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The case for child labor

 
Vociferous Fuckweasel
 
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Vociferous Fuckweasel
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30 November 2019 06:53
 

“School days, I believe, are the unhappiest in the whole span of human existence. They are full of dull, unintelligible tasks, new and unpleasant ordinances, brutal violations of common sense and common decency. It doesn’t take a reasonably bright boy long to discover that most of what is rammed into him is nonsense, and that no one really cares very much whether he learns it or not.”

H.L. Mencken

I look back in bewilderment at my school days. In retrospect, elementary school was not a total waste of time. In the six years that they made me sit at my desk, I learned to read, spell poorly and memorize the multiplication tables. What I most objected to was being assigned homework, as if being cooked up in a classroom wasn’t punishment enough. So, I always did my homework immediately, while still in class, to free-up play-time later in the day. I did my homework at breakneck speed, with the sole purpose of being done with it. This stratagem I employed as well throughout high-school; six long years in which I learned absolutely fuckall. That’s not entirely true.I learned how to take tests and I learned what answers teachers wanted to hear, I did the absolute minimum to make it to the next grade, elected the easiest courses whose names I still remember: Dutch, English, German, History, Geography, Biology and Economics. With the possible exception of English, which I always had a neck for, I can’t recall a single bit of knowledge I was supposed to have learned in all the six years I studied these subjects. Six!

After two more years of not applying myself, I dropped out of college and started working odd jobs.

Fast forward a decade or two and I find myself in California, working as a sales rep for FedEx. I’m having lunch with a colleague, an extremely productive and capable employee, and I ask him why he doesn’t apply for the newly opened position on my team. He replied that this position is only available to people with a college degree,  I didn’t have the heart to tell him that on my application I successfully lied about having a college degree, like I have on all my job applications.
If you can drive a car and have half-way decent social skills, you can become a FedEx sales rep after the most rudimentary of training.
And I’d wager that 90% of contemporary office jobs can be done by almost anybody, So why this ridiculous demand that only people who spent another four to six years in a classroom are allowed to apply?

Maybe some people benefit from school, some may even like it, but what is the point of making people like me, who will always be poor students, sit through all of this?
I enjoyed all the odd jobs I had after I quit school, and I would have much preferred to have been done with school at age twelve and go to work,
I wouldn’t have been cooked up in a classroom, I wouldn’t have been at the mercy of sadistic teachers and I would have gained some independence by making my own money and perhaps would have attained a much needed sense of accomplishment and self-worth.

Why do we insist on educating people who can’t be, and don’t want to be, educated?

 

[ Edited: 30 November 2019 06:59 by Vociferous Fuckweasel]
 
 
nonverbal
 
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nonverbal
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30 November 2019 07:30
 

Most of my K-12 experience seems to have mirrored yours, V. I got along by devising little tricks, too, and I did only minimal homework. Fortunately, I remember one English teacher who thought my writing was interesting, and another who brilliantly introduced me to an author I’d never have read otherwise. Other than that, it was a lot of noise and an immense waste of time.

Did your thoughts tend to wander, leaving little gaps of understanding that made it just about impossible for you? That’s my excuse, anyway. Fortunately for today’s kids, my wandering attention, if spotted now, would be attended to.

 
 
EN
 
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30 November 2019 08:17
 

Amish kids only go to the 8th grade. Not everyone is intended to go to school.  One size doesn’t fit all.

 
Vociferous Fuckweasel
 
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30 November 2019 08:41
 
nonverbal - 30 November 2019 07:30 AM

Did your thoughts tend to wander, leaving little gaps of understanding that made it just about impossible for you? That’s my excuse, anyway. Fortunately for today’s kids, my wandering attention, if spotted now, would be attended to.

