About a month ago, I joined the American Library Association (ALA) as a student member. One of the perks of being a member is that you received a weekly e-mail filled with shloads (*pause* *pause* - Rose: It's a contraction!) of interesting articles and links about various library related things. Most of the time, I simply read a few articles and move on, but this article really got my dander up.
The article states that schools in the UK have refused gifts of classic literature. Say wha? No, seriously, WTF? I don't know how libraries in the states would deal with this, but I fear it would be the same way.
Why would a library refuse a donation of brand new copies of literary classics? I can understand legitimate reasons (i.e. facilites problems, duplicate copies, etc.), but the article states that these libraries are refusing the books on the grounds that they are "boring" and "too difficult" for their student readers. That reason makes me what to take a tome a Proust and knock those librarians upside the back of their heads.
What the hell are they doing?!? Sure some of those books are indeed dull, and difficult to muddle through, but that does not mean we should turn them away. We should be challenging our students to learn more and try harder. It sickens me that education standards in the world (and specifically in the United States) are so low. I hate the fact that my newspaper is written at a 6th grade level. I hate the fact that we allow a President to destroy a language without blinking. I despise that fact that knowledge is no longer a thing to strive for but is, instead, a thing we decry as antiquated and unnecessary.
We may live in the most technologically advanced society in history, but I would argue we're the dumbest generations of man to walk this Earth. That is a damn shame.
I honestly don't get why we are content to just reach the lowest common denominator. Why, in this world of PCness must we treat everyone the same. There are people who excel, and we should not hold them back. Students should work and struggle for their degrees. Students should feel pressure to learn as much possible. Then their degree will actually mean something.
It's not wrong to be over-educated. Why are we tailoring our society to the idea that being smart is stupid.
Say it with me: I'm smarter than you and proud of it!