Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Scary School

With my recent observations of all kinds of political correctness and post-modernism throughout school recently, I can hardly say that 2008 is shaping up to be any better a year before last. Some of my recent observations:

- John Minto (yes, John Minto) appearing on an episode of Paul Holme's show about the 1981 Springbok Tour (as we're currently doing the Treaty of Waitangi in Social Studies, and this apparently was of relevance), and the protests. To be fair, John Minto was one of the organizers of the marchs, but when you see him being flashed into the heads of teenagers, you know something is wrong. He complained about a "wave of hatred" going up the crowd, and some pictures of the pro-rugby protestors were shown after. Guess who he's talking about.

-On the subject of Social Studies, our teacher puts up supposedly inspirational quotes everyday for... no reason whatsoever. For instance, the quote on Monday was "To not decide is to decide". I don't feel I need to go into detail about exactly how stupid that quote is. Last week, one quote was "together as a class we learn." (jeez, whoever heard of individual learning?) Today, a quote was "the fastest way to do everything at once is to do them one at a time". (that means?...)

-This piece of sheer absurdity, from the English reading log:

"More than one cultural perspective: This could mean that the writer is from a different cultural background or that the text is written from a different cultural viewpoint" (a "different cultural viewpoint" to what?)

And this:

"A gender balance: You need to include a mixture of male and female writers and viewpoints. You need to nominate two such texts"

...And this.

"special notes:

4. Selection of texts
a. The concept of 'inclusiveness' is important in text selection. It includes the following principles: 'in selecting authors and texts, schools will have regard to gender balance and to the inclusion of a range of cultural perspectives... New Zealand texts, including those by Maori authors and about Maori, should form a significant part of the wide range of texts that students will explore.' (English in the New Zealand Curriculum, pp 13, 14)."

Just for those last three, I WON'T read any book by a non-white middle-class European or American. The only reason I'll still read texts by women is because Ayn Rand was one. I read books because they're GOOD, not because someone is black, white, purple or whatever.

And I thought the HOLIDAYS were bad!


Sus said...

Hi Callum .. long time, no see.

If you feel like throwing a spanner into the works, here's a question for your Social(ist) Studies teacher.

Why might Minto have been *so* opposed to 15 Kiwis playing rugby union against 15 Africans on account of domestic African policies that denied certain rights to members of its public, when that very same season, those 15 Kiwis played 15 Soviets - whose country also denied certain rights to *all* members of its public?

Was the first country's policies worse than the second?

Both had faults, but arguably, the second was worse in terms of "draconian" (socialists love that word) measures, yes?

And yet, not a peep from Minto regarding the USSR ...

I'd love to hear her response. Or are you taught by the only male left?!

Oh, and Romania toured around that time, too. Such a bastion of human rights was Romania under Ceausescu. But again, nothing from our shining white knight!

Callum said...

Great to see you, Sus!

As you'd expect, there was nothing -not even a tiny mention- of the other AB's matches during that period against other nations with questionable human rights policies. John Minto is just too important -and embarrassed- to discuss them.

Although I think, to be fair, that during the 1981 tour there were questions raised about matches against the countries you mentioned. But Minto doesn't want you to hear that now, does he?

Luckily, my SS teacher isn't the only male teacher left at my school. But he's only one of two male teachers that I have this year (the other, coincidentally, being my English teacher!)

Sus said...

I'd like 5 mins with your SS (how appropriate!) teacher - but I'm sure he wouldn't want 5 mins with me!

I remember 1981 well. I was 18 and in my first year of radio. Trust me, there was barely a whisper in the socialist media of hypocrisy regarding SA, the USSR or Romania.

The iron curtain was still well and truly entrenched, the trade unions were married to Moscow and the media was so leftist, they were heading off Joe Stalin.

And as for Minto being embarrassed? I think you give him too much credit. He's an out and out communist who was staying loyal to his mates. Just my opinion, anyway.

BTW, your writing's going from strength to strength. Some really good stuff. Well done!