Monday, September 20, 2010

Thoughts on School

I've recently been involved in yet another discussion over whether our nation's school system is broken. I don't know, there certainly are problems, but there's also a lot of good. Of course, this is no longer idle chitchat now that my daughter is of school age.

Caitlyn has just entered kindergarten, and so far she is delighted with it. It's only been a little over a week, but I feel I have noticed some positive changes as well; the additional structure and social interaction is doing her good. As far as I can tell, she's landed in a great school.

As a kid, I completed kindergarten through third grade, abandoning the school system in the fourth grade, toying with it again briefly in the seventh grade, but never attending college. I've now worked over 20 years in a highly technical field, one that generally requires a high level of education. I have, in fact, achieved a good level of fame and respect for my achievements, and not once has my lack of formal schooling gotten in the way.

If I were to sum up the single most important thing in a person's education, I would say it is the development of a voracious appetite for knowledge and mind-play. With that, anything is possible; without it, everything is drudgery, and drudgery rarely achieves anything.

I see the school system as just another tool. Caitlyn will continue to go for as long as it serves her well. If/when it becomes more burden than benefit, she'll leave it behind. All the while, with school or without, the three of us (Christina, Caitlyn, and I) are the ones actually responsible for her education. The teachers are there to help us, but ultimately the one in charge is Caitlyn, and it's our job, as her parents, to make sure she takes this role seriously.

That said, if there's something we can do to help the school system as a whole improve, I'm all for it. But I don't feel like we're trapped in it, because I know we're not.

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thanx ian! i just walked galaxy to school and I am seriously wondering if it is the right place for her...this school I mean. concord.
Well, Sage, I figure you have to give it a try. Looks pretty good from what I can see online. Just keep your eyes open and stay involved, and you'll know what's right.
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