January 3, 2015
When I was but a wee child enrolled in a small, rural schoolhouse, we had a book mobile that would visit , if I recall rightly, once every week or maybe two. I remember when the book-mobile was scheduled, recess was immediately called, and the whole of the student population (all 23 or so of us along with the one schoolmarm) would be allowed to plunder the book rows seeking a literary adventure.
That was the spark!
The fire has never been extinguished.
My book titles have grown up a bit; I’ve moved from Uncle Arthur’s “Bedtime Stories” > J.R.R. Tolkien >Justin Torres’ “We The Animals,” and everywhere in between.. Signifcant is my passion for the authors of the Romantic & Modernistic Era’s.
So, you may ask, what the heck has this got to do with anything.
I would like to think that the youth of Generation “Z” will suffer the same passions as I.
Look at the commercials: cell-phones for 8 year olds …. really? On the bright side: there is an app for book downlods, audio books, and more information on the WEB then all the hardback “Encyclopedias” I could have ever purchased. All my books that I have retained, possessed, given-away, thrown- away, and thought of, but never obtained, can now be held in the palm of my hand. I must say – that is impressive..
I do have to admit: it just doesn’t sound the same … about “snuggling up with a good ipad.”
It’s a brave new world out there.
Happie New Year Everyone!
This summer at the university, I decided to audit a 1000 level college algebra class. Why you ask???? Well, I would like to take the GRE exam for graduate school sometime in the fall of this year and my university offers a GRE Workshop in Sept. That being said, the last college Algebra class I took was in 1973 [(That’s 1973!!!!) that’s only forty years – but, whose counting.] … and to tell the truth, I didn’t want to appear totally ignorant – a little maybe, just not a lot!!
BUT, THAT’S NOT REALLY WHAT THIS STORY IS ABOUT. The young people I sit in class with are anywhere from in-coming freshman to sophomores. All, but a few, are having a nightmare of a Term: B in this CORE class.
The instructor, a middle-aged woman from China with a doctorate in Math appears to be very astute and concerned that the large number of students are having such trouble getting through this basic calculus. (It’s important to remember here that this is a summer-class and all the material is compacted from a 3-month semester time period, into a one month “crash” course; so, the heat is on and the amount of information to be covered is considerable.) The professor takes the time everyday to totally go over the material which is then backed up by the appropriate homework. As a side note; in the Math bldg, there are tutors for math and science available from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. everyday. The text-book, covers in detail explanations in theory and the problems to be addressed. (Due to the time of a summer class – five weeks total many of the students don’t bother to purchase/rent the text due to the price).
My question: At what price is knowledge worth??? Students and parents alike think nothing of paying for apartments, cellphones, great clothes, a very useable vehicle and membership for cultural Orgs on campus; all these things are for an entertaining university experience. So, at what price is education worth? The price of a “keg-o-beer” will rent a student a calculus textbook for summer semester B. Also, basic college algebra is a “core” course – YOU HAVE TO HAVE IT TO GRADUATE.
Everyday I hear people complain that the instructor is doing a bad job at explaining the problems. Everyday, I hear the same students talk about their nightlife, etc.. I realize I’m considerably older than my student peers ….well, a lot older actually.
And then I wonder….. was I like this in 1973 – my freshman year at GSU???
Evidently so ….. I FLUNKED OUT MY SECOND QUARTER!!!!!!
I would like that to be food for thought. I’ve chewed that “cud’ for 40 years. The taste of crow leaves a lasting taste!!!
Well, once again I’ve had my sae. Thanks so much for visiting me and if you get a chance …check out my other website in the Blogroll section under comments.
Till next week. All be blessed and help someone to understand better the world in which they live.