Saturday, 23 June 2012

Pop: The Forgotten Children

Where there is a minority, people fight for their rights. This happens with women and with ethnic minorities, it isn’t a new concept for the world. I don’t agree with it of course, I think that we should fight for equality not for conditional equality. But nonetheless the western world claims that the rights of the smaller groups of people are more important. 

This is only true, however, where the minority group is big enough. I have mentioned before how when men are the minority or white people are the minority they are ignored because their group isn’t big enough to count to people as a minority in the situations where they are mistreated. My complaint today is about another minority group that is always ignored and holds fewer rights than everybody else. My complaint today is about the forgotten children.
These are children who are intelligent and who therefore should have good prospects in life. 

They are identified as such early in their school life and ignored from that moment onwards. It is easy to think that an intelligent child can get through school by themselves, they are from this point onwards expected to get the very best grades without any help from anybody. 

If a fingerpointer gets an E, it is all smiles and star stickers. Not only does an intelligent child never get a star sticker for an A, they get disapproval if they dare get a B.
The intelligent child drags themself through school alone, learning very quickly that if they ask the teacher for help the request will be forgotten the moment that a less intelligent child spits its dummy out. Even if the child is half way through being taught how to do a maths problem that they don’t understand, they will be left for the child who can’t write the number 2. So the intelligent child learns that asking for help is a pointless endeavour. To keep the parents happy, every school report then says that the child does not ask for enough help, this puts blame onto the child and the behaviour of the teacher is never brought into question. 

By the time the child gets to GCSE they have learnt how to coast, they sit back in lessons and do the bare minimum because there will never be any praise for doing their best. Some children start to do badly in order to change people’s perception of them but because they have already been labelled as intelligent, any lesser grades just get them shouted at rather than the help and attention they are craving. So the child gets straight A’s in their GCSE’s rather than A*’s, everyone is horribly disappointed and the child starts to become bitter. Their dreams of becoming a doctor or a judge or an economist are left to wilt because the intelligent child notices that there is more attention for the children who want to be a hairdresser or a gardener or a street sweeper. 

The child is still at a disadvantage here however because they weren’t allowed to do vocational training in their GCSE’s like the fingerpointers. They don’t have the experience expected of them to go into one of the areas of life where they might get praise and attention. So they just give up. They sit through their A levels and watch their grades get lower and lower. They lessen their expectations for university to one that they can get into without trying and spend their time learning other things that stimulate their brain. University doesn’t agree with them but it is expected of them so they sit through three years without complaint and get an average grade at the end. Then they pass into a 9 to 5 job and try not to act too smart because by this point they have become scared of declaring their intelligence, all they want to do is to be left alone in a corner and learn by themselves.

These children are forgotten and disillusioned with society but nobody notices them because the dim kids scream louder. The main argument about the new potential GCSE system is that it disadvantages the majority, well what about the minority? Why is it that only where intelligence is concerned, the minority doesn’t matter? Smart kids are the ones who have the potential to change the world, the ones who should be aspiring to become the next consultants, the next astrophysicists or politicians. But instead all we do is fill them with rubbish about the rich people in society being evil and bad, about the people who work hard to become the top of their field being undeserving of their position because they earn more than the rest of us. There is nothing to aspire to because the majority are jealous of the few people who really make something of themselves. Finger-pointers don’t like any person with more money than them and so spread the view to their children that they should instead be inspiring to be the next reality TV star or singer or footballer. 

I was watching the news this morning and they showed an academy that encouraged people to do just that, become the next mindless celebrities of the future. There was no mention of academia, no mention of how it is possible to do these things and being intelligent because the sad truth of it all is that people don’t value knowledge anymore. It is wrong to allow children who are smart to do harder exams because it makes the fingerpointers realise that they are thick, they don’t like to be left out of things and therefore drag the smart children down. It is wrong to give the best jobs in the country to smart people for the same reason. 

The minority of intelligent people are being put down and stamped on by the majority of fingerpointers and it is this fact that is making the people of our country so much stupider. Stupidity breeds stupidity. The more power the fingerpointers get, the easier exams have to become to cater for their loud-mouthed children. The less pay the top people have to have and therefore the less aspiration there is for the intelligent kids. The people who have money and are intelligent hold onto it because they make sure their kids are smart and hold them to different values, thus the gap between rich and poor becomes bigger and bigger. A smart kid in a fingerpointer household becomes more and more forgotten. 

These forgotten children aren’t rare; they aren’t some phenomenon that only happens once in a blue moon or some minority so small that it doesn’t matter. They are in the office next to you, sat on the chair behind you in Starbucks, walking along the street in front of you looking up at the sky and thinking about it until they are glared at so much that they look down like everyone else. They are the people who act as receptionists to the doctors or lawyers that they should have become. 

And the only way that you will know they exist is by the writing on their hand as they try and learn their fifth language or the wry smile on their face when they watch a fingerpointer repeatedly trying, and failing, to push the huge glowing button on the front of a computer. 

