Monday, December 3, 2012

Education Shmeducation

Hey everyone... Someone posted this video to my school program's Facebook group, and after watching it, well, I felt a rant coming on. I know this has nothing to do with beauty so you don't necessarily need to read it but I thought I'd share my opinion!



To be fully honest, this video infuriates me for many reasons. First, I'd like to take this guy's idea to the "worst case scenario" for purely argumentative purposes. I should hope that this is not how it goes. But sometimes it's crucial to apply theories universally. (See: Kant's Moral Theory)

People who lack critical thinking skills and are easily swayed might view this video and think, "Man, this guy's right. Why go to school? I'm gonna take a day off. Or maybe two. Or maybe I'll drop out." Etcetera. They'll pass it on to their friends who will wholeheartedly agree. And soon enough we're going to live in a society where no one will have an education. Where people simply didn't feel like memorizing dates and staying up late to study. A society filled with people who slept through their classes and didn't so much as bat an eyelash whenever the wise prof said anything remotely interesting. Because what's the point?

But let's get back to this society where no one is educated. God, if this guy attended and payed attention to a single history class, he would know that this society he's set up would gravely backtrack us in time. A time with no gender equality. A time with no racial equality. A time with no such thing as technology. He fails to realize that Steve Jobs' ingenuity relies on the sheer intellect of his developers, all of whom bring a quality of intelligence wrought mostly by their formal schooling. I mean, if no one knew about the Holocaust, if no one knew about the intricacies of science, math, and physics, if no one knew about Shakespeare and Chaucer and Austen and Hemingway... What a truly boring, dysfunctional, and discordant world we would live in.

And originally I didn't want to go there... But it's necessary. In what world do we live in where an African American can stand there and claim formal education is all for naught. African American history is all about redemption, equality, and most importantly RIGHTS. The most fundamental of which is the RIGHT to education.

Sadly, many countries do not have the right to education. Personally, I think this guy needs to do some world travelling. I hope one day he will go to a 3rd world country and realize that the one thing in the world that kids in poor countries long for is an education. Maybe going to school won't directly fix poverty and famine and drought, but it might give a person the intellectual tools necessary to tackle the problem logically and perhaps to simply even cope. If anything, it might give a child something to hinge on and to be passionate about. If you give a poverty-stricken child in a third world country the opportunity to go to school, I guarantee that they will not be moaning and groaning like you.

I admit that I complain about school. I admit it. That doesn't mean I lose sight of the fact that I am in a rare situation. I have been given the opportunity to attend higher education, whereas the majority of the world's inhabitants have not. However, I accept this opportunity with humility. I don't understand people who think they're above school. I just don't. Even if you harbor all the creativity and personality in the world, trust me, you will not mask it by going to school, you will simply highlight it.

Kids bitching about school being useless is something I can't stand. But here's something I'd like to clarify: I acknowledge that the end goal of school is to obtain a degree that will get a potentially mediocre, unfulfilling job, and that might sound very daunting. That's attributed to the capitalist-driven society we're living in.

But here's another idea. Why not pay attention in class? Why not try to absorb some information? Learning for the sake of learning. Why not? It might make a dreary school day somewhat tolerable. I mean, if this guy wants to be an educated individual, here's an idea: instead of droning about your school days, why not take up a genuine interest in a class? Even if it's just one! Take a class you might not usually take: architecture, religion, painting, anything. I promise that school is not all about deadlines and grades and sleep deprivation.

I guess one good thing came about from watching this... I really feel like studying now. Learning doesn't suck unless you let it.

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