Flutterby™! : ignorance will keep us happy

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ignorance will keep us happy

2006-07-07 17:50:57.82951+00 by Dan Lyke 2 comments

The Valedictorian of Mainland Regional Highschool said:

Ladies and gentlemen, the spirit of intellectual thought is lost. I speak today not to rant, complain or cause trouble, and certainly not to draw attention to myself. I have accomplished nothing and I am nothing. I know that. Rather, I was moved by the countless hours wasted in those halls.

The speech is well written, and nicely keeps the real zingers 'til the end while building towards them, so clearly Kareem Elnahal knew that what he was going to say was going to upset the faculty and that he was going to be hustled off stage. Predictably, the principal was not amused, and said of the other students:

“My hope was they did not hear or understand what he was saying. ... He was belittling the diplomas of every one of those kids.”

Yeah, not much more you can add to that, is there? (via MeFi)

Over at Brainwagon, Mark has been ripping into "Intelligent Design", in Darwinism’s great appeal: Empowering the ignorant and More on Intelligent Design, the Future…, exposing some almost shocking desires to not learn. Also making its way through the blog world is this tale of a Jewish family in Delaware forced out of their community, a follow-up has one of those involved saying:

Pogrom? I'm not sure I want to call it that. That is not an appropriate term, however, I am pleased that we had an effect in this case. We have others we want to put up on the site to shame them but have not gotten around to it.

(via Elf)

As long as we have high school principals saying of their students "I hope that they did not understand", this sort of wilfull ignorance and stupidity, which leads to violence and intimidation, is only going to get worse.

[ related topics: Religion Children and growing up moron Sociology Current Events Education ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2006-07-07 19:45:39.397677+00 by: ebradway

Having been one of those kids on the front row at graduation - with my best friend giving the Valedictorian speech - I found myself having rapidly lost all respect for the education system in the few weeks leading up to graduation.

It was my belief that the Valedicatorian earned the right and respect to provide a closing speech for his classmates that both encouraged their continued growth AND would provide the most qualified criticism of what they had acheived.

In order to be Valedictorian, you have to demonstrate the highest level of expectation of each teacher you encounter. Most of the time, the Valedictorian was just the biggest ass-kisser and would continue right through the speech. But this guy demonstrated that he understood exactly what was expected on him by his teachers - and felt the need to criticize that.

During my work towards my Master's, I constantly criticized the program and discussed ways to improve it with the department head. I did this, not to belittle myself or my classmates, but rather to ensure that my diploma might be worth more than a wall covering and a check-box on a form.

This guy didn't belittle his classmates or devalue their dimplomas - he put things in context for the administration - that maybe their expectations were too low - of the students or themselves (which was the case with my MS).

And I think the principal did a very good job demonstrating his myopic vision of education with the comments "I hope that they did not understand" and "this program helped him get accepted at Princeton." Princeton doesn't accept students just because they graduated from some particular high school. Princeton accepts students because they are able to acheive (Valedictorian) while maintaining a critical eye.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-07-08 11:13:20.845557+00 by: donovanpax

See http://www.ebonmusings.org/ for eloquently written essays about this issue.