365: Day 21- Back to School

Back to school

If you could take a break from your life and go back to school to master a subject, what would it be?

This is a beautifully ironic prompt in so many ways.  First of all, mastering a subject is a ridiculous concept.  Look at me, I am a math master; I know everything there is to know about math.  Mastery is a cool word that means nothing in academia unless it is tied to some sort of criteria.  Otherwise, everyone can call themselves a master, which is fine.  Side note: Does this mean Grand Master Flash was a master of flashing and Master P is a master of peeing?  The question I just posed and the prompt itself both pose a high degree of absurdity that I will not continue to beat any further.

I am going to be going to school in a little over a week, and I will be working to get better at a subject: the subject of teaching, English in particular.  In order to get better at teaching, I need to teach, which conveniently I will be doing.  So what I want to take a break from is not my life, but rather bureaucracy.  Ignorance is not the enemy of learning.  Ignorance is an awesome place for learning to start.  The best people to teach are people who are ignorant of something.  You see value in what you are doing, and that drives you through the hard times and setbacks.  Apathy is the enemy of learning.

If you don’t care, you won’t learn.  In fact, the amount you learn is directly proportionate to the amount you care.  The scale is individual, of course; some people learn faster and exhibit greater natural capacity for absorbing information and making connections.  But that’s not the problem.  Lack of intelligence is not the problem.  In fact, I had to take a class on human development and found out that every generation shows a ten point gain on the Stanford-Binet IQ test!  That means that right now you can walk into a classroom and see a sleeping Einstein or a Marie Curie checking SnapChat.  Stupid is as stupid does.  Let me leave you with a cliff hanger for the next paragraph.  Do you think that slaves on plantations in Georgia were super pumped about making sure the cotton was going to be top notch?

I doubt it, but I don’t know.  If some of you have accessed any historical records that exist, I would be happy to be refuted.  Kids know when they are being played.  They can look around at the system they inhabit and understand that education is not the priority. If they are struggling to see that, I like to help ’em out.  I’m nice like that.

Nine thousand dollars and change.  Kids don’t know about the nine thousand dollars.  They don’t know that property taxes pay for their education.  They don’t know that some guy wasn’t able to get his daughter the Christmas present she wanted because the rent money for the apartment was due.  (I’m not talking about me, but I will bet good money-or little money that this happens.)  So when that guy comes into my class and sees a kid sleeping and asks me if he can beat them with a stick, 99% of me says “No, that would be inappropriate.  I will not tolerate violence against these innocent teenagers.”  But 1% says “Well . . .”  Children are commodities and they are renewable.  If the system loses one to jail, the grave, Canada, whatever, more will come along.  OK.  Night night time.  Gotta go. More to come.

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