Tuesday, August 24, 2010

School has started and I’m glad all that is over for me. I have seven grandkids ranging from the 4th grade to a junior in high school. I ask them about their subjects for the year and it is unbelievable. I couldn’t cut it.

Last year I reviewed some of their Biology assignments and they were studying molecular biology and material beyond what I had in medical school. I have always questioned some of the stuff they are taught in biology. It seems like they should cover a little more anatomy and physiology so they will have an understanding of the major organs and their function in the body and will know what’s going on when illness hits them later in life.

The math and science that kids now take in high school is beyond what Oppenheimer knew when he constructed the atomic bomb. I’m sure that most would be able to calculate the critical mass of U235 needed for an explosion. My concern is, do they know simple arithmetic and able to make change or balance a checkbook.

I’m always asking medical students and other college graduates basic history questions and am surprised about what they don’t know. Well over 50% of college graduates don’t know who Winston Churchill was. Many can’t tell you who we fought against in WWII. What are they teaching in American History?

Of course, they can look up all this this stuff on a computer in the blink of an eye. Even though I’m amazed at what they don’t know, I’m even more amazed at what they do know. Most are so far ahead of where I was at their age it’s frightening. They are also more advanced in music and athletics. The average high school football player would make all pro if they were playing back in the early days of football. They are faster and bigger.

I grew up in a world of strict discipline and the teacher’s word was law. There was no policeman at school and there was complete silence in the halls as we changed class. All we had was a teacher with a yardstick. I guess the lack of discipline and presence of cops makes kids better prepared to deal with the real world of today and the violence we experience every day in the streets.

It’s just comfortable to be safely on the porch and far removed from the jungle of the average school. I am occasionally ask to help a grandkid with homework. It’s usually problem number 121 in chapter 13. Of course, I have to review the first 12 chapters, then I’m ready to start on the problem. And to think, I was once pretty good at math. I do still know how to make change.


Blogger jeff ludwick said...

Other than English or American or Texas history I can't help my granddaughter with anything that is on my level. What is strange is that if you ask most students today who won the Civil War they will say something like "I'm not sure, but I think it was the Americans." That's why they think Winston Churchill is a horse race sponsored by a cigarette company.....

7:27 AM  

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