I think we should raise the bar a little bit. There's a lot of buzz about America's students being in the back of the international pack when it comes to education, and I pride myself in being in the front lines of the epic battle for above average standardized test scores. Let's face it, our students are proving that it isn't important to have an IQ higher than your average lawn chair. This dilemma occured to me recently when my friend(who's sixteen and has the same education as I do) asked me, serious as cancer, "Isn't 4th of July the celebration of America's freedom from the Mexicans?" After peeing my pants and choking on my own tears of laughter, it took me every ounce of my discipline not to tell her that she was, in fact, an idiot. And that 4th of July is the celebration of America's freedom from the Germans not the Mexicans. I am personally disgusted at our youth's knowledge about their own country's history.
Later, as I was browsing Sears for a replacement pair of pants, I realized that that wasn't the only example of America's educational prowess, or lack thereof. Here's a couple of other examples that might make you question your comfort of the fact that we are your future. I am not making any of these up:
I was in my friend's basement when my other friend(let's call him Timmy) decided it was time for a workout. Timmy decided that nothing was better than a good hard run to work up a sweat, so he decided a treadmill would be a good place to start. Timmy didn't want a slow pace so he turned the treadmill to the highest speed. After the treadmill was goin full speed he decided it would be a good time to get on. Well let's just say Timmy hit the ground running minus the running part. He figured it wouldn't be necessary to move his legs when jumping on a treadmill set at speed 10. Timmy discovered the flaw in this plan midair and hoped that shouting Whoop would alter his fate, and much to my delight he was wrong. The treadmill kept going for 3 or 4 seconds while the rest of us watched in shock at his stupidity. Finally, someone had the sense to push the stop button. I discovered that our health was suffering about as much as our test scores.
Now you may think that Timmy was just an average kid, and that our honors students can easily compete with whatever Japan can throw at us. Well I'm a male and I have a twin sister that's a female. And a girl at my school (this has happened several times, this girl in particular just happens to be one of the top 10 smartest out of 1000 kids in the class) comes up and asks me if we are identical. And when I politely explained to her that it would be anatomically impossible for reasons I didn't want to explain, she actually tried to justify her question. She told me that we could look exactly the same.
So let's face it, we need to raise the educational bar a little bit. When our school's cream of the crop doesn't know that a boy and girl can't physically be identical, isn't sure if you get on a treadmill before or after you set it to the highest speed, and thinks that the Alamo is an important battle in the Revolutionary War, you know you have a problem. You may ask Axle, what's your solution to all of this? Of course I don't have a solution. I'm sixteen. I'm not ready to solve our country's problems yet. But if you ask, I'm definitely willing to point out my peers' shortcomings.