Might be a good idea to have a Weasology Handbook. To his credit Today Chris Hayes on his show “UP” signaled a problem with the words “high quality” as in “high quality charter schools” after one of his guests, Darrell Bradford of something called “Better Education For Kids” praised some charters in Chicago. Yeh, of course high quality charter schools are just great, he laughed. He was right to warn us about this phrase. But he let the phrase “high quality pre-school education” be defined by his guests without analysis. As defined by most of his guests this morning, high quality pre-school education was about learning…get this…”persistence, “discipline” and my favorite, “finishing things.” The professor (and to my chagrin a woman) also emphasized how spongy little brains are at 4 years old. Ugh.
My psychological type in Myers/Briggs Jungian land is an ENTP (extraverted intuitive thinking perceiver). Didn’t discover this until I was around 42. Much to my relief, my type just doesn’t finish things. Once we mostly master something, we move on. We are notorious for not completing things like degrees and we rarely put the degrees we do achieve up on the wall. We move from project to project. My former husband was quite kind but used to lament the many different piles of dirt and stones around our cabin of projects I had started and then grown bored with. I didn’t finish my dissertation for my Ph.D in film. Too complicated. My friend and I wrote a whole book about what it was like for two Hollywood New York movie agents to fly the coop; her moving to Italy and me moving to Montana. We got through many drafts and then both of us started other projects. What a relief to discover that it is just my nature to not always finish things. I do finish making dinner. I finish most books although I am simultaneously reading 5 books right now (four non-fiction and one fiction). I’m pretty loyal and probably should have finished one marriage sooner than I did. If I do finish, I often make a strong finish. But nobody really knows if I will finish or take a turn and jump over the fence and run away.
So I would have dreaded being taught to finish, to be persistent, to be disciplined at 4 years old. Come on, let me be a kid wuddya? As it was I hated grammar school with all that obedience business and pledging allegiance to this and that and sitting in hard seats in straight rows. This is preparation for what Scott Adams calls “the cubicle farm”. Talk about drones. This is drone making not human being making. My solutions always involve having kids’ parents have meaningful work with 35 hour work weeks so they can spend time with their 4 year olds. But, hey, I’m an escapee and not to be trusted.
Note: If I could post a Gary Larson cartoon here, I would post the one that pictures two beach lounge chairs one with a chicken sunning on one and on the other one lies a woman in a swimsuit. The chicken says to the woman, “Fools! They made me into a free-range chicken…and man, I never looked back.”