and 2) that one should never start a fight, BUT should always be the one to finish a fight.

Holy shit, did it ever work that time :-))

Richard said...

Okay so my last comment was about bullies... now, as a teacher, I have to say that 99.99% of teachers are the real bullies. They are Intellectual Vandals, destroying the thinking skills of children.

These teachers, however well meaning, do not understand the distinction between Puzzlers & Parrots, and real Thinking students. They capitalize on the P&Ps in order to appear to be great teachers. Heck, they even win awards and get their picture in the local paper.

The Puzzlers figure out the trick for getting the marks, and are particularly good at solving assigned problems. But, the Puzzlers are utterly unable to work through and understand abstract ideas. Abstract ideas such as Rights, Love, Freedom and so forth, are things one speaks about, but when the Puzzler is faced with them, they choose whatever is most convenient at the time, even if it is deeply immoral and harmful to others. They do not think in principles.

The Parrots always have the right thing to say at the right time. They sound really great, but when faced with having to show understanding, it is immediately apparent --if one asks the right questions-- that they have no idea what they are talking about. They act on whatever things they have memorized. However, because they never understood, they can be completely and utterly wrong if the context requires a bit of thinking things through.

Both P&P types are not rational and are not really educated, yet they can graduate with A's.

The few P&Ps that are trying to be honest are muddled and may, one day, come out better --once they get into the working world.

In either case, the P&P's have been utterly failed by the education system. The better P&Ps (I was largely a Parrot at University) are the darlings of schools because they appear to be so good. They make the school and teachers look good.

However, the marvelous Oak Tree, that is the immutable symbol of knowledge, is hollow. One good wind, requiring real thought, and the whole tree collapses.

Here in Toronto serious academics, and Ministry of Education bureaucrats, are fighting for schools for Black children, to 'solve' the problem of poor education success among Blacks here.

That's right... the little niggers need their own school.

The experts all know something has to be done, but they have no real idea as to what! So what do they do... they pursue Nigger-schools on the principle (un-admitted) that skin color determines educational needs.

Skin color is, of course, a matter of about four genes, in a genome of millions of genes. The 'experts' know this, but blank-it-out on the 'grounds' of multiculturalism --they are effectively evil for their self imposed ignorance.

What IS needed is a rational philosophy behind education. The 'experts' cannot imagine such a philosophy, even though it exists and as been explicated in detail in 1984. Ultimately the academic and bureaucratic philosophical failures are the REAL bullies. They fail to teach the kind of thinking that would eliminate bullying, cheating, lying, and failing to think rationally.

Stardust said...

Ultimately the academic and bureaucratic philosophical failures are the REAL bullies. They fail to teach the kind of thinking that would eliminate bullying, cheating, lying, and failing to think rationally.

Well said.

In reference to your experience with the bullies in the field, that is one thing that my husband always told our sons to do...if you find yourself in a fight, make sure you finish it. I was the over-protective mommy who said "never hit anyone". So, there was that conflict. We were trying to raise kind and considerate children on one hand, and my husband telling the boys to beat the crap out of bullies on the other. But I now realize that self-defense is sometimes necessary in certain situations. Our oldest son found himself in similar circumstances as you did, richard. He and my other son were going to their lockers to put their trombone and French Horn away when jumped by several boys who were hanging out "illegally" in the band hallway playing hackey sack. They started pushing and shoving the younger son and my oldest son told them to leave him alone and when he saw they were going to hurt his brother, he grabbed the ring leader and pounded on him and surprisingly all the other punks ran off and left their friend behind. None of those kids in that group bothered either of my sons after that. So much for my "don't fight" rules!

Richard said...

It is a pain to have to live with the need to defend ourselves from coercive idiots, but imagine what it must have been like, say, 200 years ago! It must have been absolutely abominable for a great many people.

I think, without any specifics to back myself up, that men like Jefferson must have really grasped the horrific things people suffered. His Declaration and the Constitution were a brilliant achievement against them, when seen in that light. He was not just against bad monarchies and governments, but against any violence between men.

As Ayn Rand put it (paraphrasing): another man's rights end at the tip of your nose. (She included fraud etc. as a cheater's way of doing the same damage without having to engage in physical contact).

The right to self-defense was the basis for "the right to bear arms". Now, of course, the anti-gun lobby has taken away that right, so criminals are the ones with guns... so much for self-defense.

Ultimately, we all need the right to defend ourselves from physical coercion. But our judicial system has lost reason, utterly, so our possession of a gun to use in retaliatory self defense, is used against us by putting us in the same league as the criminals who use them to initiate force.