Friday, March 23, 2012

Mama On: Hard Times And Books

"Easy comes after Do in the dictionary for a reason."

I have a headache.  My headache began when I turned the television on and saw a report that featured parents lamenting the coursework that their poor children were being forced to endure.  The tortured students were expected to learn to speak their native language, open up a book and read something that didn't come predigested on tape or dvd, perform basic math without computer or even calculator assistance, and regularly show up for classes.


Personally, I don't understand the hardship.  My mother was one of those people who had a hard time with asking for help -- especially if she had to do it more than once.  Okay, the reality is that if there was a book on the topic, she also figured that if you wanted to get the job done, you should read the directions.  Her philosophy was that God gave you enough tools to get through the life He planned for you, and that a person just needed to make the effort to use those tools: Mamaknology 101A. 

My mother believed that a person had to be proactive; you have to take action, not just lay back in the "cut" and let everyone else do the work.  These students and their parents have an historically unprecedented level of access, and seem determined to ignore it. Which brings us to Mamaknology 101B, and I got this straight from the lips of the world's preeminent Mamaknologist (my mother), if you take the easy way out, you deserve whatever you get -- a life on shut down.  No political access, no jobs, no social services.  Nothing. Are any of these students or their parents prepared for a life mired in abject ignorance? because that will be the result of an inability to read, write, and do simple arithmetic in the twenty-first century.

Support of ignorance is not a good thing.  I keep hearing young people say that they want to live their lives, their way.  I hear them say that they want to make their own mistakes.  Okay.  Fine.  But why do they have to make the stupid mistakes?  The ones that we all already know don't work well?

Here's a Mamaknological clue:  if you are determined to make mistakes, don't opt for a retread.  Don't opt for ignorance.  Don't forfeit your education.  Don't forfeit your right to vote.  Don't dabble in stupid -- it's not cute.

And I'm not afraid to say it because, what are you going to do?  Read this and write back?