Thursday, May 31, 2007

"A 68 is Passing in Alabama..."

Idiot wind, blowing every time you move your mouth,
Blowing down the backroads headin' south.
Idiot wind, blowing every time you move your teeth,
You're an idiot, babe.
It's a wonder that you still know how to breathe.

I tried my best to keep from laughing when I heard a young lady from my Anatomy class speak those words; "Hell yeah, a 68 is passing in Alabama." But in the process of trying not to laugh, the slight depression set in. The depression of a former teacher who is surrounded by people who probably would have been responsible for her five gray hairs had these folks been in her class.

It really annoys me how so many people place little to no value on education or intelligence. The perfect example of this is my Anatomy class. I make really good grades in that class's really friggin' easy. It's not like a pre-med anatomy class. It's more "Anatomy Lite." It's all common sense and a little Latin. In any case, I continue to get flashbacks to high school because I often get comments like "What'd you make, a hundred and three?" and then I am ignored. You might as well put a stamp on my forehead that says "pariah."

It's not that this hurts my feelings anymore because it doesn't. I learned my lesson about being needlessly embarassed by my grades in high school. My frustration has absolutely nothing to do with me. I just really worry about the state of the world when a 68 is considered a good grade.

Over the years, the manner in which we do things has become less and less "thought-friendly." Instead of reading books most folks just watch a movie or TV. Education promotes test scores as opposed to actual knowledge and students aren't taught how to think or apply what they've memorized. Often, conversation is limited to gossip or what we saw on that show or that. Instead of getting outside, a lot of folks just stay in with the Playstation or whatever the big game machine is now.

Now, this is not to say that these things don't have their place. Yes, I miss my cable sometimes and yes sometimes my conversation is limited to music or movies. I watch movies all the time and I admit that I am slightly addicted to Civilization III and The SIMS. Everyone should enjoy these types of simple pleasures. My concern is the total lack of any desire to do anything that might make a person actually THINK. A lot of folks will do anything in their power to avoid answering a tough question or solving a difficult problem or reflecting on an issue.

I'm probably just babbling, but this really bothers me. What is this country's problem with being educated or smart? All the way up until about 1930 or 1940, everyone was still taught Latin. Latin is a major key to so many other things: law, composition, medicine, physics, foreign (romance) languages, etc. Now you're doing well to find a high school (or college) that even offers it as a course. Meanwhile, overseas, it's not uncommon (AT ALL) to find someone who can speak at least three languages fluently. A lot of Americans still struggle with English.

I recently saw Idiocracy. It's a dreadful movie, but it makes an interesting point. Most of the movie is set in the future. It's a future in which humanity has actually deevolved. Instead of getting stronger and smarter, human beings had gotten considerably less intelligent - almost a regression back to cavemen. The cause for this (as explained in the movie) was an oversaturation of advertisments (i.e. corporations control EVERYTHING - I mean EVERYTHING); too much reproduction from the *ahem* shallower end of the gene pool; and too little reproduction from the deeper end. It's a silly idea, but one that anyone (especially anyone surrounded by Jerry Springer episodes) can easily see the basis of. It's scary to think of it, but I could almost see this being a possible reality.

I hope I'm not coming off as elitist or snooty. I just wish the populous would develop a natural curiosity for more than pop singers and reality shows.

Being maybe slightly hypocritical in my choice of video today. Just seemed appropriate. :^)


  1. J-fer, how I feel your pain. Oh, how I feel your pain. Now, college is something you "have" to do, not something you "want" to do. Nobody respects the education, brains, etc. anymore. Good choice of song, btw. One of my favs.
    You want to read a book about corporations controlling the world, read "Jennifer Government" by Maxx Barry. We have been taught to take the easy way out of everything. God forbid we should have to think or use minds.
    I wish it would get easier, but it's gotta get much worse (?worser?) before it gets better.
    At least you have your smart friends :)~

  2. Well, you were an over-achiever in High Skool. :D

    And I wouldn't trade those two years of Latin for anything. Except, the third year which I really wasn't interested in taking anyway. Did you take a 3rd year of Latin?

  3. Aaron - I didn't take Latin although I wish I had - I was an idiot and took French. sigh


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