View Full Version : Geography

11-20-2002, 08:27 AM
Check out the article in CNN.com about US kids being unable to find various spots on a world map. Unbelievable!

Among 18- to 24-year-old Americans given maps:
87 percent cannot find Iraq
83 percent cannot find Afghanistan
76 percent cannot find Saudi Arabia
70 percent cannot find New Jersey
49 percent cannot find New York
11 percent cannot find the United States


11-20-2002, 08:30 AM
It was in our local paper as well. Disheartening, isn\'t it? We have become so concerned with teaching PC that we have lost focus on educating our children.

11-20-2002, 08:57 AM
I\'m still in shock. Nearly half could not find New York on a world map, and here is the capper.... 11% COULD NOT IDENTIFY THE UNITED STATES on a world map!!!!!!!

11-20-2002, 09:04 AM
Many of them can\'t read, either, or barely. Most of the 9th and 10th graders I taught were not able to read anywhere near grade level. And I was pushed to pass them anyway.

11-20-2002, 09:41 AM
I recently was talking to a 21 year old college student. We were talking about another college girl who worked in the same place as her. The girl I was talking to said that this other person was from Washington. I asked, Washington D.C. or Washington state?

She looked a bit embarassed, and said \"I don\'t know. Which one is closest to Seattle?\"

That one blew me away, and disturbed me at the same time because she\'s getting her college degree to become a grade school teacher.

11-20-2002, 09:49 AM
I know! I was in education courses with this girl who was illiterate and no one realized it until she was in her second year of a BS in Education and went to the board to write an example sentence and wrote \" I\' am ... \" -- she thought an apostrophe came after \"I\" regardless of whether it was being used in a contraction. She was encouraged to find another major - but if it hadn\'t been for that, she would be out there teaching English.

11-20-2002, 09:50 AM
I think it is the map thing that freaks me out. I have always loved maps. When I was a kid we always had a subscription to the National Geographic and I always went straight for the map they send you. What a great mag, National Geo. God bless those folks. I used to wallpaper my room with my favorite maps. Now you can see the results. I have been all over the world.

I remember when the Afghanistan thing started after 9/11, we were negotiating with both Pakistan and India, and there were strange names of Afghanistan\'s various neighbors being thrown around; the first thing that popped into my mind was \"OK, what the heck are we actually talking about here? Where are these countries? What borders on what? Get me a frickin\' map.\"


11-20-2002, 10:02 AM
Loved those maps too, Bruce.

I had a case - called to place an order with a domestic US company and gave my address as \"San Francisco\" and the girl on the other end of the line asked \"What state is that in?\"

11-20-2002, 11:07 AM
The first time I was in America this guy I met there tried to convince me that Slovenia (where I come from) is actually in Arizona. The second time though, the dumbest of all my travel experiences happened. I was out with some friends somewhere in the south of US. We sat outside and watched the moon. Next to me stood a middle-aged American couple and the woman had noticed I wasn\'t from America by then. She heard me comment on how beautiful the moon looked and she asked, with this deep concern in her voice: \"have you never seen the moon before?\". I thought that one really was a bit much so I decided to play along. And I said I hadn\'t. She looked at me all puzzled so I explained to her how the moon was positioned right above America and since Slovenia is on the other side of the world, we can\'t see it! Then even the husband got interested and they both started telling me how on some nights they can only see half the moon and sometimes almost none of it. They even got all philosophical about it, talking about how people sometimes take things for granted when other, less fortunate people like myself, are lucky to experience a miracle like that just once in a lifetime... Ah, bliss of the ignorant...

11-20-2002, 11:43 AM
Quite a spoofer, aren\'t you, Pet?

11-20-2002, 11:58 AM
I work at a local university, and I\'ve seen the English Lit. reading lists. I can\'t believe that a college level reading list was my 8th & 9th grade reading list!! (1960\'s)

11-20-2002, 12:10 PM
We attended a back to school night recently. It\'s a chance to meet the teacher and find out what your kid will be learning. In my daughter\'s 6th grade class a total of five sets of parents showed up. Yes, the school system needs lots of help but apathetic parents don\'t help.

