Skip to main content

Smart Is Cool: reading, math, and science education

"What should be done about the fact that American children lag behind kids in other countries in math and science?" is one of the questions posed in the July 7 issue of Time magazine, In their "10 Questions" feature they spoke with Neil deGrasse Tyson, the director of New York City's Hayden Planetarium. He is an astrophysicist and the host of a PBS show, Nova Science Now.

He said, "We need to do something about the stigma. Somehow it's okay for people to chuckle about not being good at math. Yet if I said I never learned to read, they'd say I was illiterate dolt."

This is so true. Being uneducated is acceptable in the US. While I am a big advocate of music, physical education, and art programs and believe them to be core to a well-rounded education, the reality is that we aren't even doing a stellar job teaching the basics... reading, math, and science.

Speak to people who are well spoken and seem intelligent. Invariably, they are readers. The more avid of a reader they are, the more they present themselves with intelligence.

Math and science are "fundamental to what is to be alive", as Mr. Tyson put it in the article. That is so true. Even very basic mathematics and science are critical to our function as human beings.

I live in a community that seems to think "real folks" aren't educated and therefore shouldn't bother trying.

I hope I'm raising my children better. I have a saying... "never been ashamed to be the smartest person in the room." Where I grew up, the kids who "ruined the curve" in science class were considered geeks or dorks. They should have been rock stars!

Rather than the cheerleaders wearing football or basketball jerseys to show that they were dating the athletes, they should have been wearing the Honor Society pins and saying "that's right, I'm dating a brainiac!" The jocks should have been wearing them too!

I hope the teachers and parents who are reading this will practice this mantra with me... Smart Is Cool.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Friday Funnies: a couple LOLcats and one shameless plug

Is this the new flavor at Kungaloosh Gourmet Tea Company?

I'm Disabled and I Can Prove It

I'm disabled. 
I was born in 1970. About a year later I was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy. I never walked. I got my first wheelchair at kindergarten age, and my first power wheelchair in sixth grade.
Yet, around 4 to 6 times per year I have to, for one reason or another, prove that I'm disabled.
Granted, I'm 5 feet nothin', 112 pounds and sit in an electric wheelchair, but apparently that's just anecdotal evidence… We need science!
The Good Doctor
Every couple months I have to send my physician a form and ask him to fill it out. He has to state that I have spinal muscular atrophy, identify the diagnosis date, explained that my prognosis is something akin to "ain't getting better any time soon" and sign it.
With new Medicare regulations, the good doctor is not allowed to sign the said form without seeing me "face-to-face" to prevent fraud. Although I'm extraordinarily healthy, hospitalized last in 1996 for something unrelated to my dis…

Endangered Gorilla Killed after Child Falls into Habitat

One of this week’s trending topics on Facebook and twitter was a tragic story. A small boy fell into the gorilla habitat at the Cincinnati Zoo. Minutes later the western lowlands gorilla, a critically endangered species, was shot and killed by zoo personnel.
A tragic story has been made even more tragic through misinformation and misguided opinion on social media.
Here are six ways that Facebook and twitter users made the situation worse.
It’s the mother’s fault!
I’m a father of 14-year-old twins, a boy and a girl. I don’t know a single father or mother that has never in their lives lost sight of their three-year-old. I compare it to a trip to Walmart. You’ll see a toddler screaming and a mother completely exasperated, and usually another child being completely ignored. Those of you without children stand in judgment. I know I did. “If that were my child I would…” I’ll let you complete the sentence in condescending judgment. 
Parents, however, understand. We’ve all been there. Every …