We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our mighty editor asked me to post this one separately:
Most out-of-control school in the US? Why doesn't somebody call the cops? The thought of good kids in that school, who want to learn, breaks my heart.
It is too damn bad that the kids who want to be left behind, can't be, nowadays. In the good old days, it worked out fine. There was tons of industrial work and good hard farm work. All work deserves respect.
Is there not enough unskilled and semi-skilled work and skilled work nowadays - or do the Guatemalan illegals do all of it for peanuts? Stoneworkers get $30/hr; gunsmiths make $100/hr. There's lots of work out there for kids who hate school. My local camera/TV/VCR etc repair guy gets $175/hr. Most folks aren't avid scholars. Despite No Child Left Behind BS, lots of kids just aren't into it. There is plenty of work out there - good honest work - with a good life, for kids who don't like school. Plus America already has enough kids with college "degrees" which mean about as much as a High School diploma used to mean.
If you hate it, get out of school, and learn how to do something useful. You can have a fine life that way, and most college degrees these days are scams anyway. That's why we call it the Education Industry.
Would you be so sanguine if one of your own children didn't want to go to college. The purpose of a university education is not to get a job or solely to get into tra-er-grad school. It is to begin to learn how to become an educated person. Self-education works just fine for creative geniuses but most of us benefit from the demands of college and even from the trial by fire of PC professors and peers.
My own job, which sustains a family throughout years of a spouse's unemployment, does not require my two Ivy degrees or any. But, corny as it sounds, the life of the mind can sustain one thru even the dreariest underemployment. So I want my kids to get college degrees so that they can survive corporate capitalism chewing up and spitting out them or a spouse in future. If yo can still think, you are free. Any work can be honorable if done to feed a family and not against the Commandments. But go to college first.
Hard to respond decently from a Blackberry..but some random thoughts.
It isn't an either-or. Self-education is a duty, what lifts us above the beasts. Just as Each individual is accountable to God and needs no intermediaries and will be ultimately judged by Him (and no whining about the failings of the church), so we wd all be advised to look to the example of Abe and the like...BUT we all know one of the definitions of a fool as "Smart but not teachable..you can't tell him anything". It isn't a matter of submission but of Christian humility. Are you so brilliant that you can learn nothing from lectures and debate and the guidance of a thesis adviser? I agree that the academy is corrupt, PC and does not deserve the good opinion it has of itself. But young people are even more pigheaded, prejudiced and ignorant than we are and need guidance, structured tasks, etc. Just as you can't be a Christian without participating actively in church (or a monastery or whatever other collection of other Christians can keep you on the right path) you cannot fully develop the mind God gave you without fencing academically with others. For most of us that means college. And quit with the spoonfeeding BS. Harvey Mansfield and E.OWilson and Ernie May didn't exactly spoon feed me! I did well despite starting out w a temperament that would have preferred self education.
You sound just like my rebellious teenager who, a year ago, was clearly Ivy bound, has now been bitten by the self education bug. And a bleak future now awaits the kid. So my apologies if I am overly vehement as ignorant young people often misunderstand the idea of edcating oneself to mean license to skip out of calculus, statistics,social studies,whatever and spend all day loafing and reading novels.
That's what we middleaged grownups get to do now in the rare breaks from toil and moil so's to be able to keeep those college tuition checks going until the last one is done. I feel oppressed before I've even started.
It's analogous to weddings: I tell my kids to plan to elope and I will give them a deposit on a house. Why be a slave to social habit!