The Other Education
The Other Education
The column “The Other Education” by David Brooks appearing in New York Times addresses the division between formal education and other education (2009). He narrates his discovery of Bruce Springsteen Fed, 1975 and how his emotional curriculum has shaped his world view. People pay close attention to the formal education whereas less attention is given to the emotional education that has proved to be more formidable, unlike the formal education. The emotional education should be prioritized and supervised alongside formal education because it is more relevant to our lives and long-term happiness.
David Brook approaches the topic of the other education with openness to address the gap that exists in our school system. He says, “This second education does not work the way the scholastic education works. In a standard schoolroom, information walks through the front door and announces itself by the light of day” (Brooks, 2009). He continues to say that, “knowledge transmitted in an emotional education comes indirectly, seeping through the cracks of the panes, front under the floorboards and through the vents” (Brooks, 2009). From the description, I feel that he gives the actual state of how learning takes place in the schoolroom.
The scholastic education is an outdated form of learning that is preventing teachers from passing the right way of learning to the children. Instead, the learning taking place is aimed at helping the children pass exams, but little input is made in helping them gain useful skills that will improve the quality of their lives. I am especially moved by Brook’s daughter’s reaction when she attended a Springsteen concert in Baltimore. Being her first “class” in emotional education, she is astonished by how emotional but interesting the learning was which was evident by the crowd’s reaction when Springsteen was performing. He says, “She could not believe what she saw- 10,000 people in a state of utter abandon” (Brooks, 2009).
In conclusion, the education system should tend to other needs and not just the regular formal academic needs. The social, ethical, vocational and emotional needs are vital as well as a way of nurturing the emotional education that is in charge of our personal accomplishments and happiness.
The US school system is set such that children go through training that will shape their future profession. The majority of the people go through elementary school, high school and college. These levels equip students with essential skills that will help in solving day to day problems as well as contribute positively in the respective professions or careers. Students get exposure to real-life situations and challenges, and the college education plays a vital role in shaping our perspectives. However, today’s students undergoing college education are worried and resistant about anything that challenges their beliefs.
The college education curriculum aims at challenging opinions held by students, allowing them to explore and grow their thinking. By reading books and perusing existing sources through the internet, students develop necessary skills that help them unravel mysteries, discover new ideas and challenge existing arguments. According to Jabbar (2015), this is not always the case with the modern college students. He (Jabbar) gives an occurrence at the University of North Carolina where a student wrote an article criticizing one of their required readings because it sympathized with terrorists. The student was critical of the reading due to his personal research and not due to the contents of the book. The suggested readings in college curriculum aim at challenging the reader’s mind and the readers are free to argue for or against the theme of the reading. The readers do not necessarily have to agree with the author’s sentiments.
Brooks (2016) states that today’s college campuses have corrupted the moral judgment that existed several decades ago. Instead, personal values have a replacement the moral principles on which college education was instituted. Brooks argues that a shame culture has developed among college students such that their deeds are judged by what the community (other students) say about them. The growth of shame culture has been motivated by social media where members post to seek approval from other members. Those who fail to show support are condemned, and the group members react with anger when other members show disrespect. Without considering right or wrong, the students are after seeking approval from other members rather than standing with what is right.
In conclusion, colleges provide a perfect environment for learning which allows students to challenge beliefs and theories through research. Students should learn that the best approach is not to reject a reading due to personal beliefs, but to read first and then present arguments to challenge the view in the form of facts, authority, and statistics.
Leah Kaminsky’s “Risk Taking.”
- Question One
The author starts her essay with an anecdote. She begins with the story of James Dean, a legendary movie star, who was killed in a tragic crash while heading to a car race. The author talks about a possible daredevil gene that is behind the risk-taking behavior of some individuals. James Dean was a fan of car racing, a risky event where participants showcase dangerous stunts to impress the spectators.
- Question Two
Kaminsky uses the term ‘good-looking corpses’ to describe the state of corpses in an idiomatic way. Corpses from motor vehicle accidents are usually distorted and can never be good looking. He also introduces an idiom ‘ghost-rider and exterminator’ as a way of comparing themselves with past or fictional characters. Further, he presents the phase ‘flirtations with death.’ To him, death is a phenomenon that is feared by all people. The author uses the term to show that some of the risky behavior may result in death, but such events entertain the spectators. Moreover, he uses the phrase ‘screaming out our lungs’ to show that people are shouting at the top of their voice in support of the participants. And lastly the author make known to the meaning of ‘death-defying acts’ to explain actions that may result in death, but those involved are well trained or experienced to perform such acts.
- Question Three
The author’s primary concern is whether the daredevil gene is responsible for the risk-taking behavior. The question is in column two, second paragraph. She says, “Does their genetic makeup hold this behavior? Could traits such as novelty-seeking and extroversion potentially be linked to a ‘Daredevil’ gene?” (Kaminsky, 2015)
- Question Four
The author illustrated her risk-taking behavior when she took on the ski ropes of Australia. She jumped a massive mogul and landed in an icy slush pile and incurred injuries on her left knee. She spent the rest six weeks hovering around on crutches due to her plastered leg.
- Question Five
The author uses experts report on a study that showed the existence of a daredevil gene. The study revealed that professional risk takers have the ability to focus on the task at hand due to the presence of a daredevil gene in their body.
- Question Six
The author uses transition words in to ensure a smooth flow of her essay. Transition words and phrases used include: however, though, but, like, although, no matter, also, because, etc.
- Question Seven
The author sums up her argument using questions. She asks questions that most people would ask if they found that they carry a daredevil gene. She recommends people to learn skills that will help them confront anxiety brought about by the daredevil gene.
- Question Eight
The author does not like risk-taking behavior. From her personal experience, she suffered injuries to her knee when she exhibited a risk-taking behavior by jumping off the ski ropes of Australia. She even recommends people to learn beneficial skills to combat anxiety that comes with such behavior.
- Question Nine
In my opinion, Leah Kaminsky presents a successful argument. She gives real-life examples of the result of risky behavior, including her experience where she suffered a fracture. She also includes expert’s opinion to explain the topic and how the process works from the brain to the body.
Brooks, D. (2009, November 28). The other education. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/27/opinion/27brooks.html?_r=1
Brooks, D. (2016, March 15). The shame culture. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/15/opinion/the-shame-culture.html
Jabbar, K. A. (2015, Sept 23). Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: Ignorance vs. Reason in the war on education. Time Retrieved from http://time.com/4046780/kareem-abdul-jabbar-war-on-education/
Kaminsky, L. (2015, Sept 30). Are daredevil genes responsible for risky behavior? Genome. Retrieved from http://genomemag.com/are-daredevil-genes-responsible-for-risky-behavior/#.VwzhTDB97IU