..then stupidity is a badge of honor - at least through much of the South. About a half hour earlier I was listening to a 'quiz' on one of the local rock stations and it was a Idiots R Us. The topic was phobias, and at least 90% of the contestants totally tanked on guessing the type of phobia (other than the most obvious and/or massive prompting by the radio hosts). Knowledge of a little Latin - or even some foreign language background wasn't evident in the "answers" given by these twits. I knew at least 90% of the answers - and yet I've never taken a formal class on Latin (but reading Roman coins and knowledge of a couple languages did help).
What in hell do they teach in school these days anyway? Back in the late 80's, I tried to teach my science students not only the basics, but the 'deadly' secrets of problem solving. I also worked on their grammar and writing skills - as apparently they didn't learn squat from all the English classes they took over the years. Most of the time it was like trying to teach a stone to float, but at least my gifted & talented/honors students did appreciate my efforts.
As one student put it..
"We learned more about problem solving and physics in your 9th grade general science class (three years ago) than in honors physics this year."
Years later while teaching astronomy and physics at the University of West Georgia, I absolutely appaulded at the rudimentary writing and math skills of most of my students. Most of the research papers submitted were poorly constructed and loaded with numerous grammatical and spelling errors (hint: there is a magical tool called SPELL CHECK!). Plagiarism? Gods, it was rampant and I spent a fair amount of time back checking papers for unquoted sources just to nail their cheating asses. Yes silly twits, I do know my subject matter VERY WELL and it's highly unlikely you will sneak anything by 'teh doctor'.
But the 'best' was poor math "background" of my physics students. Some didn't even have algebra or geometry - and yet they were taking a course that *required* trigonometry (some calculus - all the better) as a prerequisite. All this made me wonder if their advisors even bothered to check over the course selection registration.
Apathy (at many levels) goes hand-in-hand with the rise of the Moronic Majority these days..
What do you do for self enrichment? What kind of interests/hobbies do you have that keep the mind sharp?
What do you think of the level of education today vs. when you were in school? What are the strengths and flaws of our educational system (including the university level)?