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Antiochus III

Darfur: Where exactly is it?

Where is Darfur located  

11 members have voted

  1. 1. Where is Darfur located?

    • Southern Iraq
      0
    • Southeastern Rwanda
      0
    • Northern Mali
      0
    • West of Timbuktu
      0
    • Southwestern Sudan
      10
    • Why should I care anyway?
      1
    • Darfur is a figment of Antiochus III's imagination
      1
    • The United States of America and Darfur are synonymous
      0


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Our school system does exactly what it was designed to do.

 

A design which (I believe) since at least the 19th century was to prevent children from being employed for excessive and exploitative work hours in factories, on farms, etc.

 

I don't think that compulsory education has ever been any guarantee that all children are going to be educated satisfactorily. Compulsory education in past times merely gave the time, freedom, and opportunity of learning to children who might otherwise have been put to work to support their families or Dickensian workmasters.

 

Times have changed -- at lease in those first world nations sensitive to international censure for the exploitation of their children. I think that in nations such as our own, which possess the advantages of modern technology (as I mentioned earlier in this thread), self-motivated students can more easily assume personal responsibility for their own education. We could do away with State education. Students who have no interest in learning aren't going to benefit from State education anyway.

 

PP, I hear you. Perhaps a disinterest in the tyrannical regimes of Africa (especially when interest is shown in other areas, such as technology) shouldn't earn a student the label of "lazy."

 

But another example of student ignorance cited in this thread was that only 33 percent of the students in Antiochus III's school could point out Egypt on a map. I mean, come on. I can't excuse that. Those are some pretty damn lazy, spoiled students in that "pretty good" school. Even if their teachers don't spoon-feed them, if they at least have access to a computer then there's nothing stopping them from having access to the world.

 

-- Nephele

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It seems unbelievable that this is possible--even at this school which is good--only 33 percent of students can point out Egypt!!!

 

I don't think this is as much a reflection on your "school which is good," as it is a reflection on students themselves who must be spoon-fed everything by their teachers, by society, by their government, etc.

 

With the vast resources of the Internet these days, students should be better informed, regardless of their school. Besides the ease with which one can access news articles on the 'net, opportunities for discussion of world events (with people from around the world) exist on countless discussion boards -- far more opportunities than ever existed in the classrooms of earlier generations. For crapsake, one doesn't even need to be a member of a history discussion forum, as one can usually find a few active threads dealing with current events on just about any sort of discussion board.

 

Such ignorance in your school regarding Darfur can mostly be attributed to disinterest on the part of lazy and spoiled students.

 

-- Nephele

 

Spoiled, disinterested students? Blaming this on students?? Oh no, my friend you are quite wrong. Responsibility (as always) should be placed one hundred percent on the educators, the administrators, the curriculum, and also on the parents. I don't know how far removed you are from a high school setting (or for that matter, that of a junior high, middle school, or even elementary school), but what you said sets full blame on the kids themselves. What you have to realize, is that these kids have been brainwashed in a sense. Maybe you were brought up in a perfect home school where you were guided perfectly and everyone catered to your needs and taught you to continue your education further on your own, to read, and to have a well-rounded knowledge base, but this is a far cry from what most students' lives are like. Emphasis is placed on tests, testing, and the like. Curriculums are extremely rigid with little or no room for development beyond core ideas, encouragement to further one's education online is minimal. Intelligent kids usually tend to be the ones whose parents and families are well connected, and these are also the ones that are alienated. Instead of focusing instruction to those who have a gifted brain, the schools cater to those students who are struggling. The classes are not discussion based, they are entirely based on testing and preparation for these tests which involves no learning at home (perhaps a lot of "studying" though). Kids are not encouraged to bring their own knowledge to the table whatsoever. Obviously, I am not making any of this up, as I have experienced it firsthand. I realize that some of this may change as one moves to the high school level, but once there, they may have fallen too far behind. If learning institutions were to adopt a policy of guided-self instruction maybe kids would learn more independently, using the internet to discover on their own or talking to educated adults, then discussing it in class with an instructor highlighting key points, the system would work better than how it is now, where teachers "teach" kids (about whatever subject matter they're required to teach in order for kids to know specific info for a test), then the kids are told to go home and study. Clearly the education surrounding the internet is too little, and too late in the educational process. By the time schools even teach the kids anything about internet use, the kid has probably already had a chance to explore it on his own, and not necessarily in the right way. How do you expect to see kids use the internet like you, a resourceful information finder and intelligent internet user, when their education regarding it is left in the the hands of organizations that do a terrible job of it?

