The Wages of Special

This article [Link] rather clearly details the results of a survey conducted by Indiana U on high shul students. Some of the results:

  • 73 percent said, “I didn’t like the school.”
  • 61 percent said, “I didn’t like the teachers.”
  • 60 percent said, “I didn’t see the value in the work I was being asked to do.”
  • About 25 percent said, “No adults in the school cared about me.”

Sadly the article and presumably the report, take the tone that the shul administration/faculty are the miscreants.



The primary guilt lies with the education mafia that has told the students that they are special for so long that now the shul is only there for their enjoyment and entertainment and any failure on that part must be corrected.

We’ve lost sight of something. If you go to shul and don’t learn, you are special. You’re ignorant and are not going to do very good in life.

Discussions on whether shul curricula should be relevant are reserved for adults who have been successful in life. IOW, those who have learned something. Any choices that you get in what you study in shul are part of shul, intended to teach you how to make good choices and improve your learning skills and scope.

Whether you like shul and its environment is far down the list of priorities. The number one priority is that you learn. If you do not learn you will not like your adult life. Learning is not sufficient for liking your life but it is almost assuredly necessary.

The adults in the shul are supposed to be there to teach you stuff to learn. They are not there to entertain or pamper you, nor are they there to abuse or torture you. But if you do not learn they cannot teach and not caring about you is all they have left. If you want the teachers to care about you and be interesting then you have to learn. That is not a sufficient condition for them caring but it is necessary.

There are teachers who are such in name only, but it is your responsibility as students to learn in spite of them.

Shul is an extension of the propagation of the species. As adults we have a responsibility to help you become productive, responsible adults. If you do not learn, we have failed, the species has failed, and you have failed. We cannot learn for you.