11-20-2002, 12:13 PM
Then the parents blame the teachers.
/Rant Mode ON
Hey!, mom & dad you have the kids a lot more time than the teachers, what are YOU doing?
/Rant Mode Off

11-20-2002, 12:15 PM
That\'s the funniest damn thing I ever heard. As for our childrens total lack of geographical knowledge - all I have to say is sad. very very sad. I think internet, tv, video games, etc... has taken away a lot of the imagination from todays youth. I read books - I like using my brain, imagining the characters, digesting the story, etc. If it\'s just handed to you where is the imagination? Bruce - I\'m sure when you look at maps you imagine the people that live there, the landscape, the culture and so on. I know I do - that\'s part of what gives me the \"travel bug\" go see these places and see the people and experience their culture. These tourists who take a package tour to some distant land, eat McDonalds, and get talked at by a guide make me laugh. They say I\'ve been to so and so it was amazing. I\'ll reply oh did you eat this or that, or did you meet an interesting person. Nah - it was a tour - we rode around in a bus and looked at all those poor people in their huts. sad sad sad.

11-20-2002, 12:21 PM
Yeah, you must spend a lot of time looking at maps too, no? Must be exciting to see an island appear on your map and try to figure out when you will hear the guy up in the \"crow\'s nest\" yell \"Land ho!\"

11-20-2002, 12:35 PM
My wife is super with overseeing the home work. She is home schooling our boys in their Japanese studies too. Our next door neighbor caught an eyefull of it once and now we have one of their girls over here for homework every afternoon. Both parents work full time over there and the kids studies are suffering. So this girl comes over after school to our house instead of \"Kid City\" or wherever she was being warehoused. She plays with our 3 year old (which keeps him busy and happy while we trying to get some work done around here), then gets a quiet place to do her homework with help from us when needed, and can just generally be part of our family for a few hours every afternoon. Win-win-win situation all the way around and no money involved.

11-20-2002, 12:38 PM
What am I doing? Well lets see, My two girls that still live at home got up with me at 4:00 yesterday morning to see the meteor shower. I helped my 15 year old with her geometry home work last night and we got into a long discussion at the dinner table about the nature of matter. My 11 year old just finished reading the Hobbit, loved it and my 15 year old got me into a discussion on the drug war over the weekend.

Next weekend we will be going to pick out toys to help provide Christmas for needy families in our area. After that, they will wrap them.

So, what are you doing?

And yes, the parents are responsible for their child\'s behavior and study habit, not the schools.

11-20-2002, 04:02 PM
well what do u expect when people are \"taught\" by rote memorization. where is the critical thinking? you know the crtical thinking subjects like math and phliosphy are suppose to stimulate? pretty fcking sad about the map. seems like to me that one of the main activites a geography teacher would do is stand at a map and point to places and call on people to answer.

I am an american and I am completly discouraged. Then again what do u expect from a society that gives us a boner pill and hair pill before a cancer pill. sigh........

PS-belgrath and bruce thanks. Glad to see some parents still care.

11-20-2002, 04:06 PM
Someday when I have kids - they are going to learn how to read loooong before they get to choose TV. I was raised without television (we had a TV & VCR for weekend video rental) - It\'s amazing how much fun can be had playing board games (Risk, Monopoly, etc) doing puzzles (Maybe lame to some but...) and reading. It just seems so much healthier. Real interaction with real people instead of \"vegging out\"

11-20-2002, 04:10 PM
I\'m for the no tv thing, too. I was raised without it. We lived outside the continental US most of my life and there weren\'t any channels in English and little to choose from anyway, so we opted not to have a tv an I was a voracious reader. It\'s helped me all my life.

11-20-2002, 04:22 PM
\"well what do u expect when people are \"taught\" by rote memorization. where is the critical thinking\"

With the new emphasis on \"Standardized Testing\", a lot of teachers are being forced to \"teach to the test\". The worst thing we could do.
I could go into a long rant here about how the very idea of how ignorance is valued and education is mocked in this society (e. g. in Asia, the instructor is the \"honerable master\" whereas here it \"oh! youre only a teacher\" and anyone who demonstrates intelligance is mocked as an \"egg head\" or \"nerd\"), but I won\'t.

