Intellectual apathy is kryptonite for ‘Waiting for Superman’

We seem to be living in a society of ignoramuses (not to be confused with ignorant anuses, although they all seem to be one and the same under perhaps a better heading: dumbasses).

A major backlash against any sort of intellectualism is well under way, and while I’m not necessarily the smartest bear in the den, I’m also not the dumbest. I can go highbrow or lowbrow, and conversations can veer from fantasy football numbers to relationships to politics to religion before eventually ending back up at fantasy football (which, let’s face it, is really the most interesting thing on the planet).

Some of this has grown from the current political climate in which anyone deemed an intellectual is often ridiculed for being out of touch with “the common person.”

To that, I offer this thought: Maybe the common person ought to strive to be more in touch with the intellectual.

We are failing as a society if we continue to revel in our lack of knowledge. I’m not near smart enough to suggest I know how to fix it, although I highly recommend we start by getting rid of crap like this on television:

Instead, I encourage everyone reading this to go out in the next few days and watch the documentary Waiting for Superman. It’s a well-made look at our country’s failing educational system, and with any luck, it will inspire our current crop of teachers (and those looking toward equation as a future career) to reevaluate their profession in hopes of making bigger changes. Waiting for Superman should become mandatory viewing for anyone wishing to be a teacher, as well as for those already in the profession.

Unfortunately, too many of our teachers and kids won’t want to engage in any sort of intellectual discussion, choosing instead to Git-R-Done instead of actually giving a damn and getting things done.


7 thoughts on “Intellectual apathy is kryptonite for ‘Waiting for Superman’

  1. My sister is moving from Ohio to Grayson, KY–the school system there is ranked 119 out of 120 counties. The school they are in now in a tiny town in OH is ranked 33 of like 38. It seems like my neice and nephew can’t win either way.

  2. US educational system is provincial, and parochial, esp. in elementary and high school. I’ve seen my siblings’ report cards ( both went to elementary an highschool in the Philippines)…. there are 8 subjects from first grade to high school….. science, math, English, history are always there. In high school, there’s World History, Far Eastern History, European History, and believe it or not, US History.

  3. The sad thing about U.S. history, as taught in America, is that we preetty much get the exact same events taught to us every year. My friend Cory and I noticed this recently when we were discussing our total lack of understanding on who is next in line to be president after the Vice President (we think it’s the Speaker of the House). This is really sad. We are well versed in the details (including many myths) surrounding the Revolutionary War, but we are fairly clueless when it comes to Watergate.

    The reason? We are repeatedly taught about the Revolutionary War and might get a half-hour on Watergate. The problem with this is that we are far more likely to have another Watergate-type scenario in this country than we are a Revolutionary War (no matter what the Tea Partiers say/want).

    Note: I double-checked, and the Speaker of the House is next in line after the VP. My original knowledge of this came less from mychildhood history lessons and more from my viewings of The West Wing.

  4. I was trying to explain the impact of Boyle’s Law and Charles’ Law on our daily lives to my children last night and they didn’t even seem interested. What is the world coming to?

    I found one comment from the Waiting for Superman trailer to be almost an understatement. This generation will be less literate than the one before it. Communication technology has become so pervasive, yet the “hive mind” that youth society is fast becoming has trouble making any kind of value judgment. Gone are trends that formed from millions of people making their own judgments as individuals. Replacing them are waves of mindless repetition, often intentionally seeded by viral marketing.

    The current generation also has difficulty in communicating complex ideas. The misleading sound bite from the past generation has become the under-informing tweet of the next. With kids sending hundreds of texts a day, they don’t have time to…

    Oh, sorry, got a Facebook message. What was I saying?

  5. Participation trophies and not-keeping-score has caused an entire generation to feel entitled. They showed up to school, shouldn’t they get an A? They showed up to Little League and got a trophy. No one has told them they have to actually participate in their own success. None of them were pushed to do better, to be better, to work harder. There were no losers because they were all winners! They won without even trying. Of course they’re going to expect a diploma without having to study. Their parents taught them that much.

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