Monday, November 28, 2005


What do we really learn to need from school?

How about how to survive in this world?

If that's the case, then the athletes who study "in" University High School are honor students. Am being facetious? Maybe. I just think of all of the "successful" academics floundering in the real world. Much of the middle-class is struggling. Always taught to stick to the rules and be good are not always the best preparation for life. The "tooth fairy" isn't going to cover the orthodonture work on the kid whose pacifier kept him quiet. And every hierarchy is crowned by people who skipped steps and trampled on the heads of those who carefully follow all orders and regulations.

A very high percentage of the super-success stories involve those rather "allergic" to frameworks and rules. The earlier we put our kids in schools, even the "non-regimented" ones, the more they're trained to "fit in." There are definitely dangers in that. Your independent thinkers are frequently punished and treated like rebels. This is a problem, because innovation comes from those sorts of minds.

And back to those athletes and their fake academic success...
It's rare for failing high school students to suddenly get passing grades, so the phony school isn't standing in their way of real learning.

Well, some will take their opportunities, given by the phony school, and really do something good. Would it be better to prevent them from participating in sports? What would the results be? More frustration and anger resulting in crime, drugs etc?

For the young school-age athlete who can't pass regular classes, it may be better to have a remedial program integrated with their athletic training. A special "academic" sports program.

I teach high school boys here in Israel, and I frequently tell them how getting through EFL, English as a Foreign Language, is like training for an elite army unit. "It's all in the mind," as my son's pre-army fitness trainer would tell the young men. Until that sort of opportunity becomes available to them, phony academic programs will be their best means of "passing."

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