Employees attending school are told that there are only two acceptable grades: As and Fs. What each grade stands for:
F=Fuck You, as in: fuck you (to the teacher) for making me learn bullshit, for trying to turn me into a dumbass.
Getting an A requires a modicum of discipline and hard work (unless it’s a bullshit class, which is often the case). An F requires courage and turning on the bullshit detector. Neither are easy to attain. As for everything else in between:
B is for Bitch because at most schools, this is what one gets for merely showing up and turning in assignments on time, even if there’s no point to any of it.
C is for Crap because this is the grade one gets when one chronically turns in assignments late.
D is for Dumbass for rarely showing up, turning in just enough assignments to not get franked.
These grades either legitimize a system that produces dumbasses and fuck ups — we’ll pass you even though you didn’t learn anything because you kept your mouth shut about it — or they represent one’s lack of effort when faced with an opportunity to learn something meaningful. Neither are acceptable.
I declared war on local schools when I found out that an employee (good cook) who graduated high school with a 3.7 GPA (honors classes through junior year) could not provide the correct answer to 7 *4, and struggled with 16 + 6 (because some moron decided it’s ok to have students use calculators starting in 5th grade, and the Envision [creative students guaranteed!] math curriculum is confusing and bizarre). And it’s not just arithmetic, there are problems with reading comprehension and logic and pattern recognition. Much time is spent getting employees to unlearn the mindset, attitudes, and habits taught in high school (and reinforced at home). Keep in mind that I’m not the only business owner with such experiences and views. I’m just one of the few expressing it publicly in hopes that collectively, we can do something about this situation. The types and quality of local businesses depend on the quality of its labor pool and the sensibilities of consumers.
What Students Can Do
They can’t vote for school council members or the superintendent. They have no say in hiring and firing. No voice on PTA board. But they can tell an incompetent teacher to fuck off.
- AP Calc, all students, including A students (half the class) flunk the AP exam. Teacher should be fired or demoted. Yet parents choose to ignore the discrepancy between the class grades and test results, instead telling their kids that the AP test is flawed — biased, racist, sexist, whatever — that they really are good at Math. These A students head off to UW, and half of them can’t even place into regular Calculus. Ones who take Calculus get a 2.5, which is at best a D at institutions that don’t allow grade inflation. Making it tempting for students and their parents to continue to choose the wrong reality.
- English class, teacher asks students to write personal narratives (aka weekly journals). Teenagers are by definition narcissistic. Personal narratives feed teen narcissism. “I-I-I-I-I.” It’s like feeding heroin to a heroin addict. The purpose of education is to make people grow up — beat narcissism out of them — and not to allow them to indulge in their fantasies and angst. The only people who should be writing personal narratives are those paid to do so (because they’re actually interesting), toddlers, and those who’ve completed their lives’ work and want to pass their wisdom to family. Teachers should be teaching students how to write evidence based essays with clarity and precision so they learn to stop talking out of their asses and feeling sorry for themselves.
- Spanish class, teacher spends most of class talking about her problems and her cats. You know how this ends for students and tax payers.
How to Tell a Teacher to Fuck Off
- From Donnie Darko: Donnie tells teacher to shove her lesson up her…
Those of you who can’t watch it, here’s summary: teacher trains students to reduce every act to an expression of either “fear” or “love.” Donnie calls bullshit, explaining that “there are other things that need to be taken into account here, like the whole spectrum of human emotion. You can’t just lump everything into these two categories and then just deny everything else.” Teacher counters with threat of failing grade for the day.
- Another from Donnie Darko: Donnie calls school sponsored speaker the “Anti-Christ.”
- Summary: speaker preaches gibberish. Invites students to talk about their problems. One student talks about not knowing what to do with his life. Another about her weight problems. A third about getting bullied. Speaker asks them to embrace “love” as the solution to their problems, rather than take concrete action to solve them. Donnie takes stage and calls bullshit, telling girl to get off her ass, exercise more, and eat less; bullied boy to “take karate lessons to kick the kid…in the balls.” Gets dragged off-stage for doing so.
- From Plato: Athenian teachers treat their students as “passive cups to be filled.” Socrates calls bullshit — introduces the Socratic method, where students find solution by asking questions, rather than taking in teacher proclamations — and shows everyone why these teachers are dumbasses. Gets sentenced to death for doing so.
- From Breakfast Club: Five students from different cliques show up for Saturday detention. Boredom and teen angst inspires rebellion. Narcissism wins!
- From Dead Poet’s Society: Horny, preppy boys want public school pussy (except for the kid who commits suicide, he wants dick). Renegade teacher suggests to them that the best way to get pussy is to sneak off at night to write poetry. Emboldened by late night jerk off sessions (writing poetry!), they soon want more pussy and request school administration to admit girls. Lame and juvenile. Find a better reason to tell teachers to fuck off.
Who Gets to Tell Teachers to Fuck Off?
Ha, not everyone. We’re not trying to start a Chinese style Cultural Revolution, where Red Book waving teenage sons and daughters denounced their parents, students sent teachers to labor camps and burned down schools, and apprentices beat their masters to death. The right to tell a teacher to fuck off has to be earned. Otherwise, students think it’s ok to act like those Breakfast Club douchebags.
Donnie Darko earned his right with his “intimidating test scores.” If you’re going to tell a teacher to fuck off, be sure you have some evidence that you’re smarter than him. However problematic testing may be, it’s the great equalizer that makes incompetent teachers think twice about fucking with the kid with perfect scores. Which brings us to Socrates. He earned his right — no test scores to back him up — by realizing that he himself is a dumbass. That made it possible for him to prove that those who thought themselves wise were even bigger dumbasses (see Oracle of Delphi paradox). In other words, only stupid people think they’re smart. This dictum has been repeated throughout classical literature and has been corroborated by scientific evidence (see Cornell study on why stupid people don’t realize they’re stupid). Those who think they’re smart will never able to spot or admit to their mistakes. Those who think they’re dumbasses are constantly searching for evidence of their own stupidity. Which, ironically, is how one learns to listen and ask questions, as Donnie Darko does.
Put simply, only a dumbass who knows he’s a dumbass can tell a teacher to fuck off. Everyone else, shut the fuck up.
Why It’s Important to Tell Teachers to Fuck Off
Incompetent teachers send the following message to students: All you have to do to succeed in life is to show up and turn in assignments on time. And make nice, don’t piss anyone off.
I’m not asking teachers to ensure students master Calculus, Physics, or a foreign language. It’s the means, not the end, that matters. Most well paying jobs require an 8th grade education, at most. One doesn’t need to know the difference between a metaphor and a metonym or how to do a delta-epsilon proof or when King Henry fucked his fifth wife to do most jobs well. One only needs grit and resilience. Incompetent teachers do not teach grit and resilience. They teach students it’s ok to just show up to receive awards, instead of learning to struggle for achievement. Work is mostly struggle. Those who can handle struggle and frustration will achieve. Those who can’t will give up, not only at work but also in life.
Most knowledge gained in school is either wrong or will soon be so. But the *habits* and *attitudes* learned in high school will affect a lifetime, financially and emotionally. The best schools instill habits and attitudes that breed health and success. The rest are like bad hospitals, cutting off wrong limbs, administering the wrong drugs, and satisfied with simply keeping the patient barely alive, instead of alive and thriving.