Hi D. Glad to hear I’m not the only one with these regrets,
I’ve always enjoyed my own company. Perhaps that puts me somewhere on the spectrum, but I don’t self-diagnose as it is far too fashionable nowadays.
My darling sister insists that the scholarly shortcomings of her brood are caused by dyslexia, but a far more parsimonious explanation is on offer; like his parents, junior is just plain stupid.
One of my favorite novels is “A House for Mr, Biswas” written by V.S. Naipaul when he was still funny.
If you haven’t read it, its a great story about a man’s desire for autonomy.
I don’t dislike learning, but I always considered school an imposition, an intrusion on my independence.

 

 
 
GAD
 
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30 November 2019 09:27
 
Vociferous Fuckweasel - 30 November 2019 06:53 AM

Why do we insist on educating people who can’t be, and don’t want to be, educated?

Because kids don’t know enough to know what they want and then they grow up and bitch that working at MacD’s isn’t getting them a golden toilet to shit on because the rich sucked up all their money. You don’t need an education, but the statistics clearly show that an education is the most important factors in just about every facet of life.

 
 
Skipshot
 
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Skipshot
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30 November 2019 09:39
 

I’m with you, FW.  School is mostly day care until kids reach the age of majority.  The ones who get it do so without berating and will do it anyway, the rest will learn more practical skills on whatever job they eventually get.  I was one of the weird ones who enjoyed reading and studying history, but the rest I could pass to someone else to enjoy.  College was a bore until I reached the upper division classes of my major.  Graduate school was everything I wanted to study and I got a lot out of that, but why make kids wait so long to learn what they desire?

And you are right about a college degree being a way to weed out the number of applicants, whether they are qualified or not.  Nothing in college will teach you how to be a sales rep that someone with an 8th Grade education can’t learn.  The best I can say for education is that it teaches focus, discipline, and how to put up with crap.

Education is focusing on critical thinking these days, rather than the rote memorization which I had to do.  Teachers are giving more reading and projects rather than telling kids what they need to know to pass a test.  Time will tell if that works, but if the election of Trump is any indication, then it’s not looking good.

[ Edited: 30 November 2019 09:43 by Skipshot]
 
EN
 
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30 November 2019 11:10
 
Vociferous Fuckweasel - 30 November 2019 08:41 AM

I don’t dislike learning, but I always considered school an imposition, an intrusion on my independence.

You obviously didn’t need formal education to learn English (not your native tongue, for those who don’t know) and to write well. Self-taught learning is motivated learning. We need to learn enough to teach ourselves, then we are on our own.

 
EN
 
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30 November 2019 11:27
 
GAD - 30 November 2019 09:27 AM

You don’t need an education, but the statistics clearly show that an education is the most important factors in just about every facet of life.

Yeah, you don’t need school if you have some special talent (like sports, artistic talent, or business), or if you don’t mind living simply, but since I had no special talent and didn’t like begging, I stumbled around until I ended up in law school. Somehow I’ve made it this far, but without education, I would not be this high on the food chain.  VF may be one of those “special” people, however.

 
GAD
 
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30 November 2019 12:00
 
EN - 30 November 2019 11:27 AM
GAD - 30 November 2019 09:27 AM

You don’t need an education, but the statistics clearly show that an education is the most important factors in just about every facet of life.

Yeah, you don’t need school if you have some special talent (like sports, artistic talent, or business), or if you don’t mind living simply, but since I had no special talent and didn’t like begging, I stumbled around until I ended up in law school. Somehow I’ve made it this far, but without education, I would not be this high on the food chain.  VF may be one of those “special” people, however.

He could be, but like I tell my kids, school can not be your back up plan if you don’t make millions on YouTube or playing video games. School first, then if YouTube and video games pans out, great, if not you can now join the 99.99% of us who aren’t lucky enough to get our money for nothing and have to work for a living.

 
 
Vociferous Fuckweasel
 
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30 November 2019 12:44
 
EN - 30 November 2019 11:10 AM

Self-taught learning is motivated learning. We need to learn enough to teach ourselves, then we are on our own.

True that. Mr. B.
Maybe things are different now, but I recall school primarily as an institution hellbent on making sure I’d abandon study as soon as legally possible.

