IN MY OPINION
Books Read in 2007
THE DUMBING OF AMERICA
20 November 2007
I lifted the following from a blog called "Yakkety Yak." Scary stuff:
The scariest thing for me is that this doesn't surprise me. I never watch "Are you Smarter than a Fifth Grader" but I did watch it the other night because it was celebrity week and the guest celebrity was former American Idol finalist Kelly Pickler. I've always thought she was just the cutest thing around, not the brightest bulb in the bunch, but still very cute and very talented. I was curious to see her on the show.
It made me groan. On the question "Budapest is the capital of which European country?" she said that she thought Europe was a country. When her 5th grade partner got the correct answer, she thought they were kidding. Who would name a country "hungry"?
When asked if the piccolo was a woodwind, string or percussion instrument, she reasoned that piccolo started with "p" and percussion started with "p" and Pickler started with "p" so the answer must be percussion. That is one of those answers that make me cock my head the way Lizzie does when she's trying to figure out what I'm talking to her about.
She lucked out on the question about which of three men was a president. I don't remember the two wrong answers, but the right answer was Pierce and, using the "p" is for Pickler rationale (which worked so well for piccolo) she managed to get the right answer.
The question that stumped her was "how many canine teeth are in the human mouth." She was torn between 2 and 4 and decided that she would rather give a sure $50,000 to charity than risk it by going for $100,000.
This isn't so much an indictment of Kelly Pickler, who is still cute as a button and a heck of a lot more talented than I am, but her answers are a symptom of how our schools are no longer teaching our kids.
The "dumbing of America" has been in evidence for a long time in the popular segment of The Tonight Show, "jay-walking," where Jay Leno goes out to the street, or to Universal Studios and asks questions of people passing by. The answers, especially when they are from college students, teachers, or successful professionals is appalling.
In the case of students, these are the people who are going to be making the decisions about the rest of my life when they run for office or are in charge of deciding whether or not they will allow me to have a necessary medical procedure.
But then we have no great minds to look up to, do we?
The Man in the White House is a perfect candidate for "Are you Smarter than a Fifth Grader." (But at least I think he knows that Europe isn't a single country.)
Maybe he's a better candidate for Jay-walking.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Remembering how funny last night's show was!
This is entry #2792