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Location: Greensboro, NC, United States

Friday, July 13, 2012

In the School of Mediocrity

One of my most memorable moments growing up in the government indoctrination mills (also known as the public school system) came when I was in the second grade. One weekend at home, while the family was hanging around in the house, my father decided to teach me how to sign my name in cursive. The schools taught cursive in the third grade, but I was eager to learn. One wouldn't have suspected, though, that my father teaching me something would be frowned upon by the schools. Being the show-off that I was, I made the mistake of signing my next test in class in cursive, and when I got it back the next day, I found I had received points off for displaying my new-found talent. I couldn't understand. It wasn't for answering a question wrong. And I thought the schools encouraged learning. My father was furious, and made it known to the teacher at the next PTA meeting. I was too young to understand all of the conversation, but the teacher's response was clear enough to me: "we will teach him cursive when we decide he's ready." Of course, when I would be ready, according to them, would be when everybody else would be ready. Never mind the fact that I had just demonstrated readiness. After that, my father settled down on the issue. I don't know if he accepted the teacher's argument, or simply resigned himself to the fact that it was pointless to fight the system. Knowing him, I suspect the latter.

Only later in life did I come to realize that this is the nature of the Statist/Collectivist mindset, quite common in "progressive" cities like Greensboro. Mediocrity is celebrated, and excellence discouraged. No child - that is, every child - left behind. And this is true, no matter what they tell you to the contrary. You can't have independent thinkers - such people are harder to manipulate and control. And people who excel simply make the others feel bad. Are there well-meaning teachers? Absolutely. But it remains a fact that the purpose of the government school system is to control the masses, for the benefit of those in power. If this weren't the case, then the government would encourage, rather than putting obstacles in the way of, successful private Christian and home schools.

The great irony is to now hear that schools have largely stopped teaching cursive. If a child today were to do as I did, would they penalize the child for excelling? Do they discourage parents from teaching a child too young how to text? I can't help but wonder. Either way, I still know my father was in the right. And his moment of frustration continues to serve for me as an example of how to view those who would use the State to violate freedom.

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