Saturday, June 13, 2015

I Hate to Go to the Academy!

Recently one of the  internet sites  had a  poem written by an elementary school girl with an illustration of the mother on the floor and the child by her side as a vampire with blood on her lips. Description of the  caricature, even now, is difficult to express in words, and easy to understand the response of those that saw the site. The child wanted the mother to know how much she hated going to the private academy for more study after school.

Complaints were so many and so critical of the site that the publishing company apologized and withdrew all contents, Children are not as conscious of what others will think, but honestly and simply express their inner feelings-- in this case difficult for adults to accept.

A college dean writes about the problems faced by the children in our educational system in the View from the Ark of the Catholic Times. He gives us another example of an essay written for a daily paper by a child who expresses the stress that students experience and wants the  parents to know this is the reason for the suicides, and laments that the children  are like  sponges, made to absorb repeated stress.

Children who frequent these private, after school academies, face a continual barrage of  slogans that  make the time at the academies  stressful and  fuel the competitive spirit in learning. Each day  they are exhausted by the studies and  repulsed  by what they   will continue to face, and a reason they turn to  their smart phones for relief. Fear of being a drop out in our society is present, and a reason for suicides.

Our columnist  tells us the day of the  geniuses has come to an end, and we are in the time of the creative thinker. No matter the conditions, they are prepared.  They can accept failure and  frustration with their fighting spirit. They can adapt to any situation and become  close to any person. Education you see, considers marks important but the education you don't see fosters leadership, creativity and  sacrifice. Competition is one form of violence. Extreme  competition instead of motivating for success  will foster frustration.

Competition fosters  academic cliques,  and ranking in society, an evil that  militates against harmony. The educational system we have  instead of fighting against the evils in society  has helped to increase the structural evils.  Development of society requires the mutual help of citizens and not the  elite of society acting as individualists.   

Recently we have more talk about the good results  of play even in theological thought. We are able to stimulate our senses, memories are helped, language and emotional life, creativity  and  social life is fostered. Before criticizing children for their behavior,  we should give them a place to work on liberating themselves from the demands made on them. Since our teaching of religion has a goal to speak to the whole person, and develop  mature human beings--  this makes for a strong  nation and church. Is there  any pastoral work that is more important than this?                 

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