I just got back from meeting with a woman who might hire me to tutor her son. I told her my two biggest passions are books and people. That’s how it’s been for while now…maybe all my life, though I have come to care about good clothes and good food too. But there is an extra little bandit of an interest who has been crawling his way up to the top of my affections for a while, and now that he is settled in comfortably, I suppose I shall finally have to acknowledge him.
I love what happens when one puts people and books together, that is to say, I care deeply about education. I want to both learn and teach for the rest of my life. And I have lots of opinions about how to do it. Lots. I thought I might as well share them here in several parts, a la Mrs. Liebmann. They are a hodgepodge of discoveries and decisions I’ve made throughout my last year of high school, and the beginning of this year. Thanks to Senior Thesis and Dr. Edward’s Found Ed class for making me think.
Let me just say that I think the single biggest problem with education today is that students take it for granted. Really, most of them outright resent it. They have no idea of the huge blessing being conferred upon them when they are simply taught their letters. They are being given learning, the biggest gift a human society can muster (though not all of it is quality…) and they choose to, well, just not. Even those of us in college often forget. Here, I so often want to take people by the shoulders and shake them, and say, “Why are you here?!? What, because it’s the next step, and you didn’t know what else do the year after graduation? Because you wanted to be qualified?” There is no sense in going to college unless you plan on loving learning. It makes me really quite angry to think that there are students, even at Grove City, who hold assignments and hard tests against their teachers, as if it was not something they were paying thousands of dollars fo, as if these people with their PhDs and scholarly books were simply dumb.
Well, now that that is out of the way, I’m going to run in the opposite direction. Some professors (a very few, mind you, and certainly not my dear Drs Hodgkins) are dumb. Some kids’ college tuition is being paid for by their parents, and they have no choice in the matter. And many, many people I know would probably rather just go ahead and start their career now, but no one is going to hire them without a bachelor’s. Stupid college. It’s just unavoidable for all us middle class kids, who care about getting anywhere in life. I, currently, have a dumb professor. That’s a cruel and maybe untrue thing to say, but it’s what I think every time I walk into his class. It is too late to drop it, and it’s a necessary credit. But I will never ever have him again, so could I maybe possibly try a little benevolence and patience? Mmmmm, yes. I could. I could also try to learn a little history despite his jumbled teaching, and be thankful for the opportunity to…well, I haven’t figured out to what yet, but maybe that’ll come. Anyway, just remember that it is no sin to be patient when the person or situation probably doesn’t deserve it, and neither is it unholy to pretend interest in class which extends beyond the tested material. Isn’t it true that if we act Christ-like for long enough, we will begin to reflect him?
Next entry, I think I’ll bash the school system. Aren’t you excited?
“All mortals tend to turn into the thing they are pretending to be.” CSL, The Screwtape Letters
“Education is the only thing people are willing to pay more for and get less of.” — my very wise college professor, Dr. Feldmann.