Saturday, 1 August 2009

No, I don’t watch "Teen Vogue"

But I do confess to the weekly peek at online People Magazinee,

and I saw this quote: "I'm an artist; I'm not going to use trigonometry." – 16-year-old Taylor Momsen, on why she is passing on the traditional college experience, to Teen Vogue.

I don't watch television except for CNN and Law and Order re-runs, (great for white noise writing back ground) so I don't know who she is, but where, I want to know, are her parents; and why are they not telling her that an artist, perhaps more than most professions, needs an education, especially one that includes math!?

I find this most disheartening. I understand dreams. I have had, and still have my own. If my child had come to me and said she wanted to be an artist, I would have given her all the support possible – but I would have also done everything I could to keep her in school as long as I could.

Yes, Tom Cruise make it without even a high school education but… well do I really need to elaborate? Whereas Meryl Streep attended Vassar and Dartmouth, and take a look at her life in comparison. Brooke Shields, Natalie Portman, Jodie Foster – and the others who put education on the top of their list of ‘things to do’ have benefited from it. A Harvard graduate, Tommy Lee Jones, does not seem to have suffered from a good education.

No matter what we choose to do in life there is no profession that cannot profit by education. Admittedly I am a perennial student; I was in class up unto 2005, and took online classes as long as I was able while in Morocco. After a while it became impossible to get the books I needed for class and I had to quit. Since coming to Houston, Texas I have been casting a longing eye over to Rice University and will most likely be in one of their classrooms by the end of the year. To stop learning would be to me a certain form of death, and so when I hear a 16-year-old cast aside her chance at a better life it makes my heart hurt. Socrates said, “An unexamined life is not worth living.” I think to me, a life without constant curiosity and learning is not worth living.

How can you know whether or not you will need trigonometry if you don’t have a passing knowledge of the subject? One of the basic teaching and learning tools of enlightenment is science; not perhaps an area one would expect. But if you don’t read (in or out of a classroom) how will you know? I realize that formal education in the U.S. has many drawbacks, but there are home schooling, tutors, and the Internet has brought the great libraries of the world into our parlors. How can one not take advantage of that?

Yes there are many well-educated ne’er-do-wells, and some evil people who have had the benefits of a great education – but their negative examples do not change my opinion.

My darling husband said, “I can’t believe you look at People Magazine!”

“Only once a week, it’s a guilty indulgence,” I said ducking my head.

“More than that I can’t believe you're going to confess it to your blog readers. It will spoil your image.”

“A – I don’t have an “image”.
B- my blog readers will understand, and
C- that I am embarrassed but will tell them in spite of it, should tell you how much I feel the importance of this discussion."



James Higham said...

One day trigonometry is going to catch up with her.

lady macleod said...

I fear this is true!
Thank you for coming by you prolific guy you.

Ian Lidster said...

That's OK, love, I pick up People as well at times. And, as for trigonometry, I too thought it was valueless, though I did it. And then one summer I got a job as a surveyor's assistant when I was at university. Guess what calling uses a lot of trig. Exactly. I know people with scanty educations who have done well, but they're anomalies. Good call from you.

jmb said...

Isn't that a sad story? Where are her parents indeed, since no 16 year old is capable of making this decision for herself.

I look at People when I am at the hairdressers' salon or the dentist's office. Never get to the end. Thanks for telling me I can check it out online. LOL.