I’ve recently re-discovered the joys of getting a nice little delivery van load of news in the morning through the Skimm and their email system. I wake up. Get a shower. Open my email on my phone, and read about stuff. It’s the American Dream. And if there was a water-cooler-discussion-worthy story on the American Dream, you’d be able to read about it in The Skimm’s email. I highly recommend you subscribing.
They recently included a story from CNN that made my jaw drop (but didn’t really surprise me) that close to 10% of college graduates think that Judge Judy is part of the Supreme Court.
The Lady that Is Judge Judy
I honestly can’t believe she still is on the air. I guess people who are sick, bored, or unemployed have to watch something at home (That wasn’t fair. But I’m not deleting it).
Other than her brusk attitude, my favorite thing about her is her book, Beauty Fades, Dumb is Forever. Ironically, CNN’s article proves her right…yet again.
Backwards to the Future
Here’s an alarming quote from the CNN article:
January 2016, concluded from the 1,000 surveyed that college graduates “are alarmingly ignorant of America’s history and heritage.”
As a citizen of the world, I cringe. How in the world can kids—no, college graduates—be so ignorant? Don’t they study this stuff in school? How did they graduate college and have no idea that a TV personality is not on the SCOTUS?
As a teacher, I laughingly roll my eyes. I believe I know the answer to this. Most people graduating college are focusing on their future.
An accounting major will most likely never be asked who sits on the Supreme Court. They’ll also most likely never be asked if they watch Judge Judy. Hopefully, they’re too busy studying for some sort of money test or gathering hours to sit of the CPA exam.
A computer programming graduate will most likely never be asked who his or her district congressman is. Better yet, he or she will never even be asked what district he or she lives in.
We want to demonize these ig’nant children for not knowing common sense facts. But they do know common sense facts. They just might not be the ones the Establishment deems worthy. They know what Washington D.C. is. They know who George Washington is. They know what The Constitution is, even though they probably have never read it.
Does the establishment know who The Alabama Shakes is? What about who the Green Lantern is? What about Stan Lee? Do the tisk-tiskers know anything about OBJ?
I’ll step away from pop culture and talk about America’s “history and heritage.” Do the nay-sayers know who Jenn Welter is? What about Kathryn Smith? These women are names that are pushing the boundaries of a part of life typically designated solely for men. I wonder if Sonia Sotomayor knows who these women are. They have a lot in common.
Revenge of the Nerds
I always tell my students at the start of every year that they are all nerds. Everyone is a nerd in something. One kid may know a ton about Star Wars while another knows the entire ERA of the Dodger’s pitching staff. I’ve got one kid who could write a book about make up while another kid is well versed in the way of Hindu gods. You’re somewhere in between there. You’re a nerd about something. Don’t hate on other people.
We need to be thankful for people who are near-experts in Subject-A or Subject-B. That means we don’t have to retain this information.
I do not care if my surgeon knows that Judge Judy is not on the Supreme Court or that Dr. Phil is not actually a doctor. I want my surgeon to read surgeon journals all day long. I’d rather him or her neglect his family because he or she is more interested in arteries.
Be careful throwing shade at people you deem unworthy. It might not be their fault. High Schools don’t require a person to be an expert on legislative law. Colleges don’t require a graduate to memorize the states. Heck, elementary schools no longer teach cursive writing.
Chapmanesque: The Clone Wars
Instead of judging everyone that’s not you, how about you be proactive and teach your own children the information you believe they need to know.
Don’t rely on school to educate your kids.
Don’t rely on church to teach your children morality.
And don’t assume I’m going to bear the responsibility of raising your child, because if you do, they’re going to know quite a bit about useless grammar, Ole Miss, Dr. House, Lord of the Rings, my dogs, guitars, random books, and how evil Victorian Literature is.
Building little Chapmans. You’re welcome.