Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for November, 2009

I is smart.

Sorry for 2x the non-existent posting. I’ve been filled with work, Thanksgiving break is coming up, rehearsals for my play have been stressful, CKI work is through the roof, exams are on their way, and my throat is sore.

Blah!

The following post is more of a bitter ranting than a thought-out and through post (I guess that’s okay because the subtitle of this blog is “Rants of a Little Asian Girl”). Recently, I’ve become very bitter about having to settle for either depressingly mediocre “intellectual conversation.” The few who I actually talk to consistently remind me that people who are capable of good political, psychological, philosophical and social discussions are far and few. I like to think optimistically about the students in my college, or the people I meet, but when I run into a situation where an op-ed in my school newspaper claims our health care plan is only 100 billion dollars (it’s been months since the estimated price was that low), I cry for how lazy the students and so-called intellects of today are.

That is not to say intelligent people don’t exist.

Currently Reading: As always, nothing.
Currently Eating: Cheez-its (mmm…)
Currently Drinking: Mountain Dew (double mmm…)

While I was in my American Politics class this week, the professor had us read over some essays (take home exams) that were due in class. The essay concentrated on the relationship between economic and social policy within the United States, something which I have taken a particular interest to. And, being that we either don’t have class, or have a boring lecture that is usually irrelevant to the topic at hand, I was initially excited about hearing something different.

Instead, I was treated (sarcastic) to an array of poorly written essays that did not answer the question. These essays failed to acknowledge the relationship between the two types of policies and were more textbook summaries of key phrases than anything else. This technique (if one could ever call it thus) was most clearly seen when students wrote about economic policy, a subject that few students understood, let alone analyzed.

It is times like these where I cry for the American education system, a system that promotes factual regurgitation and encouraged memorization over analysis. What’s the point in receiving an education if a child is incapable of applying it or fully “understanding” it? It’s like eating food and spitting it out rather than swallowing it. Yes, the food may taste great, but it fails in its purpose of providing nutrients to the body. Similarly, the education system can be easily standardized and replicated with this regurgitation learning technique, but few students actually develop an understanding of the subject. Instead, students just take in the information, throw it back up in the form of a paper or a multiple choice examination, and then forget about it.

I admit, even I have fell into the “I’ll just memorize this and not fully understand it and just throw it back out at the exam because I’m not required to actually analyze anything” system. My hard science classes were predominantly “chew and spit” exams where we had to memorize facts, formulas and calculations, and I dreaded whenever I had to attend a science class. This extended to college, where my worst grades are in my mandatory physical/natural science classes. And, yes, while I am at fault for my poor grades — for if I fully understood physics rather than memorized things for the purpose of passing an exam, I’m sure I would have done better — much of the interest for these subjects must be created by teachers and the curriculum. It is the teacher that introduces many of these subjects for the first time to students all over America.
How can a student become interested in a subject (any subject) if the teacher and the curriculum doesn’t encourage general understanding? And how can a child be interested and curious in a subject if they can not understand it, let alone analyze it?

Yes, the system may be easy, but the cost of choosing such an inefficient teaching system is a poor education system. It hardly encourages learning, and results in a botched generation of students (if you can even call them that) who go to college simply to get better jobs who are incapable of analysis, higher level thinking or intellectual conversation.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Delayed

Post delayed until tomorrow due to utter laziness (and lots of work).

Links to entertain yourself in my absence:

Sexual Positions (for the lonely and loveless)

The life of a web designer – sad but all too true (“And do you think you can use that really fancy stuff? I think our niece calls it flash”)

My nonexistent child’s first Halloween costume (whenever that will be)

I think I less than three you

YES.

We’d tweet

Read Full Post »

I know I don’t normally blog on… Sundays. But holy shit, I couldn’t pass this one up.

Heath Care Reform Bill Passes in House of Representatives

After a daylong clash with Republicans over what has been a Democratic goal for decades, lawmakers voted 220 to 215 to approve a plan that would cost $1.1 trillion over 10 years.

My soul, it cries for the destruction of all things good and right about social reform.

1.1 trillion dollars over 10 years. That’s nearly 1/13th of our US Economy (our TOTAL GDP). 1,100,000,000,000 dollars wasted on health care reform which will act more as a burden and a deficit to the US economy than any blessing. 1,100,000,000,000 dollars that will be spent on regulating private health care companies, fueling a wasteful public option and slowly depleting our choices as consumers to decide where our money should go.

During a time where economic stability is nearing the levels of the 1980 recession/stagflation, we really should be spending more of our resources and efforts into FIXING one problem instead of creating more problems with social reform.

And most of the money won’t even go to changing health care! It’ll be spent developing and creating a poorly designed public option (business). It’ll be spent funding and fining other corporations that don’t match the “standards” (it’s inconsequential that the public option will essentially NEVER be regulated, giving it an unfair advantage to any other private option). And how will this type of health care be fueled?