11-20-2002, 04:42 PM
I taught high school English back in 85 and 86 and made $13,500.00. When we did the plays in the curriculum, e.g. Romeo and Juliet, they were dumbed down versions and we were encouraged to play the movie so the kids could understand it from that. I\'d assign parts to be read the next day and got faces white with terror and flat refusals to read aloud. I picked those kids to test and their test scores came out at 3rd grade level. I went to guidance and asked to have them placed in remedial reading. Their parents had FITS and I became unpopular with the administration. I spent whole periods reading aloud to them because they couldn\'t read the material and parents complained that I assigned too much homework. \"You asked her to read TEN PAGES! How is she supposed to get all that reading done?\" One boy I had was failing but I couldn\'t keep him behind after class because it would conflict with his wrestling practice. Some of the girls I had were mainstreamed into my class with no warning to me that they\'d just been released from treatment centers and had violent tempers. One came in late when I was giving a quiz, made a lot of noise, slamming things and talking to herself. I asked her to please be quiet so the other kids could concentrate. She turned her desk over and flew into a rage. \"I DIDN\'T KNOW THERE WAS A QUIZ! HOW SHOULD I KNOW THAT. DON\'T TELL ME WHAT TO DO!\" at the top of her lungs. I pulled her file and find out it was recommended she NOT be mainstreamed back in. No one gave me any background on her when she was put in my class. I called her house to try to find out what was up with her and her father answered and told me never to bother him again with \"this kind of [censored].\" They crammed 42 kids into a classroom; it took 11 minutes just to take role. I don\'t know how many of them were doing coke, which was the popular drug then, but ... many were.

I never worked so hard in my life for so little. No materials, the books were old, I bought a lot of stuff with my own money, collected magazines, paid for my own xeroxing ... one telephone in the teacher\'s lounge and no privacy to make a phone call.

The 1st \"summer off\" (who can afford not to work in the summer? there\'s no summer off, you have to scrounge up a job) I went back to the mental institution where I\'d worked putting myself through school doing medical records transcription and worked there for the summer. The second summer, I saw an ad for a staff assistant at the local newspaper, and applied for it.

I started at $18,000.00. No kids on crack. No admin hassles. I could pay the rent AND buy food in one payday.

I never went back...

11-20-2002, 05:13 PM
I really feel sad about all that, for you and everybody involved really. What a complicated mess and God help anybody who even tries to clean it up. When we talked about moving from Japan to the US, I told my wife something like \"Well, we\'ll be OK while the kids are in elementery school, but then we have to move somewhere else\". Eugene, OR (where we are) is reputed to have very good public schools and so far we are happy, but ??? now I am more worried than ever.

11-20-2002, 05:21 PM
I don\'t blame teachers for the system, their just as stuck in it as we are. I blame the parents (\"..don\'t bother me with sh_t like this again...\" come on, what sh_t?? your daughters life is sh_t??). I mean if that father would spend time with his kid and would have spanked her a$$ when she was bad as a child then maybe she would not be so fcked up.

And standerized tests, complete garabge. They are a test of how well you can take that test. Basically you can tell by a person\'s score if he/she read the prep book. When I was in highschool (grad in 98 so it wasn\'t long ago) I saw a lot of BS. Some parents just *know* that their little hoodlum is the brightest in the world. Well Mr.&Mrs.blowme your child is a fck up because as parents you are fckups. simple as that. \"You ain\'t saving up tution money, you saving up bail money\" -- Chris Rock

Don\'t blame TV/videogames for the ills of society. I don\'t think they make you dumb but if that is ALL a kid does well then there is nothing stimulating his/her mind either so said kid will certainly not get more inteligent or mature.

