21 June 2008

Problems with being educated.

In addition to being generally useless, my education is presenting problems to my daughter.

Elder comes to me to talk about books, knowing that I was grossly over educated in such matters. I answer her questions as best as I can, but often forget where she got such information in the first place.

"Daddy," she said the other day. "Is it true the climax of a novel takes place in the middle?"

"No," I said. "Usually not."

"Then is my teacher wrong for saying so?"

Darn. "In a word, yes. But don't say that to her."

"Why not?"

"Because she thinks she's right, so she'll mark you wrong if you say otherwise."


Huh indeed. But this is what it comes to. Her teachers are wrong, but she has to go along with them to get good grades. I am making her cynical about the process of education.

To think I used to teach teachers. So many of the ones I taught never had a sense of how much they did not know, and tried to apply the little they knew to every situation. They are not the only ones who do this of course, they are merely the ones at hand. But to the case in hand: at some point someone taught these people how a book works, and they apply that little piece of information to all books. Their knowledge tells them what is to be seen, rather than trying to see what is there.

And in the meantime, I've taught my daughter to lie.

I still say I should have flunked more teachers when I had a chance.

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