Taxing health care corporations (until they most likely go out of businesses, since they’re competing with a public option that the government wants to succeed). Taxing people who don’t want health care, taking away money from the economy to fuel the poor health care plan. Taxing all US citizens to fuel a health care reform system that is headed by the Health Choices Commissioner, who’s a government official with a natural inclination to the government-organized public option to health care.

Our last memorable social reform, if anyone cares to wonder, was Social Security in 1935 (fueled by a Democratic Congress and a Democratic President during an economically failing time). Now, 5 adults pay for every senior citizen on social security. By the time I get to collect social security, the system would have crashed in on itself, or the age I’ll have to be is something near 120.

I am not saying that health care reform is useless and terrible. I do support some social reform. Well planned, well organized, FISCALLY RESPONSIBLE and free-market-aware reform. Reform that doesn’t turn into disasters 60 years down the road. Reform that doesn’t need to be reformed again. Reform that can be easily understood by the US people, that isn’t riddled with ways for the government to take money (forcing people to pay a fine for not taking health care is ridiculous).

Social reform can be good. But frivolous spending of money we don’t have?

I hope the Senate has a better head on their shoulders than their moronic and idealistic House counterpart.

Read Full Post »

To vote or not to vote

Thank you everyone for all the positive commentary this past week about my blog on feminism! I really appreciate it (even if you think my blog stinks… which I really hope you don’t).

I recently discovered that my brother had a blog. It’s a tumblr (shame on him it’s not a wordpress) and it’s on the side bar (blogrolls). He’s kind of lame about updating and actually drawing on it, but you should go on and yell at him to encourage his “artistic creativity.”

Also, wordpress has been progressively editing itself, so I need to readjust to its ever changing layout (it’s the little things that count… like realizing the expand tab on the bottom-right corner is above the drafting saved date, not under it anymore). Well that’s not really consequential to you guys since you see the end result… but if you guys ever want to get a blog ;P WordPress.com is where it’s at.

Today’s topic is going to be on elections, so I just want to wish good luck to Yen Chou, who was my boss (and teacher, interestingly enough) back when I was in the city, since she’s running for City Council today. Can’t really be there since I’m up in Geneseo and I’m registered to Geneseo, but I wish her the best of luck. And all.

Currently Playing: Nothing
Currently Eating: Pizza!
Currently Reading: Some stuff about Kabuki costume patterns
Also, go watch this. Now.

Today is election day. Today is the day that everyone is supposed to go out and put a voice into politics, to do our part as citizens of the United States of America. Today is supposed to be the day we vote.

But why?

And I don’t mean just about this election, but every election before and every election henceforth. Why vote?

Because we should? Because we have a moral obligation to vote?

We are bombarded with celebrities, friends, professors and others to vote. I have even ridden the wave and tried getting people to go out and vote.

But encouraging people to vote, while they do not know about the topics, is simply blind voting. If every vote is as crucial as people say they are (and, yes, I believe every vote does count), then I’d much rather people not vote if they don’t know what they’re voting for. I mean, what’s the point in getting people to vote if they’re just going to blindly press buttons on whoever name looks prettiest. Or vote based on the political party of their parents. This “blind voting” only encourages ignorance and poor judgement. I don’t even want to think about the amount of people who may have voted for Obama just because he was black (and, trust me, there were plenty).

As voters, we not only have a obligation to vote, but we are equally responsible for going out there and doing the research to find out who is the best candidate for *insert office here*. If a person isn’t into politics, I don’t see why we should be stressing the need to vote to that person. Think about it. For every person that votes for real issues and concerns, there’s a jerk who negates that vote with a mindless one based on the idea that “every citizen should vote because we have a moral obligation to, so I’ll just pick whichever name I see first.”

Ignorant voting is the reason why we had morons like Andrew Jackson and Warren Harding in office (added historical note: Warren Harding was the first president voted in after women’s suffrage and it is because he was voted into office that women almost lost the right to vote). It leads to poor leadership and poor US representation.

These are people who are supposed to represent us. What a waste it must be to the US Republic-Democratic system, that votes are thrown away because people are too lazy or unwilling to do the research to find what these politicians really stand for.

And just because you don’t vote doesn’t mean you don’t have a say. It’s a pity that there is not a “no confidence” button in the voting booths, because that’s more than likely what I would have voted for in the last presidential elections. I made a personal decision to vote for the lesser of two evils, but I considered not voting because either choice seemed like a poor one. And there probably were plenty of people who made a conscious decision not to vote because no candidate was a good one.

I guess all that I’m really striving for is the insistence that voting has to come with a little research and work. Beyond a privilege, voting is a responsibility that is given to us as citizens of whatever country we may belong to (I guess, here, I’m specifically talking about the United States). If a person isn’t willing to put the effort into it, that person shouldn’t be encouraged and pushed to vote in the first place.

So yes. Go out there and vote. But don’t go out there and vote because Will Smith and Tom Cruise tell you to (or because your boss tells you to vote a certain way). Vote because you want to. Vote because you believe in something. Vote because you actually want a candidate to win. Vote with some brains.

Read Full Post »