 

Furthermore, the powers that be in education place little emphasis on geography. In fact, were it not for my self-education in the field, I would not have known where to begin on blank world map in my eighth grade. People even in high level classes in high school struggle with geography. Is this because they are lazy, spoiled kids? No, the real reason behind this is that administrations have no geography taught in their schools, teachers themselves do not always have a handle on it, and as a result, people learn an abysmally small amount of geography. I'm not talking not knowing where countries are--I'm talking not having to know anything about geography for school. If they don't need to know it for school, and their parents have placed all responsibility on schools to teach their kids how will they learn it? You may say that they will in high school. Simple answer: they can easily get straight A's in high school without taking a geography class and without learning anything about geography whatsoever.

 

The ignorance that exists is also a major outcome of ignorant parenting. Parents rarely have any idea of how to help their children learn without just telling them to do schoolwork. Society places little value of parental education of children--instead it is encouraged for children to go to preschools or the like at a ridiculously young age for miserably inexperienced fools to teach kids about sharing and social things, when the kids can barely learn this anyway. Thus these parents place confidence in institutions to teach their children morals and the foundation of education, which are often times profit minded, and do not usually have one on one contact like a good parent-based education system would have. Also these parents many times place children in daycare centers, where, let's be honest, nothing gets learned. So there you have it, lazy parents have just given up their kid to educators and caregivers who are teaching to the lowest end of the spectrum, where 12 or more kids are being taught by incompetent imbeciles, rather than having parents who have a better knowledge of their ability level educate them. It starts off here, and from this point, kids are not being taught to teach themselves, to push themselves, or to learn on their own. Also, education in schools never really touches upon how to access resources and forums such as this. Kids left to their own devices will most likely not stumble upon good educational and informative sites. This again, whether due to parental incompetence or just the fact that global companies left unchecked will inevitably be able to lure people to their sites. Google.com is entirely profit oriented: pay up and your site will pop up first. Do you think kids will find coke.com or unrv.com first? Again, can you really blame kids for this? Maybe you should put yourself in their shoes with their views and upbringing before writing such harsh and scathing posts.

 

Maybe you support a highly dogmatic view of education where the elite are chosen at birth, the ones who obtain a good education are the ones that have had a good family life where the rich parents have had time to spend teaching their kids, and have sent them to expensive schools for kids that are intelligent, have already learned on their own and are prepared. I, on the otherhand, think that our education system is flawed, needs to be changed, and should at all costs resist privatization.

 

Also, keep in mind that this country has a profuse number of people who look down upon intelligence, and try to ostracize those of intelligence. It's weird to be smart, and teachers will sometimes even scold a child for knowing do something such as division when the class is learning multiplication. Yes, that actually happened to one of my friends in the third grade (and no, he wasn't being a jerk about it). This attitude doesn't just magically appear in students--it is put into their minds by someone else.

 

I sincerely hope you will rethink what you wrote in that post, and as I clearly have a lot to talk about on the subject, feel free to ask for a more in depth explanation of any of my points.

