Re: DSM: diplomas

Joe Jackson (
Wed, 14 Jul 1999 12:06:24 -0400

>The kids at traditional schools may all follow "the same path" - although I
>find that highly debatable - but the path covers an awful lot of territory.
>The whole theory behind the traditional school curriculum is to expose kids
>to a wide range of things - and then they're supposed to pick one path.

I guess I don't really see academics as covering much of what the world has
to offer, and that's why most schools spit out legions of people who can't
manage their finances, fix a car, control their temper, or talk to people.

I have to agree with Scott - the people who make it out of most conventional
schools with interests that are not largely a product of academic pressure
have simply resisted the pressure. Otherwise, 80% of the people in this
country would be either teachers, scientists, artists, or atheletes

>I am *not* saying that this method is the best, but it's hardly surprising
>that it turns graduates with a wide range of interests.
>The book I referred to I read back before my son enrolled eight years ago
>and since then I've seen the process in action and am now somewhat less
>surprised at the statistics. However, to my mind, it is much more
>to convince oneself to follow a very structured way of life after a life of
>freedom than it would be to do it the other way around.

I would obviously disagree with that. People who have been made to
structure their own lives early on are "free" even when they make the
decision to exist in a tightly structured environment later in life.

People that were externally structured and controlled early on are quite
often never truly free the rest of their lives - they just insert themselves
into situation after situation where the external structure contains and
comforts them, all the time railing against their lot in life.

I think the exceptions to the latter schema are a testament to human

>I work with teens in a military sponsored program. We've had very few from
>an SVS background, but without exception they've dropped out due to
>difficulty in dealing with a structured, chain-of-command organization.

I find it quite unbelievable that someone would drop out of a military
program simply because it's "structured". It's more likely because it was
overly hierarchical, or abusive, or corrupt, or had a "GI Joe" factor that
was way overboard for the level of commitment that should reasonably be
expected from unpaid teenagers.

I've been in the military too long for my bullsh** meter not to go off when
I hear the phrase "structured, chain-of-command organization" ;)

Having said that, many of the people I know in the military hate their job,
but knew what they were getting into when they joined. That leads me to
think that lots of people that join the military don't expect very much from
life. Maybe your dropouts discovered what they were getting into and
realized they wanted more from life.

- Joe Jackson,
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