I’ve always loved school, as I recently posted. My college days were a fantastic, ne’er-dupulicated experience: I got exposed to new ideas, unimagined worlds; I had tons of fun and many of my college friendships have persisted for decades. I ended up with a double major and two minors but I remember so few of my classes. What mattered was Everything Else.
I wanted my kids to have a similar experience. But their generation has a different mindset. To them, college is an early bullet point in your career plan. You narrow your career choices and then choose a major accordingly. You get in, you get out, you move on.
Ironic, isn’t it. They’ve got a parent who wouldn’t freak if they kept switching majors, waffling and wandering their way through college. (Might have to pull the plug financially, but that’s a separate issue.) They’ll apparently never enjoy that asset.
This post responds to today’s Daily Prompt.
What the hey-ho, let’s start with a gratuitous video.
I have always loved school. Except for high school, of course – as an adult, I discovered that nobody I respected had fared well in high school, so over the years high school distress became one measure of simpatico. In fact, during my kids’ freshman year I feared – wrongly – that one of my twins might enjoy high school. (Don’t get me wrong: I expected good grades, attendance, attitude; I just didn’t want them to limit their futures by enjoying the experience.)
But I digress. When I was a kid, I liked to play school but my friends wouldn’t say the same. When I played teacher, I wanted them to do homework. Really. Assignments due. For some reason none of them agreed and soon my play classroom was empty. Slackers.
But I digress. After I graduated from college, I took many stray classes over the years to pursue subjects that interested me. I eventually and belatedly got hooked again and went back to earn a master’s degree. That proved to be enough school for me. Bastante!
And yet. I always wanted to be fluent in Spanish. I love the way Spanish flows and zooms; the way you don’t say “I broke a dish” but instead “the dish broke itself.”
I wonder how close I could get to fluency? Language classes take so long to get moving, over so many terms – that has daunted me from starting anew. But if you can recommend an on-line Spanish class – drop me a comment with the details!
(The Daily Prompt wanted to know what subject could get me back to school.)
For some time I have heard kids say, I don’t need to learn how to spell or multiply. I have spellcheckers and calculators to do that for me. I disagree. The helper apps must remain just that – assistants – because these are basic skills we all need to communicate and make sense of the world. (Okay maybe not so much long division.)
However, there are some other kinds of training that I doubt we still need. Does anyone really need to know how to write in cursive? Or tell time using an analog clock?
What do you think? Are these obsolete skills? Are there others?