Pop (signature placeholder)

4 comments:

  1. I'm sending my reply in different parts, as I got carried away & wrote a whole story!

    FROM: Patty

    PART 1

    Definitely hit a nerve with me. I'm a 54 year old Caucasian woman. Remember being extremely intelligent in grade school & most of the girls were always mean, jealous little bitches towards me. Funny, because here I am in an office with two mean jealous black women. One is my supervisor and we can go for weeks and she will not talk to me. There are so many projects I could help her with and actually make her "look good" but she will not dare ask for my help. I know what it is all about. She is too insecure, and terrified I will find her mistakes. I'm not mean-spirited either. When I find mistakes, I point them out in a light, kind-hearted way. But that does not matter to Kim. She would rather turn in projects filled with errors, than have her employee find any mistakes & point it out to her, and as a result have a CORRECT project turned in.

    When I was a child living at home, my mother only went to ONE Parent-Teacher conference in my entire life-time. It was the "First Quarter" Parent Teacher Conference in 1st grade. The teacher told her I was doing excellent. My grades continued to be good, so Mom never saw a point in attending any more parent-teacher conferences. She was ALWAYS at the school for my brother, who was constantly having trouble and ended up failing the 6th grade. Oh, and how could I forget to mention that he too, hated my guts. I think a big turning point in my life came when I was in the 8th grade. I found out my parents were giving money to my brother if he brought up any of his grades. They desperately wanted him to graduate from high school, and tried to "motivate" him with money. I never earned any money for my good grades - ever! This really bothered me. When I confronted my mother about this, she said, "Patty, you're very lucky. School comes easy for you. You don't struggle the way your brother does." That comment floored me. Yes, I was smart and some things did come easy to me, but not ALL things did. I WORKED MY ASS OFF to get the grades I got! How could they not see that? Yet my lazy-ass brother got paid to get anything other than an "F". It still pisses me off, just thinking about it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm sending my reply in different parts, as I got carried away & wrote a whole story!

    FROM: Patty

    PART 2

    Well, as a result, I did something rather drastic, that I now regret. At the end of my 8th grade year in junior-high, all the teachers had to sign off on a form, that showed where they thought you should be placed in high-school. My math teacher wrote "Algebra 1" on the form, my science teacher wrote "Chemistry 1", & so forth & so on. Well, little Patty got a hold of that form and CHANGED EVERYTHING! I think some of the teachers wrote their comments in pencil, and I simply erased their comments and wrote in my own! I wrote in "General Math", "General Science", etc. My opinion was, "Fuck it! I'm sick of working so hard, when nobody cares anyway!" I distinctly remember thinking that, and thinking to myself that I was going to have fun in high school, and not worry about my grades anymore. I actually pulled it off! Nobody questioned my classes except my father. I stated I wasn't going to go to college anyway, so I didn't need any College Prep classes. He actually let it go! With me now as a parent, I would have NEVER let a highly intelligent child of mine go without taking College-Prep classes. But it was a different time. Some parents did not expect that much of their daughters. The person I am now the most upset with is myself. I keep beating myself up over that decision I made when I was only in the 8th grade. It really affected my life. I made friends with the "dumb" kids, started smoking pot and doing all kinds of drugs. These kids were always amazed that I still managed to be "high" all the time (often smoking pot right before going to school)and I still got really good grades. That was because I had made it possible by taking ridiculously easy classes. As long as my grades were kept up, as long as A's & B's were on the report card, then Mom & Dad would never be questioning my "extracurricular activities".

    So I went on to graduate, but never really challenged myself the way I should have been challenged. Bounced from one low paying job to the next. Always quit because I was bored out of my mind! I have a somewhat decent job now, as far as pay goes. I work for the government. It pays well, but I am still bored out of my mind, so that is why I now surf the web and answer articles like this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the detailed comment Patty. We really feel for you. Particularly the comment 'school comes easy for you'; What a terrible thing to tell an intelligent child. While it seems intelligence has some small degree of natural capacity, the majority of it is an openness of mind and a willingness to work hard at what you enjoy.

      We were both told the same thing and continue to get told the same thing on occasion (reduced by the fact that we've isolated ourselves from the ungrateful and unappreciative gathering of mindless, hairless apes we mockingly call 'society') and it never fails to boil our blood. Achievers are continually denied the acknowledgement of effort.

      We too became disillusioned and effectively gave up on ignored academic achievement, although not in as extreme a way as yours. Though the methods differ, we appreciate the motivation behind your sacrifice. At times, the lure of a simple, unintelligent life is quite great.

      It's sad to confront but it would seem you exemplify what we're trying to highlight to people: Intense encouragement of under-achievers won't change their nature, it just looks good on school reports but neglect and scorn directed at interested, hard-working achievers can dampen and even eliminate the streak of ambition in them. Why would you continue striving when you've been taught that there's no reward for it, that your efforts will always go ignored. We think what you did was more than understandable given the state of things as they are.

      I'm sorry there's no note more positive than this to end on but there you go.

      Blippop.

      Delete
  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete

Please tell us what you think and don't be afraid to be honest, that's what we're here for.