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Thread: An insight into life in the US

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    An insight into life in the US

    At the beginning of May, I received calls from three aquaintances, they asked me if I could tutor their kids (10th & 11th graders) in algebra.

    I said sure.

    First off if the kids were having trouble with math, wouldn't you think you'd do something about it - before the month before finals?

    I made appointments for after dinner. Not once, in 12 lessons, did the parent drop their child off on time. Many times they would call me 10 minutes after, and tell me they were 'running a little late.' Several times it was almost an hour late.

    Two had geometry books, another trig - they did not have algebra books. Their parents clearly told me they needed help with algebra. Apparently none of the parents looked at the cover of the book.

    And the books themselves - no wonder kids hate school - I've never seen such contrived, make work in my life. These 10th graders spent an entire year on geometry - if that doesn't bore the shit out of you nothing will.

    Trig: how many ways can one manipulate x**2 + y**2 = z**2 with mind numbing proofs - I guess the ancient Greeks had a lot of time on their hands.

    If you wonder why the kids are screwed up - the parents can't keep an appointment, the parents don't know the title of the book, the kids are bored with mindless text books that they know are bullshit, and attend a school that's about like a minimum security prision.

    I did get good results: two got B's, and the C student got an A in the final!

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    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dBrong View Post
    At the beginning of May, I received calls from three aquaintances, they asked me if I could tutor their kids (10th & 11th graders) in algebra.

    I said sure.

    First off if the kids were having trouble with math, wouldn't you think you'd do something about it - before the month before finals?

    I made appointments for after dinner. Not once, in 12 lessons, did the parent drop their child off on time. Many times they would call me 10 minutes after, and tell me they were 'running a little late.' Several times it was almost an hour late.

    Two had geometry books, another trig - they did not have algebra books. Their parents clearly told me they needed help with algebra. Apparently none of the parents looked at the cover of the book.

    And the books themselves - no wonder kids hate school - I've never seen such contrived, make work in my life. These 10th graders spent an entire year on geometry - if that doesn't bore the shit out of you nothing will.

    Trig: how many ways can one manipulate x**2 + y**2 = z**2 with mind numbing proofs - I guess the ancient Greeks had a lot of time on their hands.

    If you wonder why the kids are screwed up - the parents can't keep an appointment, the parents don't know the title of the book, the kids are bored with mindless text books that they know are bullshit, and attend a school that's about like a minimum security prision.

    I did get good results: two got B's, and the C student got an A in the final!

    The not being punctual thing (repeatedly) is inexcusable - it's incredible disrespectful. They're lucky you didn't just call the whole thing off.

    On the rest:

    It's been more than 20 years since I was in high school but what you relate reminds me of those days.

    The whole system seemed designed to stifle any spark of intelligence or creativity via dumbed-down, repetitive, irrelevant make-work. It was pure torture. (I learned later on that the only formal requirement to become a teacher in most government elementary/junior/high schools is a degree in "education" - basically, politically correct wet-nursing. A mathematician or engineer could not qualify to teach basic algebra; a successful novelist could not teach English/composition; Einstein himself could not teach high-school physics. Etc. Its no wonder so many "teachers" are so obviously incompetent. And the kids know it.)

    I learned to read on my own, in part because my parents were very literate people and encouraged it and provided me with books at a very early age - and in part because I loved to read.

    It came naturally to me, so I wasn't crippled by the public school system in that respect.

    But math - well, I could have done better. But I didn't, in part, because the system made you hate it and that, in turn, caused a young person's mind to be turned off to the whole thing.

    If we had kids, there is no question about it. We would home school. I'm competent to teach "liberal arts" stuff and my wife excels in science/math - so she could handle that stuff.

    We'd never send our kid near a government skool.

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