Mind Spaying

Perhaps a fair day? I had just completed my morning constitutional at the park, returned home and distributed seed for the dinosaur descendants and tree mammals, when dihydrogen oxide began to fall. Somehow, I know not, that makes for a feeling of comfort and satisfaction. I need it. Yesterday was a day of turmoil.

FD SCP had ordered new washing and drying machines and they were supposed to be installed yesterday. The delivery fellow (only one, not a good sign) was late and drove past twice before acknowledging our waving and yelling. Then he took the better part of two hours to remove the old machines and set p the new ones. I have to admit I was holding my breath when FD SCP tested the machines lest they fail the smoke test and great disquietude erupt. Happily the machines seem to work albeit more nosily than promised. But then I view the promises of vendors with the same jaundice as their advertisements.

Earlier this morning I came up against one of the fundamental questions of human existence: when one is donning a tee shirt does one insert one’s head front first or back first? Neither seems to work at all well and both disrupt eyeglasses. If anyone has insight or data, pray share.

One of my colleagues, Magnetic Inductance Force, sent me a link [Link] to an article about why students dump STEM. I was impressed by the composition but underwhelmed by the information. In particular I liked:

“The survey results also showed that the students who dropped out didn’t do so because they discovered an unexpected amount of the work. In fact, students who expressed interest initially anticipated more work than other majors.

The students switched out because they were dissatisfied with their grades. ‘Students knew science was hard to begin with, but for a lot of them it turned out to be much worse than what they expected, What they didn’t expect is that even if they work hard, they still won’t do well.’”

I was unsurprised. Even back in the antediluvian period when I attended undergraduate schule, this was a big piece of why students dropped out of STEM. But if anything it casts a rather negative light on non-STEM studies.

The implication is that if one works hard, presumably meaning memorizing the material, then one can make grade. That’s the basic rule in pre-college schules, or at least that has been my impression. In fact, my impression is that in recent years anything but memorization is frowned upon. Evidently, at least on an empirical basis, educationalists do not want students to think.

As I have stated before, my taxonomy of learning STEM, maybe other stuff?, is fourfold:

  • Terms;
  • Tools;
  • Techniques: and
  • Thoughts.

The first is what is primarily taught before college, with maybe a smattering of the second and third, but almost none of number four, mostly because the people teaching are incompetent in the subject in the most fundamental way: they don’t know how to think the subject. That’s largely because they have education degrees and not real degrees. And yes, there are exceptions who have real degrees and education certificates, but they prove the rule, if you will.

So we condition students for twelve years to work hard and memorize but not to think and then they get into college STEM courses where they have to think and think in the proper mode, and they can’t. Some are congenitally unable to, because they are bogs and will never be able to think of STEM, but some are proto-nerds who have been spayed by the educationalist instrumentality. That’s the disappointing and frightening thing.

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