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schooling vs education--long rant, indeed

updated sat 3 jan 04


Jan L. Peterson on thu 1 jan 04

Money doesn't make values. Parents can teach ethics without money. As a
matter of fact, poorer kids probably have a betterset of values than the richer
ones. One think I did see in all the places I lived is people worked. The men
were never out of work, and if one job quit, they generally had another job in a
couple of days. Made no difference what it was. If it didn't pay much, you
just lived in a smaller place, until a better opportunity came along. No one was
out of work in the family.
One thing I saw a lot of, was integrity. There were a few that didn't have
that; their word wouldn't carry to the front door. Don't see much of that in the
rich corporate types who are having their children privately schooled.
Money is money. Green stuff, pounds sterling, yens, dinar. It can get your
kid into the best of schools, but it can't teach values. Most private schools
can't. either. And don't. They teach favoritism, and biases.
I went to one. I pretty much went to school, played with the kids, helped
others with their school work, and stayed out of the way. There were poor kids
who had been dropped at the steps, they got special treatment, and that was
alright. They should. No one knew who their folks were, no one came to pick them
up for week-ends, to the plays; it was up to the Nuns and us kids to crow over
their good grades, and get them toys and share spending money.
The preferred treatment of the richer kids didn't go over well. We made up
for it by playing little tricks on them. Values we learned at the Boarding
school was to pretty much stick together. Socialize. And the schoolwork was pushed,
much faster. So, we weren't bored. Best grades I ever got was there. In two
years, there were 36 A's 52 B's 46 C's 10 D's and one F. Jan, the Alleycat.

lili krakowski on thu 1 jan 04

As I have no children, I can be the Outside Observer. I should be =
neutral but I am not.

A dangerous confusion is running amuck that schooling=3Deducation. We =
just have seen that a College Education--vide MBA at elite =
universities--can be as direct if costlier road to prison than dropping =
out of High School. If there is anything--and I know, that is MY =
soapbox--the 20th Century should have taught us, from Flanders fields =
to Auschwitz to Bataan and to the Gulag--its that a fine Liberal Arts =
Education does not protect one from barbarism-- be it as perp or be it a =

I think that first one has to set a goal. What does one want a child to =
be like? My choice for my grand-nephews and nieces would be that they =
be good, kind, generous, compassionagte people. =CD would like them to =
take pleasure in music, art, literature, food, clothing, furnishings, =
and in other people as well as themselves. I want them to have happy =
relationships and if they choose to be parents, to raise adorable =
children. I want them to be loving and lovable.=20

I do not care how this is achieved. A tutor or governess? Fine. =
Religious school? Fine. Home schooling, great.
My last choice would be today's Public School.

Exactly why? In a small town like ours the elementary school is =
equally small. The teachers are local, and even if they live in the =
next village they are known locally. They do NOT commute to Better =
Safer neighborhoods. One runs into them at the store; sits in the next =
booth at the diner....

Parents know each other. They have some control over whom their child =
plays with after school. The parents know the teachers and vice versa. =
There are few after school activities in which children cannot afford to =
participate--though some can't participate at all because of chores on =
the farm. The only drawback of the school is that some kids have two =
45 minute bus rides a day!

High school is a different matter. I know Conant meant well, but he did =
not see what the outcome of the centralized high school would be. Is =
there a drug problem? Sure. Is there violence ? Little, thank God, =
but some. ( At a high school not more than 50 miles away, a bunch of =
kids pummeled another into coma, and possible permanent brain damage, =
over a football game. Or, gee, was it a basketball one?) Is there =
teen-age pregnancy? Yes. And school remains the only place in the =
country where children are forced to associated with convicted felons! =
Oh, yes! Your 15 year old may be sitting next to a vandal, car-thief, =
petty thief, burglar, sex-offender--or DWIer. When I had to fetch =
something at the local HS, I saw several young couples giving each other =
tonselectomies in the hall....NOT what I would want my teenager to =
consider an acceptable norm--since, after all, if "they" can do "that" =
in plain view of all teachers and administrators, why not go further do =
more at home?

In more and more big cities people are sending kids to private schools. =
It no longer is that parents go to work, it is that they pursue careers. =
According to--was it Brigid Brophy?-- the Brits have sent their kids to =
elite private boarding schools exactly to separate them from parental =
influence, train them up in a regimented system /same sex hierarchy all =
for the sake of sending them out to serive the empire! Whoop dee doo! =
Although it IS co-ed I fear that this is what will evolve in this =
country-- a from pre-school to PhD corps d' =E9lite running the show....

Now as to cloning! If indeed Kelly has some special cloning fluid, I =
pray she bottles it and makes it available. Kelly, dear, I'll take a =
gallon, and I will asperge every little girl I know or meet. =20

As to Mommy as Warden??? Did I read that right? What I always hated =
about school is the assigned hour--here you are really deep in the =
Middle Ages, and the bell rings, rattling your brain, alarming your =
body, and poof--you are off to Gym. You just have gotten in the swing =
of volleyball, when the bell rings, and poof, you are into A2 + B2 =3D =
C2, and other methods of measuring a hypopotamus. When you are studying =
at home, you can devote a week, or more to just one thing, burrowing =
deeper and deeper--Gee. You might emerge with the psychological makings =
of a scholar...

As to social skills? Had I not irritated a side muscle by the =
imbalanced movement brought on by my cast, I'd laugh and laugh and =
laugh. WHY should home schooled kids NOT have friends? Other home =
schooled kids with whose Mom their Mom is friends so that they all go to =
musea and concerts and "stuff" together in tiny groups, not huge "Keep =
in line there, Josephine!" crocodiles???

As to meeting all kinds of people. A friend moved to a very remote =
area, home schooled her kids, long before it was called home schooling, =
or there was a support system. I asked her once how she would handle =
teaching her kids about homosexuality, and about other races.... I got =
this very-blue-eyed stare, and a grin. Simple she said: They KNOW =
homosexuals, they KNOW African-Americans, Asians, Native Americans--not =
as specimens but as friends....(Yes, I also, deservedly, got the "Some =
of my best friends are Jews.." bit...)=20

Is home schooling ideal? Maybe not. A kid has to be lucky in her =
parents. But then a kid has to be lucky in her parents no matter what.

Yeah Kelly (and Jeff)-- in my book you get the highest grades.....And =
have a blessed new year. =20

Lee Love on fri 2 jan 04

----- Original Message -----
From: "lili krakowski"

>Is home schooling ideal? Maybe not. A kid has to be lucky in her parents.
>But then a kid has to be lucky in her parents no matter what.

I think this is the essential point. People who do choose to
homeschool or send their kids to private schools have to realize that they
cannot protect their children, from the children of folks who are not
capable or don't not have the money to make these choices, forever. We
all live in the same society.

If Timothy McVeigh and Binladin taught us anything, it is that we
can not isolate ourselves from the dispossessed.

Lee In Mashiko, Japan
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