Re: DSM: diplomas

tina (
Mon, 19 Jul 1999 17:12:04 -0400

At 12:06 PM 7/14/99 -0400, you wrote:
>>The kids at traditional schools may all follow "the same path" - although I
>>find that highly debatable - but the path covers an awful lot of territory.
>>The whole theory behind the traditional school curriculum is to expose kids
>>to a wide range of things - and then they're supposed to pick one path.
>I guess I don't really see academics as covering much of what the world has
>to offer, and that's why most schools spit out legions of people who can't
>manage their finances, fix a car, control their temper, or talk to people.
True enough, but I believe the question was how/if the public schools turn
out people following different *careers*. Although what you say about these
- I'd call them practical or life - skills is certainly (generally) true,
and is a lack, these skills aren't necessary for most careers. Only to
survive <g>.

And I say "generally" true because all those skills were covered at the
school I went to - an all-girl Catholic school, no less; which while not a
public school was most definitely traditional education.

>I have to agree with Scott - the people who make it out of most conventional
>schools with interests that are not largely a product of academic pressure
>have simply resisted the pressure. Otherwise, 80% of the people in this
>country would be either teachers, scientists, artists, or atheletes
I'm not following you here - and I'm really not trying to be obtuse - I
really don't follow. I can somewhat follow the teacher part - students
obviously have a great exposure to this particular career. Scientists maybe
- there's a current need for them and there's at least a lot of lip service
paid to producing them, although the US is still behind here. But my
experience is that art and athletics programs are being tossed by the
wayside in the wake of financial constraints, and that those careers are
generally considered unviable and/or unattainable and are rather discouraged
for all but the most gifted. I'd think that traditional schools would
produce fewer of these than an SVS-type school.

>>I am *not* saying that this method is the best, but it's hardly surprising
>>that it turns graduates with a wide range of interests.
>>The book I referred to I read back before my son enrolled eight years ago
>>and since then I've seen the process in action and am now somewhat less
>>surprised at the statistics. However, to my mind, it is much more
>>to convince oneself to follow a very structured way of life after a life of
>>freedom than it would be to do it the other way around.
>I would obviously disagree with that. People who have been made to
>structure their own lives early on are "free" even when they make the
>decision to exist in a tightly structured environment later in life.
>People that were externally structured and controlled early on are quite
>often never truly free the rest of their lives - they just insert themselves
>into situation after situation where the external structure contains and
>comforts them, all the time railing against their lot in life.
>I think the exceptions to the latter schema are a testament to human
>>I work with teens in a military sponsored program. We've had very few from
>>an SVS background, but without exception they've dropped out due to
>>difficulty in dealing with a structured, chain-of-command organization.
>I find it quite unbelievable that someone would drop out of a military
>program simply because it's "structured". It's more likely because it was
>overly hierarchical, or abusive, or corrupt, or had a "GI Joe" factor that
>was way overboard for the level of commitment that should reasonably be
>expected from unpaid teenagers.
Obviously I don't think the program is overly abusive, etc. or I wouldn't be
involved in it. And there are thousands of teens nation-wide who apparently
don't think so either. I try to exit-interview kids who leave and, in their
view at least, SVS types are chafing at the strictures involved in this type
of environment. As I mentioned, though, we get very few SVS applicants, so
it's not a really reliable sample.

I have to stand corrected in part, though, as rumor has it we have one cadet
from SVS. I know which squadron he's assigned to, and if I can contact him,
I'd love to hear his views on it. If so, I'll pass them on, or ask him to
post directly.

>I've been in the military too long for my bullsh** meter not to go off when
>I hear the phrase "structured, chain-of-command organization" ;)
Well, I said I was with a military-sponsored group, not the military itself.
And it's a volunteer organization to boot. So the bullsh** around here is
exceptionally deep. That's why they issue us combat boots but no pointy
objects <g>.

>Having said that, many of the people I know in the military hate their job,
>but knew what they were getting into when they joined. That leads me to
>think that lots of people that join the military don't expect very much from
>life. Maybe your dropouts discovered what they were getting into and
>realized they wanted more from life.
Quite possible. Or quite possibly realized they weren't at a stage of their
life where this choice was desirable or important. God knows that would
describe me. I would *never* have chosen to do this as a teen. But I find
it important and rewarding (though often very frustrating) at this point in
my life.


"Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Give a man a sword and he'll
starve to death fighting over a fish."

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.0b3 on Thu Dec 23 1999 - 09:01:56 EST