In Other’s Words: A Referendum on American Education

It’s been a long while since I featured anything from the prolific and insightful Joshua Gibbs, so we’re overdue for some of his wit.

He recently posted “If Children Answered Questions Like Adults Being Interviewed on NPR“. Because NPR is the self-styled radio station for the cultured, more educated intelligensia, I have re-interpreted his post as a referendum on American education. A few of the examples he gives:

Mrs. Grady: Class, what is 9 divided by 3? Lucas?

Lucas (7): Absolutely. Yeah. So, 3?

Dad: Did you call your sister a ‘puke sandwhich’ and hit her in the face with the Happy Pumper?

Elijah (5): Sure. So, no.

Mr. Ogleby: Alright, my little biologists. First review question from yesterday’s lesson: Is the nucleus “the powerhouse of the cell”?

Harper (9): So, I love that you asked this question. I feel like I want to say, ‘No.’

He has a couple more examples over at his original post, but you get the point. We are a culture saying more than we have ever said, while simulataneously saying nothing. Perhaps it’s more accurate to say that we say very little with clarity of meaning or courage of conviction. Either way, what you end up with is a lot of noise.

At the same time, we are supposedly the most educated people to have ever walked the face of the earth.

In case you haven’t noticed, something has gone terribly wrong.

8 thoughts on “In Other’s Words: A Referendum on American Education

  1. Bike Bubba says:

    My nine year old son is offended at Will’s statement. :^)

    Seriously, I’m reminded of the old engineering school adage; if you can’t blind them with brilliance, you can baffle them with .” If only NPR had “journalists” who would “insist the interviewee actually answer the question.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Elspeth says:

    The interesting thing about this is that it isn’t just NPR. It’s become standard that people communicate this way. NPR (with their leftist radicalism delivered in soothing tones) is the supposed cream of the crop. But if you’re really listening, they are just as stupid as any starlet on Twitter.


  3. no display name says:

    I don’t think it’s fair to say they’re stupid. This is part of a larger stylistic shift, and you literally have to take classes in it to really get the hang of how to speak and write and even think this way. Buying or checking out some of the textbooks used in business and technical writing curriculums is really like gaining those special glasses from They Live. It’s not quite like picking up a foreign language, more like learning a dialect. But it’s more valuable to have the understanding than ever.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Elspeth says:

    You’re right. I didn’t mean to say that they ARE stupid as much as I think they SOUND stupid. To my ears, a lot of what is being said sounds cloudy and incongruent. But that may be the entire point.


  5. Elspeth says:

    I’m not going to make an official post, but my About page is updated to reflect my old lady status (new pic since turning -ugh!- 50) and my latest endeavors, such as the fact that I’ll be teaching this year (for pay!) so I get a chance to put my money where my mouth is. It’s one thing to criticize teachers. It’s another thing to actually be one.

    I try to update the page yearly, but I like the picture from 2020, so I’ll keep it and just put link to the 2021 pic here. Only someone who is truly interested will even see it, LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

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