And FTR you got my respect for lasting that long. Me I would not last very long as a teacher because by the 2nd or 3rd day I would have bashed one of those little brats heads in and got fired. Probably be in jail. /ubbthreads/images/icons/smile.gif

11-20-2002, 05:58 PM
I could go into a whole monologue about the Gov\'ts desire to have a stupid population (if ya don\'t think for youself you won\'t ask questions) but I won\'t.
I don\'t blame TV or video games for the ills of our society. The parents who use it as a baby sitter are the guilty party. I love video games, and I can\'t say enough about the Simpsons (I see it as a political/societal commentary) BUT - I read, and I think. I don\'t live my life inside a magic box of entertainment.
FTR - No-one can blame you for anything. It\'s an impossible situation with no resolution in the near future.
I got lucky. In 7th grade I had an english teacher (Mr. Thiel) who had grown up on the streets of NY, dropped out of the 6th grade and started boxing. He got pretty far and eventually won the golden gloves. Well at some point in his life he realized he was missing something and decided to go back to school. Somehow he ended up as a teacher. HE WAS THE BIGGEST PAIN IN THE ASS. But I\'ll never forget a field trip to the local university to sit in on an english class. They were going over Othello. (We had read it in class, not watched the video). The look of pride on his face when we were able to answer students questions to the professor - my god - we were 7th graders and he had taught us how to \"get it\". He is the teacher I\'ll never forget, I don\'t know how he did it. I hated him at the time, but I owe him a huge debt of gratitude today.

11-20-2002, 06:02 PM
oh yeah - and he taught me the word loquacious - I was a bit of a jabber-mouth in Jr. High /ubbthreads/images/icons/wink.gif /ubbthreads/images/icons/wink.gif

11-20-2002, 08:21 PM
To all the jabber mouth kids out there who cant find australia on a map, its down the bottom under the rest of the world.

And quoating our ex-prime minister paul keating.
\"We are the ass end of the world - at the ass end of queen elizabeths empire\"
He is a republician so those comments went down quite well at the time as there was a big push for us to declare independants from the empire - alas a few years later the vote to ditch the monachry failed anyway.

11-20-2002, 11:59 PM
And now you have John Howard - oh goody. I like the guy, but I\'m not so sure he\'s doing your country much good.

11-21-2002, 12:25 AM
That\'s great. That\'s the reward, the kid who remembers you. A couple of years after I\'d quit teaching, I ran into one of my kids in a mall. He\'d graduated, got over his gangly stage, was quite a young man. Shook my hand and said, \"Man, Ms. ___. We had some GREAT discussions in your class. I\'ll never forget it.\" And a kid whose parents wrote me a thank you note I kept for years after. He never did well in English because his handwriting was so miserable he was ashamed of it, and wouldn\'t hand in papers. I said it was fine if he typed or used the computer, and he just took off. Turned out to be a very fine writer, started participating in class, found his confidence.The salary structure for teachers is based on the idea that teachers are women who will have husbands to support them. Trying to live on a teacher\'s salary is difficult - most of us had roommates and second jobs. It\'s exhausting, demanding work, and very political. The first couple of years are the worst - I had 4 preps my first year, for example - so the second year, I had saved all my tests and materials and was better set up. By the time you\'ve put in three or four years, you\'ve taught anything they can throw at you, so you\'ve got a kit for 9th grade average, 10th grade remedial, 12th grade advanced, etc., all you have to do is supplement with current affairs things from newspapers, magazines, for discussion purposes, to keep things lively. But going in, man....you\'re just one step ahead of the kids, doing the reading, making up the lesson plans, making tests, etc., grading homework and essays and tests ... thinking about your problem kids and what are you going to do with them... it\'s a lot. It\'s hard work. It\'s a short day as far as actual contact hours, but the day doesn\'t end when you go home by any means. The day is the easy part.Teachers should start out making at least twice what they make. And class sizes should be drastically reduced.And it sounds like geography should be um, perhaps better emphasized in the curriculum... lol

11-21-2002, 06:14 AM
The school system was one of the reasons we were so eager to leave California, it stinks. Classes of 35+ students, no discipline etc. Here in Texas, it is much better. Classes rarely get over twenty students in our district and the schools are well mainained. There is real discipline in school and parents are held accountable if their kids break the rules or don\'t attend. You can be prosecuted for your kid not attending class! The biggest flaw is the statewide testing and forcing the teachers to teach the test instead of focusing on real learning and critical thinking skills.