 
 
Vociferous Fuckweasel
 
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30 November 2019 13:31
 
GAD - 30 November 2019 09:27 AM
Vociferous Fuckweasel - 30 November 2019 06:53 AM

Why do we insist on educating people who can’t be, and don’t want to be, educated?

Because kids don’t know enough to know what they want and then they grow up and bitch that working at MacD’s isn’t getting them a golden toilet to shit on because the rich sucked up all their money. You don’t need an education, but the statistics clearly show that an education is the most important factors in just about every facet of life.

I’m leery of statistics, especially if they undermine a dubious theory I’m farting into the blogosphere,

There’s a reason Eskimos don’t train for the marathon.
People tend to play the games they have a chance of winning,
Harvard doesn’t make you smart and successful. You have to be smart to get in there in the first place.
Perhaps that is the point of K12, to separate the wheat from the chaff.
That’s all fine with me, we can’t all be professor of Latin, but let’s drop the pretense that those of us who aren’t mentally gifted have the same shot at “making it”.
I don’t believe education is a panacea. How about us looking at individual children and try to figure out what would work for them instead of putting them through this meat grinder? Give them an option to join the workforce at age 12 for an apprenticeship. Surely electricians, masons and dildo-designers are as valuable to society as hedge fund managers, risk assessors and (sorry Mr. B) yet another wave of attorneys.

Also, college, to a large extent is an extortion racket. Everyone knows that as long as your daddy forks over thousands of dollars a semester for your lesbian dance theory degree, FedEx will be happy to hire you as a sales rep. I know plenty of people (I was married to one) who partied their way through college unable to locate Norway on a map and with no discernible skills or expertise to show for.

 

 

 
 
GAD
 
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30 November 2019 14:05
 
Vociferous Fuckweasel - 30 November 2019 01:31 PM
GAD - 30 November 2019 09:27 AM
Vociferous Fuckweasel - 30 November 2019 06:53 AM

Why do we insist on educating people who can’t be, and don’t want to be, educated?

Because kids don’t know enough to know what they want and then they grow up and bitch that working at MacD’s isn’t getting them a golden toilet to shit on because the rich sucked up all their money. You don’t need an education, but the statistics clearly show that an education is the most important factors in just about every facet of life.

I’m leery of statistics, especially if they undermine a dubious theory I’m farting into the blogosphere,

There’s a reason Eskimos don’t train for the marathon.
People tend to play the games they have a chance of winning,
Harvard doesn’t make you smart and successful. You have to be smart to get in there in the first place.
Perhaps that is the point of K12, to separate the wheat from the chaff.
That’s all fine with me, we can’t all be professor of Latin, but let’s drop the pretense that those of us who aren’t mentally gifted have the same shot at “making it”.
I don’t believe education is a panacea. How about us looking at individual children and try to figure out what would work for them instead of putting them through this meat grinder? Give them an option to join the workforce at age 12 for an apprenticeship. Surely electricians, masons and dildo-designers are as valuable to society as hedge fund managers, risk assessors and (sorry Mr. B) yet another wave of attorneys.

Also, college, to a large extent is an extortion racket. Everyone knows that as long as your daddy forks over thousands of dollars a semester for your lesbian dance theory degree, FedEx will be happy to hire you as a sales rep. I know plenty of people (I was married to one) who partied their way through college unable to locate Norway on a map and with no discernible skills or expertise to show for.

We had system where the better ones got pushed higher and the others just did what they were capable of. Then they all graduated, were shit workers, employers hated them but had to use them and so cut pay and benefits etc. Then after years of doing shitty jobs with low pay and having no benefits they blamed the kids who did great in school and demanded the government fix the problems and provide for them. So we got “no kid left behind”, “all kids are equal”, all kids need is self-esteem” etc etc and the blame the rich and tax the shit out of them because they made all the idiots, idiots somehow. 


If you show up at collage everyday and get a passing grade and graduate, that alone is an achievement in and of it’s self. The wheat from the chaff….

