Monday, November 20, 2006

11 Rules of LIfe

UPDATE: Okay Sarah has corrected me in that Bill Gates did not write these rules. In fact, according to Snopes: This list is the work of Charles J. Sykes, author of the book Dumbing Down Our Kids: Why American Children Feel Good About Themselves But Can't Read, Write, Or Add. (The list has appeared in newspapers, although not necessarily in this book.) IN Fact: One version that appeared on the Internet in June 2002 asserts this is the text of a commencement speech given by Bill Gates to the graduating class of Mt. Whitney High School in Visalia, California. It isn't — he didn't give such a speech, and folks at that school are mystified as to why they've been dragged into this apocryphal story. So there you go: I stand corrected and have removed all reference to Mr. Bill Gates. I do however, want to list the rules as they are something relevant to think about & as a part of what occured in a conversation with a teacher last week.

11 Rules of Life.


~Rule 1: Life is not fair...get used to it!

~Rule 2: The world won't care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

~Rule 3: You will NOT make $60,000 a year right of high school. You won't be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.

~Rule 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.

~Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping-they called it opportunity.

~Rule 6: If you mess up, it's not your parents' fault, so don't whine about your mistakes, learn from them.

~Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got to that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent's generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

~Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, BUT LIFE HAS NOT. In some schools they have abolished failing grades and they'll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. This does not bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

~Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don't get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. Do that on your own time.

~Rule 10: Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

~Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one.


Makes you think, dosen't it? I found #8 very interesting as I found out this was a huge debate amongst the teachers in my kid's school. To say I was disturbed, that the abolishing of a failing grade was being considered, was an understatement. An example was given in whereas the arguement is being made that if a child does not hand in an assignment how can they be given a failing grade as the teacher did not have anything to mark. Say whaaaat? How will this teach the child any sort of responsibility or accountability in getting his work done? The same with allowing a test to be written over and over and over. Should the failing grade not be telling the teachers that this child is not ready to move on and may need extra help or intervention? What is the point of giving the same test just to get them passed so that the child doesn't feel bad? I must come from the old school where a child had to prove they knew the work before they could be passed on to harder work. Is this not setting them up for a major failure in life later on? I don't get it. Either I need to get with the program or they need to give their heads a shake. Is this what they are teaching our future teachers in university? Somehow this scares me for the future of children that are struggling within the schools. Is passing them just to pass them the answer? Does it really give them self esteem in the long run? Seems to me it presents more self esteem issues than it cures. What do you guys think?

15 comments:

sarah said...

Well, it's not written by Bill Gates, but the list still rings true.
I wish I understood #7 when I was a teenager. I thought my parents were soooo boooooooring. Now, I'm starting to think that the tables will soon be turning...

Shalee said...

No matter who wrote it, it's absolutely true!

org junkie said...

I agree Susanne. I want my children to learn about failure and disappointment early so that they learn how to react in a responsible and accountable manner and to know that no matter what God is always there for them even when "life" is not fair. If there is one thing I can't stand is kids that feel they are "entitled" to everything and anything....uggg.

Beck said...

It's a great list, no matter who wrote it.

Barb said...

I wonder how many of this new generation of policy makers got passed through the system without actually making the grade. That's what's scary to me.

I totally agree with you. The only thing giving a child a grade he didn't earn teaches him is that life is easy. Wrong.

Jennifer said...

Susanne, you've got to read -The underground history of American Education by John Taylor Gatto, and -The conspiracy of ignorance by M. Gross. Some very thought provoking stuff on teacher's colleges and the goals of american education. some of it will make your hair stand on end.

sorry you have to deal with your school debating this...have they thrown out the red pens yet??

Jenny

sarah said...

Oh, Susanne, I completely agree with your concerns about not holding the standard high enough for students. (Or, in this case, it sounds like there isn't even a standard at all!) All through my schooling, I was allowed to cruise through some classes without putting in the work that I should have. I understood the content of the material, but I still think it was wrong that I got away with not doing all the work. It was even worse in college, where I would have expected the standard to be higher. I am now struggling to learn to be diligent, after so many years of just sliding through.

Educational expectations need to include minimal levels of mastery in subject content, and also be structured in a way that teaches and encourages good work ethics. Helping kids avoid the embarrassment or disappointment of failure does not build "self esteem." It simply fosters a culture that is unable to turn failure into a growth experience, and ill equipped to work diligently toward a goal.

Air Force Family said...

I completely agree with you! I don't see why our school systems seem to think that a failing grade is so horrible. I think if a student is not excelling is because they are either not studing, not understanding the teacher or their parents aren't encouraging and helping them.
I think teachers should give extra assistance to those that truly seem to need it and not pass the student just because of the whole "low self-esteem" issue. Later that child will have low self esteem because they will not excell in the work place, etc.
Hope you're having a great day! Oh, I love you menu for this week, very yummy.

Anonymous said...

We want Madison to learn that it's not always about her I Pod or her Tv..and she is not Hilary Duff. Life is real...Life is hard and you better figure it out before you leave home...because no one I repeat no one will treat you like mom & dad do. No One! Good Post today....

Barbie said...

This is very insightful. I too must be old school! It seems absurd to not fail a student who doesn't turn in work. Great things to think thru though!!!

Anonymous said...

I have a feeling adherence to these words probably didn't hurt Mr. Gates, even if he didn't put this list together. Good words for any young person to hear.

Anonymous said...

Lol I'm so disappointed about rule #10 I want to live in the Friends TV show and no-one's going to stop me...what do you mean it's not real??!! Ah well, I've turned my kitchen into my own private coffee shop and I will stay there all day ;)

#8 is frightening. In the UK they replaced the O'Levels with GCSEs (exam taken at 16 the ealiest age you can leave school in the UK). In GCSEs there is practically no fail grade, unless you don't turn up or cannot write at all. However, employers only recognise grades A-C (they run up to G) so you can't get away with failure in the world of employment, whichever way they word it at school.

Great list Susanne :)

Susie said...

I think that are opening a whole can of worms here. I could see it coming when I taught 3rd grade for 5 years in the early 90's. I had to always have something positive to say to a failing kid's parents even when they were failing. We all need to be in prayer for our schools, especially the leaders making all the rules.

Carol said...

I think I like this list. #1 is my favorite.

Melanie said...

That is great! LOVE IT! I have to share with my mother-in-law, a retired high school history teacher.