Posted on February 28, 2019
The podcast “Back to School” by This American Life provided a lot of insight on the school system as a whole. Though through this, we are able to determine the intelligence of a person and better help them in being successful in life, it doesn’t account for natural disadvantages, such as cultural background. The environment in which one grows up in may be as important as the kid’s natural talent, because it is essentially futile if a person is smart but there is no place in which they can flourish. Furthermore, other factors such as family can have a lasting impact on a person. Adults can still easily break down under stress, so why do they expect young kids to be able to handle so much? What I found interesting was the rat study. The group of rats that had another rat to help them were much smarter in logic and what we deem as success nowadays. Most people think that those helpers are teachers, but teachers have limitations. They aren’t Superman, and they only see the student for a certain amount of time a day. A child usually sees their family the most, and if the child isn’t prospering, sometimes it isn’t the teacher; parents have to contribute to the student’s learning as well.
“College Pressures” by William Zinsser brings the topic of what is implied in the title. He doesn’t try to sugarcoat anything, instead, he brings the actual facts to the table. The factors contributing to this everlasting feel of the need to improve or to get an edge above everybody else stems for economic, parental, peer and self-induced pressure. In my opinion, the middle two’s intent isn’t meant to pressure the kid. They are genuine, hoping for the two to be successful. However, the way they express it can be better, because most of the time, it causes the student to feel pressured to excel in school. Economic pressure is an inevitable product of today’s society and shouldn’t be blamed on the student. College is expensive, and people who can’t pay for it, try their best to attain scholarships and get jobs to pay for tuition. Self-induced pressure comes from the student stressing about the other three pressures too much, and to be honest, we can’t blame them. Let’s face it, society only admires the super-rich, million-dollar mansions, and can care less about the other 99% of the population. What’s ironic is that kids are trying to have many advantages over others in life at a young age, such as going to tutoring, when the life expectancy is trending up in the future. We are expected to live longer, but we are doing things and trying to secure a prosperous future like tomorrow is our last day to live. Statistics and numbers are cared about so closely for no evident reason. Getting a 4.0 in college is like winning the lottery. To some extent though, we are allowing ourselves to be defined by a mere number. You may as well being calling people numbers too.All in all, kids today face so many pressures in our grueling education system, and often don’t get the support we need.