 

 
 
nonverbal
 
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30 November 2019 15:47
 
EN - 30 November 2019 11:27 AM
GAD - 30 November 2019 09:27 AM

You don’t need an education, but the statistics clearly show that an education is the most important factors in just about every facet of life.

Yeah, you don’t need school if you have some special talent (like sports, artistic talent, or business), or if you don’t mind living simply, but since I had no special talent and didn’t like begging, I stumbled around until I ended up in law school. Somehow I’ve made it this far, but without education, I would not be this high on the food chain.  VF may be one of those “special” people, however.

What worked for me was to spend a few years learning a trade after high school, then enroll in college. A little bit of perspective is gained that way. It was sort of thrilling to be lectured to and tutored by experts in their fields, I did well, and I enjoyed the whole experience. It was nothing like high school. These days, of course, it’s all way too expensive unless you’ve got a big scholarship or family wealth.

 
 
EN
 
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30 November 2019 17:01
 
nonverbal - 30 November 2019 03:47 PM
EN - 30 November 2019 11:27 AM
GAD - 30 November 2019 09:27 AM

You don’t need an education, but the statistics clearly show that an education is the most important factors in just about every facet of life.

Yeah, you don’t need school if you have some special talent (like sports, artistic talent, or business), or if you don’t mind living simply, but since I had no special talent and didn’t like begging, I stumbled around until I ended up in law school. Somehow I’ve made it this far, but without education, I would not be this high on the food chain.  VF may be one of those “special” people, however.

What worked for me was to spend a few years learning a trade after high school, then enroll in college. A little bit of perspective is gained that way. It was sort of thrilling to be lectured to and tutored by experts in their fields, I did well, and I enjoyed the whole experience. It was nothing like high school. These days, of course, it’s all way too expensive unless you’ve got a big scholarship or family wealth.

I spent more on my granddaughter’s first year in college than I did on my entire college/law school/seminary career.

Everyone has his/her own path. It’s a matter of finding it and embracing it.

 
GAD
 
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30 November 2019 18:33
 
EN - 30 November 2019 05:01 PM
nonverbal - 30 November 2019 03:47 PM
EN - 30 November 2019 11:27 AM
GAD - 30 November 2019 09:27 AM

You don’t need an education, but the statistics clearly show that an education is the most important factors in just about every facet of life.

Yeah, you don’t need school if you have some special talent (like sports, artistic talent, or business), or if you don’t mind living simply, but since I had no special talent and didn’t like begging, I stumbled around until I ended up in law school. Somehow I’ve made it this far, but without education, I would not be this high on the food chain.  VF may be one of those “special” people, however.

What worked for me was to spend a few years learning a trade after high school, then enroll in college. A little bit of perspective is gained that way. It was sort of thrilling to be lectured to and tutored by experts in their fields, I did well, and I enjoyed the whole experience. It was nothing like high school. These days, of course, it’s all way too expensive unless you’ve got a big scholarship or family wealth.

I spent more on my granddaughter’s first year in college than I did on my entire college/law school/seminary career.

Everyone has his/her own path. It’s a matter of finding it and embracing it.

The biggest problem I see is people not staying on the path, they do it half-assed and quit. Then bitch that their job sucks and the they have to pay for school they didn’t finish which is keeping them from getting the latest IPhone every year etc. Now there are so many losers who quit that they are now a damn demographic and are told it’s not their fault, collage is a rip off, it should be free and if you vote for me I will pay off all your bills and you can go back to collage and quit as many times as you want and the rich will pay for it.

 
 
Skipshot
 
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30 November 2019 21:58
 
GAD - 30 November 2019 06:33 PM

. . . collage is a rip off, it should be free and if you vote for me I will pay off all your bills and you can go back to collage and quit as many times as you want and the rich will pay for it.

College was pretty much free for me.  $350 per quarter for state school registration, which was one month’s rent in those days.  I got an M.A. at a private school for less than some people around here pay for one year of private elementary school.  Public college education can be free if the people want it to be, it is a matter of prioritizing the money.

 
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