Tuesday, January 09, 2007

The Education of Joyanna Adams

Nobody’s Opinion; Let me tell you about Henry Adams, and what he did for my life.

He wrote what the famous American historian Arthur Schlesinger said was his favorite book…a book which was called simply, “The Education of Henry Adams.”

I read somewhere yesterday, that it was one of the books being thrown out of our American Library system. Oh, you can still get it I suppose… but according to the Librarians who decided it should just be taking off the shelves, who in this day and age wants to read it?

I’ll tell you why they want it thrown out. “The Education of Henry Adams” criticizes and exposes the fraudulence of the prestigious Harvard institution, and shows just when Harvard turned sour.

Here’s a quote he wrote to a friend in 1876: “I am preaching a crusade against Culture with a big C. I hope to excite the hatred of my entire community, every soul of whom adores that big C. I mean to irritate every one about me to a frenzy by ridiculing all the idols of the University and declaring a university education to be a swindle. “

Henry Adams was the grandchild of John Quincy Adams. And the book was about his time at Harvard, and how he learned absolutely nothing from the four years he went there. In the book he trashed the established professors, and even the students. He was relentless in his attacks, and for good reason. It became a bestseller in its day, and is considered one of America’s classics.

Remember, John Adams went to Harvard, his sons went to Harvard: in fact all the Adams’s went to Harvard. Henry wrote this book very late in his life, and when I read it, it changed mine.

Sometimes you just have to come out and call a toad…a toad.

There is a very endearing story worth repeating from the book. Henry describes how he loved playing in the woods as a child, and did NOT want to go to school. On the first day of school, he came down the stairs and announced he was not going.

His grandfather, John Quincy Adams, who was eighty at the time, just took his hand, and without a word, walked him over a mile in very hot weather, down a straight dusty road to the classroom, took him to his seat, and then let go of his hand and walked out.

I remember, after reading the book, I felt as if I had read my own feelings on my life. And then, I saw the same thing being repeated in my sons.

Maybe it was a genetic proclivity, some gene that slipped through, but I was a rebel…I hated school, even though I got good grades, I KNEW I was not learning.

I remember how humiliated I was in the 7th grade. “New Math” was being introduced and I hated it. It made no sense, I argued time and time again, in class. I had always been at the top of my class in math, and I loved the subject.

But this teacher, Mrs. Priest, stood me up in front of the whole class and said I was “too stupid” to understand it. And in front of my new boyfriend, the hearts crush of every girl in school.

It was horrible.

Well, that did it. I refused to turn in another paper. I got zeros the rest of the semester. It basically ruined my love for math. I hate that teacher to this day. Damn her, for her cruelty.

Later on, just about five years ago I read a book by Richard Feynman, one of the leading physicists at Los Alamos, who lead a crusade on getting rid of “New Math” in the schools, and succeeded. I had been right…I knew I was right then. The teacher was an idiot.

I know each and every one of you have been in this situation some time or another.

In drama class, I had a teacher who was more upset about me not taking off my makeup for “makeup” class, instead of my, what I considered at the time ,brilliant reports on Shakespeare. I believe they were better than most of the stuff I write today. Did he encourage me to be a writer? Nooooo

Because I had terrible acne…I tried hard to cover it up with makeup…I just couldn’t be exposed. I begged him to understand. I made all A’s on my papers, but because one day I would not take my makeup off, he gave me a D for the year.

No wonder I would spent my lunchtime in the library, eating Hostess cup cakes. Pretty sad. (By the way, they did not make the kids fat back then, what’s changed?)

Now, we all have those horrible moments in our school years…they are very rough. But, when you find a moment of solidarity, of another soul who thinks as you did, it makes you feel like you are not a loser, that maybe there is a reason you felt so horrible.

You just MIGHT have been right…vindication.

Henry Adams gave me back my sanity. So to speak.

Then, as a mother with a child in school, I got much worse. Every year, I would try to understand how the teachers could remain so ignorant even in their own subjects.

I remember a sixth grade English teacher not knowing who Edgar Allen Poe was.

My very first argument came with my son’s first grade teacher who gave my son an “F” for not being able to tie a shoelace in kindergarten.

He was wearing Velcro’s shoes. He had always worn Velcro’s. They made sense to both of us. He could add and subtract, and knew his alphabet, but they did not grade on that.

I once got so frustrated, even the school psychiatrist suggested my son go to a private school where he could get a better education.

