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#1 omnivorette

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Posted 23 June 2005 - 06:01 PM

"Last Tuesday morning, tens of thousands of public school students across
New York took the Regents Examination in Global History and Geography. One
of the two essays in the 3-hour exam required students to discuss the
'economic, social, and/or political reasons for wars' as well as the
'expected outcomes and the unexpected outcomes of wars.'

Many of the essays were soul-searching and penetrating. In the panic of
the exam, however, students also wrote these responses:

--------------------------------------------

As the phrase goes, there are two sides to every coin, and in this case,
the coin is war. Political ideas are stupid; one little thing and everyone
goes crazy. Often people may disagree on something that is stupid and can
be settled by a simple ballet. If you do not show love for one's country
and history, some people might have difficulties dealing with that, and
you might just get your head chopped off, or something crazy.

The Cursades were also known as Holly Wars. The holy wars are going right
now between Christians and Jews. They are fighting over Jerusalem because
Christ was born there. Some people fight for the sheer joy of beating on
someone. WWI was supposed to be the war to end all wars. But as people
soon came to know, that was not how it went down. After WWI, Germany was
forced to pay repetitions. Unexpectedly, Hitler rose to be leader off
Germany by creating a certain look: the Aryan look (Blue eyes, blond
hair). Hitler made Europe very Nazimist. Iraq was a social, political and
economic treat to the world.

The expected outcomes for war should always be good for both countries.
But because there are so many different tribes in Africa when Gandhi ruled
the Muslims and the Indians who lived in India, the country was split into
two countries: modern day India and Iraq.

War is stupid."

EDIT: just to clarify - this is not meant to be a post about war or politics, it's a post about the sorry state of affairs in the level of education in our high schools.
"It seems a positively Quixotic quest to defend food from being used as any kind of social signifier, as if it could avoid the fate of each other component of our everyday lives." -Wilfrid

#2 g.johnson

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Posted 23 June 2005 - 06:11 PM

I like the idea of settling disputes by a simple ballet.
The Obnoxious Glyn Johnson

#3 The Scream

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Posted 23 June 2005 - 06:13 PM

Hitler rose to be leader off
Germany by creating a certain look: the Aryan look (Blue eyes, blond
hair)


You've got the Jordache look, baby. Or is that Abercrombie and Fitch.
Gone fishing for the summer.

#4 Orik

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Posted 23 June 2005 - 06:20 PM

EDIT: just to clarify - this is not meant to be a post about war or politics, it's a post about the sorry state of affairs in the level of education in our high schools.


Not a very good indication. How many of those thousands of essays were of this quality?
sandwiches that are large and filling and do not contain tuna or prawns

#5 yvonne johnson

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Posted 23 June 2005 - 06:22 PM

There's something very odd about the presentation, that isn't all bad. E.g., the use of commas, colon, semi-colon is good overall. The spelling for the most part is good--Gandhi and Aryan are easy to get wrong.
It was not a new dish, as I recognised my tooth marks. Wilfrid

#6 Rail Paul

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Posted 23 June 2005 - 06:36 PM

My small firm (about 100 employees) has instituted a business skills course for new college hires. The emphasis is on clear, declarative writing. We hire very few high school grads, but they go into the same course

When I was in high school, a million years ago, we wrote paragraphs and essays several times daily. In English, German, Spanish, Latin, etc. Based on what I see now, that is no longer a requirement in most places.
Dreams come in all sizes, shapes, and colors.

#7 omnivorette

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Posted 23 June 2005 - 06:38 PM

This was a public high school?
"It seems a positively Quixotic quest to defend food from being used as any kind of social signifier, as if it could avoid the fate of each other component of our everyday lives." -Wilfrid

#8 Orik

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Posted 23 June 2005 - 06:38 PM

Paul, remember that you can still be a successful plumber without all this writing of essays nonsense.
sandwiches that are large and filling and do not contain tuna or prawns

#9 Jaymes

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Posted 23 June 2005 - 06:42 PM

When I was in high school, a million years ago, we wrote paragraphs and essays several times daily. In English, German, Spanish, Latin, etc. Based on what I see now, that is no longer a requirement in most places.

Nor do students have to diagram sentences any more. And they don't study the conjugation of verbs, either.

So if they can't figure out whether to use think, thank or thunk, they have no little ditty to fall back on.

The Voice of America


#10 Wilfrid1

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Posted 23 June 2005 - 06:43 PM

Am I missing something, or do we know the age of the author? I am amazed that a kid would know about German paying reparations, however it was spelled/spelt.
Elect-a-lujah

***Every Monday***At the Sign of the Pink Pig.

If the author could go around the place hitting random readers with a rubber hammer, the Pink Pig would still be worth a visit.

#11 yvonne johnson

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Posted 23 June 2005 - 06:46 PM

17 or thereabouts?

Here's the test. Quite intricate.

The essay is, of course, last and students don't do well at the end of exams.
It was not a new dish, as I recognised my tooth marks. Wilfrid

#12 Wilfrid1

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Posted 23 June 2005 - 06:48 PM

By the way, last night I read a chapter in a study of R.S. Thomas's poetry in which the author attempted a brief summary of philosophical treatments of God, from Descartes, through Hume to Kant. It was about the level of that essay, although beautifully spelled/spelt. And published by Harper Collins. Appalling. Example from memory: In his book, Discours de la Methode, Descartes coined the famous cogito - "Je pense, donc je suis." * :)

*Not a post about theology (etc)...

I am not shocked. I taught twenty to twenty four year olds (roughly) at one of Britiain's top four universities.
Elect-a-lujah

***Every Monday***At the Sign of the Pink Pig.

If the author could go around the place hitting random readers with a rubber hammer, the Pink Pig would still be worth a visit.

#13 omnivorette

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Posted 23 June 2005 - 06:48 PM

Four different answers from four different kids. All seniors in high school (at the end of senior year).

These students have taken history as a high school subject. If they were paying attention, and there was a section on WWII and its aftermath, no reason why they shouldn't know about reparations.
"It seems a positively Quixotic quest to defend food from being used as any kind of social signifier, as if it could avoid the fate of each other component of our everyday lives." -Wilfrid

#14 fantasty

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Posted 23 June 2005 - 06:50 PM

This was a public high school?

We had to write lots of essays and paragraphs, too, but always for homework. It seems like a waste to use class time for that.

Not that my public high school was normal.
"My hogs were so lean you had to put lard in the pan just to cook your bacon" - Papa Wilson, 1918 - 2007

#15 Wilfrid1

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Posted 23 June 2005 - 06:52 PM

I remember undergraduate essays which used to begin "Plato was a famous Greek philosopher who lived a very long time ago..."

Imagine with what derisive irony I would place a tick in the margin.
Elect-a-lujah

***Every Monday***At the Sign of the Pink Pig.

If the author could go around the place hitting random readers with a rubber hammer, the Pink Pig would still be worth a visit.