Sunday, October 28, 2007

Back in Black

I don't know if anyone even reads this, but since it had been so long, I thought I'd try to post. First of all, I've been cast in Driftwood Players' "The Grand History of the Andy Landy Clan" opening Dec 2 and playing thru Dec 11th. I suppose this is also a way to procrastinate on working on my lines. The show is set up as a series of monologues, so the line load is harsh.

Second, I caught the show Next American Band or whatever it's called, and heard a band called Sixwire that I thought was quite good. I looked up their Myspace page and it turns out these fellows were touring musicians for the likes of Faith Hill, Lee Greenwood, and more. Now, I'm all for any talented artist getting the attention they deserve, but the producers of these show make it seem like it's Joe Q. Public who is getting their shot at the bigs. It's just not the way it works. Joe Q. Public just isn't ready.

Last, I'm finally taking a crack at "The World is Flat" after having read "The World Without Us." I'm just at the second chapter, but I'm curious about how education plays a role in this flat world of ours, as well as the social implications. I'm thinking primarily about the example of the kid with an online tutor for Geometry based in India. I think the quote was about $20 an hour for the tutor. What about the kids who don't have $20 an hour? Are the school resources so bad that the kid needs an online tutor? What about the classroom teacher? Where's mom and dad?


Colin said...

Now that I'm a classroom teacher, I can tell you that it's really difficult to teach everything you need to teach to every student in every classroom. I see about 80 students per day. Maybe 10% of my students decide not to come to class on any given day, and maybe 10% who are physically there are not mentally present. On top of that, the disparity in performance from my top students to my lowest-performing students is very wide, so I have to figure out a way to keep all of them challenged. If some kid needs a $20/hour tutor and can't afford it, maybe that's okay. The world needs people in all walks of life, and you don't need a college diploma to make great money as a plumber, an electrician, or a truck driver. Even the kid who CAN afford the tutor won't be able to use a tutor in every situation for the rest of his life, so his inability to learn on his own will catch up to him at some point, won't it?

VenetianBlond said...

Does it matter that you're a college professor, and that your students have ostensibly voted with their (or their parents') dollars to be there? The kid in the example is in public school, and this is what I mean by social implications. We as a society have indicated that we will provide education up until about age 16 or 17. However, if the contract is that we will provide education as long as you have an overseas tutor in order to be able to succeed, then that's a whole other barrel of monkeys.
Plus, I think that where Friedman will eventually go is that there must be a value-add for the work to stay "here." That is, the truck drivers will all be based out of Mexico until and unless the American companies can come up with a value-add, like, I don't know, truckers who can also handle inventory analysis. Which leads us back to education.