…are almost sadistically unhealthy places to send adolescents.
The only problem I had in high school was no girlfriends. I had lots of friends who were girls, though.
(Friendzoned! Friendzoned!) for length.
(I just had to look up ‘friendzoned’ and all this time I thought my brothers ex-wife ‘divorced’ him nope, he just got friendzoned)
I not only had a girlfriend in HS, I chased her until she caught me! And almost 40 years later I’m still here with her.
[and yes, she's a real girl, not make believe like some guys had in HS]
But what I’ve never been able to figure out is the amount of weight people put on their HS years. I find very few people, even among the popular kids, who liked HS. Most of the people I know wouldn’t go back to HS then, even knowing what they know NOW. [I'd go back like that...and that only] I know a number of veterans who weigh HS as more important than their time in the military. And I know a few people with advanced degrees who talk more about HS than college or the schools where they got their advanced degrees.
Those last two completely blow my mind.
I don’t get the HS importance thing any more than I get people who ‘support’ a college sports team at a school they never attended, often in a city or town where they’ve never lived, often in a sport they’ve never played. But my ‘misunderstanding’ of these things, both the HS and sports stuff, may come from not being a joiner or a ‘group’ person. I have both family and friends whom I love. I dearly miss those who are no longer among us, but I am pretty much as happy alone as I am in a group.
Often I’d rather be alone, I’ve always been that way too.
I don’t get the HS importance thing any more than I get people who ‘support’ a college sports team at a school they never attended, often in a city or town where they’ve never lived, often in a sport they’ve never played.
In Alabama, a mixed marriage has nothing to do with trival matters like race, religion or politics. No, a mixed marriage is when a University of Alabama fan marries an Auburn fan. It isn’t a requirement in Alabama to have attended either school. Support for the football program of your choice is often handed down within families.
Putting kids together and sorting by age also created that dysfunctional creature, the “teenager.” Once, teen-agers weren’t so much a demographic as adults-in-training. They worked, did farm chores, watched children and generally functioned in the real world. They got status and recognition for doing these things well, and they got shame and disapproval for doing them badly.
But once they were segregated by age in public schools, teens looked to their peers for status and recognition instead of to society at large. As Thomas Hine writes in The American Heritage, “Young people became teenagersbecause we had nothing better for them to do. We began seeing them not as productive but as gullible consumers.”
Here lies a great irony. They make us read “Catcher in the Rye,” the story of an antisocial teenage guy who inches toward adulthood but desperately wants to stay in youth. The book that has become a teenage rite of passage, nuisance to its many readers who are either trying to avoid real-life Holden Caufields or are beating them up on a regular basis. Salinger’s opus owes most of its cultural relevance to the very existence of public education, and teaching untold millions to hate reading. But lo and behold – the system that prescribes this tale is one that stunts teenage development! The educrats are catchers in the rye, insulating children from the real world as InstaGlenn describes.
One of my pet peeves with public education is the notion that career planning starts with a trip to the guidance counselor in one’s senior year of high school. Years that could have been spent discovering one’s talents in relation to the working world are wasted. And it contributes to the higher ed bubble – people enrolling in college with majors undeclared while they’re trying to figure out what to do with their lives.
I think one of the most dysfunctional parts of high school is the transformation of young adults into victims for all sorts of institutional cons. The article touched on this briefly (as noted in the quote above), but some of the student loans, credit cards, and other such things out there really create a onerous burden on our youth of today.
I think it’s a pretty vile dynamic. But I have to wonder how much of that is due to our common cultural myths (here mostly economic). It’s really surprising to me how many people accept consumer spending as the most important ingredient in an economy even to the point of encouraging people to spend on frivolous things in order to prop up the economy. Some go so far as to advocate deliberately pointless gestures (such as “moneycopters”, dropping freshly printed money on a city, or (as I dimly recall) doling out coupons that could only be redeemed for entertainment and junk like that). It was important to some of them to avoid any possibility of investing or saving the handout in question.
If you decide that consuming is the most virtuous form of economic activity, then it is natural to encourage the high school as it is. After all, it’s a great way to create a bunch of “gullible consumers”. But if one wants to create a generation which is overall responsible and knowledgeable in financial matters, then consuming has to take a lower priority than other forms of economic activity, particularly, employment, savings, and investment.
“The only problem I had in high school was no girlfriends.”
.. and dodging the meat eating dinosaurs at recess right?
Or perhaps something about hiking through the snow..
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