next steps

NY Times Select: The Graduates Blog. The Times gathered a panel of graduating college seniors and gave them a nytimes-sanctioned web space on which to muse. The wavering of 20-somethings is a bit hard to stomach. Why do young people spend so much time worrying about “finding themselves”? Wasn’t that the point of spending 4 years studying anthropology and building huts in outer Mongolia on spring break?

The obvious solution here is to condense early education. Get the kids into college sooner, so they can do their existential thrashing before they are eighteen. Six years of elementary school is, as a friend once said, much too long to spend learning 4 arithmetic operations and the alphabet.


  • yathrib Says:

    Completely true!!

    Ditch 2-3 grades and all of jr. high (6-8)!

  • yathrib Says:

    Er, that should have been “ditch 2nd + 3rd grades and 6th – 8th”

  • Irina Says:

    Obviously we all hate those hut-building liberal arts majors, because, after all, Data Structures and Algorithms (in Java, of all things) doesn’t leave much time for introspection and self discovery.

    That aside, this is an interesting observation. I am a huge advocate of allowing kids to be accelerated through school. In the 40s and 50s this was the norm. Smart kids weren’t required to spend so much time studying division. They graduated from Harvard at 18. Now, you have to have enormous connections with the DOE in order to “test out of” kindergarten. Maybe a positive outcome of the current small schools movement will be the sufficient personal attention that is required to determine who can skip 2nd grade, and who needs an extra year to practice addition.

  • Selfish Crab Says:

    Gee, I wonder what little Ben’s education track will look like. Home school here we come!

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