The class I am taking at Community College is a required course for the nursing program I am interested in starting next fall. It is a second level course, so everyone in it has taken at least one other course in this field.
That said, why doesn’t anyone know anything about what we are studying?
(A woman who has two kids had no idea what folic acid is. My professor, who is a Developmental Psychologist (and thus should be up to date with research in development) went on a nice long tangent about how great “Baby Einstein” is. I could go on and on with the things that have made me shudder in that class.)
First night of class. We are forced to do an “ice breaker” of sorts. Giant post-it notes are placed in front of us. Everyone has a few Crayola markers. We are told to draw our lives. On the giant post-it notes. From birth until now. Draw. Our lives. On giant post-it notes. And then share it with the 25 strangers in the class.
Now, I’m not a terribly private person. I will share just about anything with anyone. But I don’t like being told to share my life story with a bunch of strangers who can’t possibly have any interest in my life story because I have absolutely no interest in theirs.
The first person to share their life story: Born. In preschool was molested. In first grade, the “murders started.” Elementary school was awful. Parents split up. Mom died. More murders. Then middle school…
Many of the stories were not much better.
I felt like a horrible human being when I got up to share my story: Born. School. Good school. Lots of learning. Smart teachers. Went to college. Really good college. Had a baby. Still with my High School sweetheart. Love my baby. Yay. (Sure, I’ve had some hard times, but these people really gave me another perspective.)
During that class, a student mentioned they were seven different nationalities all rolled into one. She listed them all, “…Italian, Irish and Yugoslavian.”
The girl who had all of the murders in her life said, “Yugo-what!?”
I’ll give the teacher credit for not making any face or reacting in any negative way. She simply responded, “A Yugoslavian is a person who has ancestors who were from Yugoslavia.” (I can’t give her any more credit because I’m pretty sure she is faking her two Master’s degrees. She has no idea what she is talking about.)
To which the student replied, “Yugo-where!?”
Now, I don’t expect everyone to know the history of Yugoslavia or even the fact that it is no longer a country. It baffles me, though, to think that a college student has never heard of Yugoslavia. (Or that she didn’t have the thought to at least pretend she knew.)
This student has attended Pittsburgh Public Schools her whole life. From preschool until graduation. She has a high school diploma and is now studying Psychology in college. She had never heard of Yugoslavia, didn’t know there was a presidential election in November, had no idea who Freud was, couldn’t believe that she wasn’t going to grow any taller (she’s 22), and had to be told why she can’t be a Psychiatrist with a degree from Community College.
And who says we don’t need to drastically change our schools?
I hope I can give Alex the educational opportunities he deserves. If that means never sending him to a Public School, so be it.