Nice, but I was a single mom, and pretty strapped for cash.

I wonder, how many of you taught your child how to read, do math, memorize multiplication, etc…basically taught them at home?

Believe it or not, they used to do this in school.

My son always managed to be in the top of his class. While everyone else was doing advanced algebra in school on their calculators, he did it all in his head.

But in the 11th grade he came down with a rare sleep disorder that took some time to figure out. (Because the doctors were stupid, okay I said it. I TOLD them what it was…but it didn’t matter.)

Anyway, my son showed up his senior year, and was told to go home…he could not attend since he didn’t know what was wrong with him.

There was no trial. There was no discussion. I fought the whole school system, about how as a taxpayer they could not just kick him out.

Oh, but I found out they could. They did. It affected his whole life.

In the meantime, while my son went into a great depression, eleven hundred “minority” students who did not even live in our city, were allowed to attend, and go to night school, get credits for picking up trash, and attend till noon, and then go to a job answering telephones.

The unbelievable things I uncovered about the great American school system during my search for justice I could write a book about…I was threatened not to go to the media, by principals, by governors by school boards, by lawyers….

I learned that our American school system is fascist, and is not there to necessarily educate, but to put the children in square holes, and indoctrinate them to fit wherever the government sees fit. And this was going on even back in my day.

The government had a whole system for “pinholing” every student, and placing them in exactly the right place, in order to get along in society. All those tests aren't only for academic reasons. They also are encouraged to keep diaires, which the parents are not allowed to see.

And the ones that get the best care are the ones who are failing, the minorities.

The smart kids are left out in the cold. The smart ones do not fit in.

And they are attacked by the system as sure as a sick bird is attacked by the flock.

If you’ve ever read “The Bell Curve” you know what I’m talking about.

So, generations later, I imagine if Henry Adams were alive today, he would be on O’Reilly, making political attacks on the whole mess.

And since Harvard is the breeding ground for all our world leaders, that book, “The Education of Henry Adams” is the one book they are afraid of anyone reading. The fact that it is being taken off the shelves is another blow to our country, like all the camera’s going up in our neighborhoods.

If they are not in yours yet….just wait.

Reading the “Education of Henry Adams” was like going ultimate education for Joyanna Adams.

Henry Adams made a comment before he died that he was glad he was going to die…because he could not live in a world that was coming…a world where the socialists took over.

Well, Henry…you were right, they have. And it is a hard world to witness. I’m sure you’re glad you’re not here, I don't think you could bear it.

Nobody’s Perfect; Henry Adams was one of our countries most brilliant historians. But, he had a weakness and love for his neighbor’s wife. In fact he loved her so much he tried to forget her by taking a sea cruise to the South Pacific, where he wrote the only genealogy of the Hawaii people. I’m sure the naked girls (they were naked back then) were a big incentive.

If he were alive today, he could do a genealogy of the elite class’s children at Harvard and Yale by attending their nude parties and asking questions. He’d probably like that.

Nobody Knows; One of the main reasons we are in the mess we are in today, is precisely because our educational system was taken over long ago, and was based on the communists system (Dewey) being used in Russia at the time, which has been abandoned by all nations, but us.

We must not let them destroy our libraries.

Nobody Cares; Everyone knows our schools are worse than atrocious. But, because the teacher’s Union supply most of the Democratic funds for elections, and because they are like a state nanny and also give so many women jobs, it will never change.

I remember during the Clinton years, all my son’s teachers at his grade schools would travel to Washington to have lunch with Bill and Hillary.

At our expense.

Frankly, I wish Bill Gates would take over the schools. The kids would learn better from computers. As one of my son’s math’s teachers once said when I complained that he didn’t even teach his Advanced Algebra III class, but sat on the side---“Hey, I learned it from the book, if they don’t understand it, they can ask me.”

Why pay him $45,000 when you can ask online?

And just in case you’re happy with your schools. I live in a complete Democratic city. Everyone, from the mayor to the school board, they are all socialists.

Hopefully, your kids fare better.

Nobody Wins; There are stories like mine all over the nation. David Limbaugh has written a book on the subject, but I fear there are more nobodies out there like me, who have been through this kind of thing, and have been kept expertly out of the media.

I sure was. Like O’Reilly once said. You can’t fight the government. (By yourself) Don’t even try it. But boy, what an education!


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