Tuesday, November 11, 2008

When Everybody Wins, Everybody Loses

Are we going to WIN something, Dave? That would be wonderfully sweet. I have never won anything in my life. I never even got to the point where a teacher would read one of my assignments to the rest of the class! I was not a poor student, and yet I was always struggling in school, not struggling to do well, mind you, but struggling to get noticed for doing well. And it never happened! I never got any recognition whatsoever in elementary school or any other school. I also never got any awards just for showing up; I never was commended because it was Monday; I never had to stand up in front of the student body because it was my "turn" to be honored; and I am really glad about that. Had I been recognized for something inconsequential like "being enrolled in the school", I probably would have thought I was SUPER or something nutty like that. LOL. Really, what kid will fall for that? NONE. I am sure that kids today think the overabundance and absurdity of the school award culture is downright pathetic.

How can it be that never did a teacher recognize me for the hard work I did, and yet nothing bad happened ever happened as a result? This was in the days before schools were all about building self-esteem (handing out awards and ribbons to everyone for doing, thinking or imagining just about anything.) Yet, I think I kind of came out okay. Strange, don't you think? No one told me every day of my youth that I was a phenomenal, incredible, mind-blowing genius; could this actually be WHY I managed to learn? No one was fawning over me telling me how great I was, so I decided to try to work hard and do well! Anyway, I never got upset with teachers for not understanding that I had a little something on the ball, so I surely never thought to spend my time annoying a teacher or resenting the power structure in the school. At least not on purpose. No, indeed. Instead I kept toiling away and working harder academically, and it seems to have resulted in my knowing a thing or two now. So that can't be all bad.

There seems to be some kind of an Evil Education School Cult in this country which penalizes children by telling them they are already great, and making them think there is nothing more to be achieved. This is really lowering the bar and driving things down into the doldrums and making it impossible for children to do well, mostly because these saccharine-smile adults insist on convincing kids that the kids (and every one of them) are God's Gift to Mankind. Are today's students really going to bother working hard and striving, if they are told every day, in every way, that they are "all that" whether they work or not? Methinks not. But such is the sorry state of modern day education in America and that is not the point of this post, which is supposed to be about wikiHowl and awards!

Anyway, we could win an award and that makes me happy. Why? Not because I think we will actually will ever win one, but because when there are awards to be won, people who make zany how-to websites like ours probably work harder to fashion them into the best sites possible. And that is good for the vast world of people combing the web looking for intriguing material.

Long live awards which are not handed out on a silver platter. And may the best sites win!

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