12 February 2007

Leave Nobody Behind

I think there should be an add-on year of school. You go from kindergarten through high school, maybe go off to college, and then at the age of twenty five, you are required to attend one year of follow up education. During this year of follow up education, you are going to take all the classes you took before, but this time, faster and more in-depth.

It's ridiculous how much people don't know about the world around them. I often sit around and follow wikipedia to the ends of the Earth and depending on the day, I explore history, art, psychology, whatever catches my fancy. I consider myself halfway educated but if pressed for answers, I couldn't really tell you who was involved in World War I or even when it occured (1914-1918).

The only Ottoman I can reference is the chair accessory -- which is sort of funny seeing as how the empire was trampled on during World War I. Most of my geographic knowledge comes from playing lots of Risk -- or Axis and Allies -- if it's not on a Risk board, I don't know where it is.

This same sort of unknowledge applies to me (and many of my peers, I'd assume) for just about everything. What is socialism? Who was Paul Gauguin? Where is Oklahoma? What's an isoceles triangle? Who wrote "All Quiet on the Western Front?" Explain the principles of existentism. Who were our first five presidents? Spell something longer than "c-a-t." Watch something other than reality tv.

We need some educated adults. Forget adult education, people don't have the time or the money to stop in the middle of their twenties to get some general education -- but we need it. If I were president, I'd institute one year of learning for all twenty-five year olds. Math, history, foreign language, science, English, art, film, recess, physical education; let's bring it on (again)!

One of my friends was taking the substitute teacher's test and a whole bunch of us were looking over his materials. We would have failed miserably. I'd hope that as adults we'd appreciate this extra year of knowledge and become more open to actually learning and absorbing everything; because as kids, you just want to get out of school and get through the day.

As an adult, you don't want to be dumb, do you?