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Old 08-16-2018, 05:33 PM
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Melensdad Melensdad is offline
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Talking School invited me back to give a 'dose of reality' to students

3 years ago I was invited to the high school to judge senior's projects in their economics class. This is a required class in Indiana. If you don't pass you don't graduate. Its a senior level course.

So a few years ago the seniors were tasked with a project of developing a "fundraiser" for one of the high school clubs. Simple enough, you'd think. They had to do several things. Find a product or service to sell. Lay out costs per unit, profit per unit. Meet a theoretical profit goal with realistic sales. Sales and market projections were based on a realistic survey they were supposed to take in the community (which could be limited to the high school students).

I was introduced to the first class (I think I sat through 5 or 6 periods, some in the morning, some after lunch) and presentations began.

As near as I recall, I interrupted several of the presentations because they were awful, didn't meet the basic standards, didn't include all the materials, told several of the kids if they worked for me they would be terminated if they ever made a presentation like that to me, made a few cry ... by the time lunch period rolled around word had spread.

The afternoon presentations were somewhat better. "Surveys" in the morning typically involved asking 8, 10 or 12 of their friends ... but the afternoon groups the "surveys" included 80, 100, 120 students so clearly they just added a "0" to bump up their survey numbers and make their marketing data seem more realistic. I'm pretty sure that other parts of the presentations were fudged too, but they were better and there was less to complain about simply because they filled in some of the blanks that were required but that nobody before me apparently called them out on in the past.

The next day word came back to me that the "children" are not ready to hear the harsh truth and that I should not be asked to judge these projects. There were also "complaints" about me from a few of the "children" who's feelings I had apparently hurt when I metered out a dose of reality. I gathered that at least 1 parent also complained.

One of the baseball coaches came up to me at the start of our fencing practice and said "I heard you opened up a can of whoop-ass on those kids yesterday" and then said something like "keep it up" as he chuckled and walked away.

Now, 3 years later, same teachers, same principal & vice-principal, I have been invited back to do judge senior projects again. On the bright side I was told today that for the past couple of years the projects have been much improved. Apparently when you hold kids to high standards they actually deliver better results!

I'm looking forward to it.

"We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion:
the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases,
while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage
of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force."
- Ayn Rand
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