TBT: The Brutal Truth

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Persistantly Vegetative Society


Nearing a diploma, most college students cannot handle many complex but common tasks, from understanding credit card offers to comparing the cost per ounce of food.

Those are the sobering findings of a study of literacy on college campuses, the first to target the skills of students as they approach the start of their careers.

More than 50 percent of students at four-year schools and more than 75 percent at two-year colleges lacked the skills to perform complex literacy tasks.

That means they could not interpret a table about exercise and blood pressure, understand the arguments of newspaper editorials, compare credit card offers with different interest rates and annual fees, or summarize results of a survey about parental involvement in school.

The results cut across three types of literacy: analyzing news stories and other prose, understanding documents, and having math skills needed for checkbooks or restaurant tips.

Just think: once upon a time, "Dumb & Dumber" was just a movie. Now, it's goddamned reality and people wonder why I dropped out of school at 16. For starters, that was around the time where I noticed my father spiral into a drunken madness and my mother turned into gambling addict to get away from him, thus leaving very little food in the house. Since they both worked and brought in way too much money for welfare, I had to make a decision -- continue school and starve or quit, get a job, and feed myself. Secondly, because I noticed the very incompetence of our school system when I looked at my 9th grade mid-semester report card and noticed the "CREDIT" box didn't have a decimal figure -- the word "YES" was scrawled instead. Because of this glaring error by two of my former teachers, I entered 10th grade with the knowledge that I wouldn't graduate until around 1994-1996 instead of 1992 since the school board didn't know how many credits I had and certainly didn't want to guesstimate.

Putting those two circumstances together, it was clear -- I had to get the fuck outta there because had I stuck around, I doubt I could tie my own fucking shoes today (provided I didn't starve to death beforehand) and this study only confirms some deep-seeded suspicions I had about our education system: we're raising an entire generation of kids who couldn't find their own ass in the dark. For that, I ally myself with bioethicist Dr. Gerry Lower who himself points one finger of blame on Capitalism's dominion.

The other finger of blame I must point to society at large because they neglected to realize just how badly Capitalism's dominion in America was dumbing us down in the first place to the point where they cast their votes based on feelings and emotions (very small parts of the human brain) instead of casting them based on a critical analysis, logic, reason, and common damned sense (e.g. the larger chunks). It is the latter thing that has made society more prone to just vegitate in front of the TV/PS2/X-Box instead of reading a fucking book or two.


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