Did you know that in California you can be prosecuted for spanking your child? I don\'t mean abuse, a spanking on the bottom with your hand!

All my kids are honor students, including the married one who is attending college. We have never had cable TV and the idiot box is only on for rentals or our own movies. We do have mountains of books and games. My eleven year old has a goal of becoming good enough at chess to beat me before she gets into high school and she may well suceed. She\'s only a little competitive /ubbthreads/images/icons/smile.gif

Something we do that has been a real benefit to our kids is to use essay writing as a form of discipline. Since our rules are clearly defined, we assume they must have a reason for not following them. Therefore, they can explain their position in writing. Good grammer, spelling, punctuation and penmanship are required. It works and helps the kids with numerous skills.

I may be bragging a little but it\'s the kids whose parents are involved who will be ahead in their adult years. All this blaming the schools is bull! If your school system sucks, it\'s because you and your neighbors are not involved. If your kid isn\'t learning, it\'s because you are not helping them. If your kid is in trouble, it\'s because you are not supervising them.

Sorry folks. It\'s my favorite rant. I just get so tired of the \'It\'s not my fault/problem.\' philosophy that seems to permeate our society today.

11-21-2002, 11:14 AM
In keeping with the general idea of this thread, here are a few highlights from the new book, \"Non Campus Mentis: World History According to College Students\". Enjoy!

\"History, a record of things left behind by past generations, started in 1815. Thus we should try to view historical times as the behind of the present. This gives incite into the anals of the past.\"

\"Civilization woozed out of the Nile about 300,000 years ago. The Nile was a river that had some water in it. Every year it would flood and irritate the land. This tended to make the people nervous.\"

\"Judyism was the first monolithic religion. It had one big God named \'Yahoo\'.\"

\"Noah\'s ark came to it\'s end near Mt. Arafat.\"

\"These pre-Socratics lived long before Plato and were not decisively influenced by his work.\"

\"Plato invented reality. He was teacher to Harris Tottle, author of The Republicans.\"

\"Socrates was accused of sophmorism and sentenced to die of hemroyds.\"

\"Cesar inspired his men by stating, \'I came, I saw, I went\'. When he was assinated, he is reported to have said, \'Me too, Brutus!\'\"

\"Eventually Christian started the new religion with sayings like, \'The mice shall inherit the earth\'. Later Christians fortunately abandoned this idea.\"

\"Romans persacuted Christians by lionizing them in public stadiums.\"

\"Without the discovery of the flying buttock it would have been an impossible job to build the Gothic cathedral.\"

(Regarding the Black Plague): \"Death rates exceeded 100% in some towns.\"

\"This was a time of stunned growth. The plague also helped the emergence of English as the national language of England, France, and Italy.\"

\"Renaissance merchants were beautiful and almost lifelike. They enriched themselves by planting wool and selling it for clothing. They increased these profets by paying interest to people who borrowed money from them. This produced even more grits for the mills of change.\"

\"Hitler, who had become depressed for some reason, crawled under Berlin. Here he had his wife Evita put to sleep, and then shot himself in the bonker.\"

\"The Allies landed near Italy\'s toe and gradually advanced up her leg, where they hoped to find Musalini.\"

\"Stalin, Rosevelt, Churchill, and Truman were known as the \'big three\'.\"

\"Unfortunately the Second World War was not concluded until 1957. A whole generation had been wiped out in two world wars, and their forlorne families were left to pick up the peaces.\"

\"The Civil Rights movement in the USA turned around the corner with Martin Luther Junior\'s famous \'If I Had a Hammer\' speech.\"

\"The East and West made mends with each other. The Berlin Mall was removed. Many Eastern Europeans experienced a new form of arousal at this time.\"

\"It is now the age of now. This concept grinds our critical, seething minds to a halt.\"

(published by Workman Publishing of New York)

11-21-2002, 02:10 PM
Unbelieveable. Reminds me of a sign I saw the other day:

\"Ears pierced. While you wait\"

11-21-2002, 02:11 PM
Certainly ground my critical seething mind to a halt, I must say. lol

11-21-2002, 02:14 PM
..Teachers should start out making at least twice what they make...

