I’m happy to report that I have returned (at least for now) from the land of stress, chaos and mild nervous breakdowns. The return trip was plush, jovial and stocked with a wide variety of cold, craft beers. I actually began the return trip before I even posted last week’s blog. I wrote it Sunday afternoon and then later that evening I watched a TED talk by Shawn Achor out on my patio. Oddly, I had seen this TED talk before and remembered enjoying it, but something different clicked when I watched it this time.
Yeah, so remember last week when I said I was going to model my blog posts for the next six weeks on essays I had to write for my mechanical design class? Yep. That was before I boarded the crazy train, next stop: the scenic countryside of stress, chaos and mild nervous breakdowns. There’s really too much blog fodder happening right now to limit myself to prescribed essay topics. Continue reading
Week One’s essay topic is to read and reflect on Erica Goldson’s Coxsackie-Athens valedictorian speech, “Here I Stand.” It’s an intriguing speech and my mind went in a million directions when I read it. I struggled with this essay because the topic of education is so vast and multi-faceted that it’s impossible to boil down into a few pages. I found myself going off on tangents and trying to discuss too many things. The result is more or less a challenge to one aspect of her speech, but there are many other aspects of the speech that I agree with. There just wasn’t time or space to address them. What is your reaction to her speech?
Is the American educational system broken? That’s a difficult question for me to answer. I, like Erica Goldson, have survived and thrived within the system. I have earned many 4.0’s as a mechanical engineering student. I earned many 4.0’s as an art student, too. Does that mean I’m a genius? Does it mean I’m perfect? That I’ve achieved the pinnacle of knowledge in both the arts and sciences? No. Of course not. Like Erica Goldson, it means that I am “the best at doing what I’m told and working the system.”