Students are smarter these days
Published: Thursday, November 1st, 2012
I first must tell you that, back in 1956, I was salutatorian of the graduating class at Onida High School.
That's supposed to mean something, and it does. It apparently means that I had the second-highest grade-point average by the time we reached our final semester.
There also is something that that honor does not mean. It definitely does not mean that I was the second-smartest senior in that class. People like Dan Eliason, Tom Terbush and Laurence Byrum, among others, come immediately to mind.
It's no secret, at least not to me, that I took an easier load of classes than some people in that class. Easier to me, that is. Thank God for electives! I certainly didn't want to sign up for classes I didn't like, didn't understand and didn't enjoy. And I especially didn't want to take classes at which I wasn't going to excel. So I managed to escape chemistry, physics, advanced algebra and the like.
Now you know why I didn't become an engineer. Or a mathematician. Or a researcher. Or a scientist. Or a doctor. Or anything else that pays well.
You hadn't better be thinking about that old not-so-funny joke that those who can't do anything else end up as teachers. I know for a fact that is not the case because in 18 years of teaching, I was in the company of some excellent ones, and before that I was lucky to be a student of some positively great teachers.
But I hate not knowing so much about so many things. The path of courses through which I breezed may have a lot to do with that.
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