Monday, January 17, 2011

Don't Know Much About History...Even Less Biology

People often ask us, given the experience we had as inmates of the educorporate training facility in our neighborhood, why we chose the particular career path that we did. It's an intriguing question and we're not sure we know why ourselves. Truth be told, we started out in an engineering program at a small Midwestern private college, but after two years decided to transfer to a larger public university. We put ENG. on the transfer application under major, but the university people thought it meant English and enrolled us in a teaching program because, seriously, come on, what else are you going to do with an English degree? At first we wondered what we were doing in Romantic Literature instead of Differential Equations, but by the time we figured it out it was almost time to graduate so...whatever.

We share that little tale with you by way of introducing a couple of news items that slooshed by us on the intertubes the other day. First up, one of our colleagues in the profession who has the unenviable task of talking about sex to teenagers.
“She stood in front of the students,” district spokesman Jeff Puma said. “If you can picture a body builder flexing his arms and having his hands [above head level] out to the side, my hands would be the ovaries, my arms would be the fallopian tubes, and so on.” Students are asked to stand and repeat the gestures and the words that go along with them.
Hmm...participatory education techniques involving ladyparts. This isn't going to end well.
Robert King of Crystal Lake certainly has found fault with his son’s teacher. It all centers on something the students of Jacqulyn Levin apparently have dubbed “The Vagina Dance,” and which the Illinois Family Institute has described as set to the tune of “The Hokey Pokey” and decried as “puerile,” immodest and disrespectful.
OK, the kids are the ones calling it "The Vagina Dance" and the parents (well, parent) are the ones that can't handle it. Who's got the hangup here?
King said his son objected to participating, and both he and his son objected to him being “forced” to participate.
 Now, see, while it's probably true old dad needs more to do, we have to conclude that son has made a serious tactical blunder vis-a-vis survival in high school by telling him. Think about it. Any high school boy who doesn't go at least five miles out of his way to join a discussion about female biology; who doesn't stretch even the most innocent of remarks until it is some kind of double entendre; who doesn't know at least six people who can score the latest issue of Playboy is going to be thought of as gay by all his fellows and a few of the girls in his class. Sorry kid, them's the breaks. On the bright side, now you can wear those Astro Boy pajamas your mom got for you without embarrassment.

Our other tale of woe doesn't involve any specific teachers, yet, but given the history of current interactions between citizens with strong need for anti-psychotics and legislators who were dropped on their heads as children, we can only assume it a matter of time.
Regarding education, the material about two dozen tea party activists distributed said, “Neglect and outright ill will have distorted the teaching of the history and character of the United States. We seek to compel the teaching of students in Tennessee the truth regarding the history of our nation and the nature of its government.”
An honorable goal. Certainly the citizen with a deep and abiding understanding of the goals and aspirations of this great nation would be in a better position to cast votes that would preserve and extend the promise made by the founders. What exactly do you have in mind?
The material calls for lawmakers to amend state laws governing school curriculums, and for textbook selection criteria to say that “No portrayal of minority experience in the history which actually occurred shall obscure the experience or contributions of the Founding Fathers, or the majority of citizens, including those who reached positions of leadership.”
Um...what?
Fayette County attorney Hal Rounds, the group’s lead spokesman during the news conference, said the group wants to address “an awful lot of made-up criticism about, for instance, the founders intruding on the Indians or having slaves or being hypocrites in one way or another.
 Darn straight. We didn't "intrude" on any Indians. Why we invited them over for Thanksgiving, or as they called it, The Pequot Massacre. Potato Potahto. And as for owning slaves, sure about 1/3 of them were slave owners, but it wasn't like they wanted to own slaves, nosiree. It was peer pressure you know? Besides, they were real nice to their slaves, especially Thomas Jefferson.

Hey, you think old Tommie did the Vagina Dance for Sally Hemings?

1 comment:

Seeing Eye Chick said...

One of our text books is Howard Zinn's Young People's History of the United States. I highly recommend it. The founding of this country took place during a brutal period of history that was violent, superstitious, and full of self willed ignorance as a result. After reading that, you will have no doubt why Native Americans object to Columbus Day [for starters]. The man was an unabashed dick of biblical proportions-- even by European standards. And it just gets better as you go further in the book.

Rodrigo, the sailor that spotted the Bahamas was supposed to be rewarded with a gold piece and get credit. Columbus made sure that Columbus received both the gold and the credit.

What a guy. And that is the tamest story I know about him. Dont get me started on the rapes and enslavement, and the methodical executions/terrorism as he tried to torture the location of the "Gold" out of the Natives on the Island.