Come to N.J. I know a PE teacher in a nearby town who makes over 70K. Granted she has over 20 years in the system, but thats not bad for 2 health classes and 4 hours of girls volleyball.

11-21-2002, 04:48 PM
teachers don\'t get paid sh_t. A couple of years back here in south florida (dade county to be specific) there was a scandal involving teachers and adminsraters. There were school adminstraters (who had a highschool diploma) who were making like 70-80 grand a year. There were teachers most with masters degrees who were makin like 30 grand year. When I was in highschool the adminsraters were these fat guys who rode around campus on golf carts who --
1)Told people who weren\'t eatin to leave the cafertia (because they needed the space -- I was in the most overcrowed school in broward county)
2)Watch the people in IS (IS is internal suspension -- if your caught skipping or were real late to school you went there). It was held in the gym -- if you were in here you either a)talked b)played cards c)listened to headphones d)went to sleep e)some combo of the previous
3)Told people who were leaving the campus (students who were leaving during lunch or class -- and no, this was not allowed) that if they wanted to come back on campus they would have to bring a chesseburger or something back with them. Most people left to go get something to eat at mccdonalds or whatever.

I grad in 98 and most of my highschool experience was BS. Me and my friends would skip at whim. I never had unexcused absences on my report card because I would call my absences in myself. Not that it mattered because when I asked my teachers for the worked I missed they would ask ME if it was excused or unexcused and just take my word for it. I had some good teachers (2 good english ones, 1 good math one, and a very good programming teacher -- I was in a TECH magnet). Most of the learning I did was from my own reading, or if I had shit_y teachers (like a certain Alegbra II teacher) I read the book on my own. I did well in her class (A\'s) while most people struggled to get a C or a D. Luckly I am good at math and I am technically inclined so I could read the book on my own and still learn.

11-21-2002, 04:51 PM
\"Me and my friends would skip at whim.\"

Should be \"My friends and I...\" -

Don\'t worry, you don\'t have to pay me!

11-21-2002, 04:54 PM
like I said I only had one good english teacher! /ubbthreads/images/icons/smile.gif

11-21-2002, 04:56 PM
\"2 good english ones\"

Huh ..?

11-21-2002, 05:06 PM
hey druid lets go out to the Hahvahd Bah and f*uck up some smaht kids. <<how do ya like them apples>>

OK - I need to get off the diet of DVD\'s and Phero Forum.

11-21-2002, 05:29 PM
oh yeah your right. I never did like lanuage classes (as you can tell from my spelling histroy on this forum). I never liked english and always thought it was very dry and borning subject -- and the people who taught it were dry and boring also (no offense FTR /ubbthreads/images/icons/smile.gif ). Like take wuthering heights, GOD WHAT A FCKING PIECE OF BORING SH_T. I hate that book. I always prefered math, science, and even histroy.

11-21-2002, 05:44 PM
I don\'t know about now, but when I was in high school if we had to write essey answers on tests or term papers, points were taken off for spelling, punctuation and grammer. This was in NON english classes. I so looked forward to getting out of school so I wouldn\'t have to write any more term papers. Today 30+ years later, I write more \"term papers\" than I ever did in school.

11-21-2002, 05:52 PM
in a lot of my classes that was the case also. I just have a dictionary and spell checker. Sorry I just don\'t put as much effort into my posts as I did essay\'s. /ubbthreads/images/icons/smile.gif

11-22-2002, 01:20 PM
http://www.etherzone.com/2002/stang112902.shtml (\"http://www.etherzone.com/2002/stang112902.shtml\")

The intentional dumbing-down of johnny. ooh - I should have capitalized that proper noun. /ubbthreads/images/icons/wink.gif

11-22-2002, 01:27 PM
That\'s the best article I\'ve ever read on the subject - the most truthful. No hyperbole; it\'s not satirical. It\'s the truth.

11-22-2002, 01:55 PM
That does it. New Zealand here we come. I find that article very easy to believe. Anybody ever read the Smart Drug books? Here you have an arm load of drugs that actually make people smarter and the FDA is trying to crush them out. Aren\'t we supposed to be trying to strengthen the fabric of our society? Or did I miss something?