« on: May 05, 2009, 01:05 PM »
My sister is a high school teacher here in Toronto. She is constantly bothered by the fact that many of the students lack basic comprehension skills. School is preparation for the 'real' world as Darwin said. You go to a job and feel if you just show up and do the minimal amount of work required, you will be okay. Maybe so in certain types of employment. If however you wish to enter any of the professions or trades where pressure is constantly applied to produce, you are going to be in big trouble. Failing at various endeavors can produce two results; you will strive harder to achieve a better outcome thereby improving yourself, or, you will abandon that particular endeavor as not being conducive to your likes, dislikes or ambitions in whatever regards. Growing up I was constantly told sink or swim, the three 'G's, get a job, go to school or get out by my parents. A bit harsh but effective for me. If you failed a course at school you either went to summer school to improve your marks or didn't bother. If you didn't bother, this would diminish your overall average which in effect would influence you future prospects should you had wished to pursue post-secondary education thus limiting your employment prospects. Yes, they did fail you despite showing up and doing the course assignments if you did not comprehend what was being taught. With that being said I don't purport to say that the current system or the time I attended school is better or worse. As with anything there are probably pros and cons. My references are anecdotal as I am not basing any of my perceptions on research. Two of my nephews are in University and another one is in the trades. Guess who has the best employment prospects? It appears that the trades are not actively encouraged and as a result there is a dearth of trades people resulting in high demands for such. The trades are not being promoted as viable alternatives to University. To my thinking today's youth are in an unenviable position, the pressure is on! As for pirating software movies, games etc, I suspect it has to do with lack of disposable income. A popular refrain amongst kids I speak with is 'Why buy it if you can get it for free?'. Their reasoning being that they don't have the funds to procure these items. Factor in peer pressure which causes embarrassment and and loss of esteem in some instances. For many, appearances are all such as who has the latest 'thing', you get my drift. That is the reasoning many have relayed to me. I think many in previous 'generations' suffered from this when they were teenagers and young adults. They just didn't have access to today's technology in order to download pirated copies of media items, software etc. From my prospective, there is no excuse for this as someone worked to create something and presumably worked hard and should therefore be compensated accordingly. I doubt most are exceedingly wealthy as a result of their toils. On the other hand easy access to pirated software, music etc was not available as it is now. Who knows if the people of my generation would have resorted to the same actions had they the current technology at their disposal?