If you’ve ever dabbled in role-playing games – either online or in old-fashioned meatspace – you’ll know how easy it is to get attached to your avatar. It really hurts when your character gets mashed by a troll, felled by a dragon or slain by a warlock.
Being a parent means living in a state of total responsibility. When you gaze upon your beautiful baby, you do so with the understanding that for the next decade-and-a-half, at minimum, it will be your job to know where this small, wondrous person you’ve made is, every minute of every day, without exception. There are moments when this overwhelms me, where I long to just sit in a café and sip a cup of coffee, or go see a movie without asking anyone, without making arrangements.
America may have invented flight—but it certainly didn’t perfect the art of getting there.
The education system as we know it is only about 200 years old. Before that, formal education was mostly reserved for the elite. But as industrialization changed the way we work, it created the need for universal schooling.
Factory owners required a docile, agreeable workers who would show up on time and do what their managers told them. Sitting in a classroom all day with a teacher was good training for that. Early industrialists were instrumental, then, in creating and promoting universal education. Now that we are moving into a new, post-industrial era, it is worth reflecting on how our education evolved to suit factory work, and if this model still makes sense.
How could this happen in the US, you might ask? It’s simple. The US doesn’t treat its own children well, let alone children who come from other countries.