 

Antiochus III the Great

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Stuff I forgot to say in my last post: we actually did learn about the genocide in Darfur in history for about 7-10 minutes--but we never learned where Darfur was. Also, Nephele said that students must be spoon-fed everything from gov't and teachers--isn't this because the education system has effectively ended placing any kind of emphasis on learning on one's own? No one to blame but the Ed. system for that. And who's to blame for the Ed. system? Gov't. They are also responsible for charter schools which are run for profit and essentially are just a bad idea from some libertarians who managed to get elected to public office by way of right-wing propaganda of sorts.

 

Antiochus III the Great

Edited by Antiochus III

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Maybe you support a highly dogmatic view of education where the elite are chosen at birth, the ones who obtain a good education are the ones that have had a good family life where the rich parents have had time to spend teaching their kids, and have sent them to expensive schools for kids that are intelligent, have already learned on their own and are prepared. I, on the otherhand, think that our education system is flawed, needs to be changed, and should at all costs resist privatization.

 

Pardon??? :(

 

I support a view of education that promotes curiosity, personal research, and self-reliance. I oppose a view of compulsory education that promotes indoctrination, unrealistic politics-driven standards, and refusal to accept the reality that some mothers' darlings aren't going to become achievers no matter how much "feel good" encouragement they're given.

 

Far from your assumptions about my view on education, the many bright kids (and adults) who choose to make use of my public library's print and electronic resources for their education needs don't come from wealthy homes, and quite a few of them have a less than ideal family life. A good number of them are hard-working immigrants, in fact, learning English as a second language (we have an active Literacy Volunteers program in my library). They all have the same thing in common -- a willingness to learn and the drive to pursue learning on their own.

 

I don't just think that our state education system is flawed and "needs to be changed." I think that our state education system has perhaps outlived its usefulness.

 

-- Nephele

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Students here hate the teachers that ask questions and like those that speak for the entire hour giving them chance to sleep in class.

I doubt that I learned an useful thing in about 17 years in school.

If I would be a teacher I would avoid talking too much about some things in modern Africa that are dishartening.

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Students here hate the teachers that ask questions and like those that speak for the entire hour giving them chance to sleep in class.

I doubt that I learned an useful thing in about 17 years in school.

If I would be a teacher I would avoid talking too much about some things in modern Africa that are dishartening.

 

Kosmo, I'm willng to bet that you learned more useful things after you got out of school.

 

Clearly the problems with compulsory education are universal. My man, as a successful author of novels for young adults, is frequently invited to speak at high schools and middle schools. For every kid in the classroom who has a genuine interest in writing, journalism, and publishing, there are at least three who make it painfully obvious that they would prefer to be with their friends at the local mall. I have sat in on some of these classroom presentations and watched students text-messaging their friends in class.

 

Even in college, where students are presumably there of their own volition, one wonders whether some of these students are really there because parent-financed (or government-financed), full-time tuition was a more appealing alternative to finding a job. My man recently gave a talk to a literature class at Hofstra University, and I noticed one student in that class had her lunch spread out on her desk before her and was studiously devoting more attention to opening a container of pudding than listening to or participating in the class discussion.

 

Sorry if this offends you Antiochus, but an appalling number of students are themselves to blame for the fact that they're not learning much -- in school or elsewhere.

 

You wrote that you'd forgotten to mention that you did learn about genocide in Darfur in your history class, but "we never learned where Darfur was." This is what I'm talking about when I say that a lot of students expect to be spoon-fed everything, like babies. If your teacher took "about 7-10 minutes" to introduce your fellow students to current events in Darfur, then that should have sparked curiosity to go and find out more.

 

Presumably your fellow students are given history and geography textbooks (with maps) that they might crack open on occasion. If the school textbooks are outdated, then there are computers with Internet access. Clearly you must have availed yourself of this, Antiochus, because you know where Darfur is. What was stopping your schoolmates from doing the same? In the old days, we used to call this thing "homework."

 

-- Nephele

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I voted "I don't care."

 

There will always be lunacy and violence in some part of the world, whether well-known or remote. If people want to scream at the top of their lungs about it and proclaim themselves good humanitarians because of said knowledge, that is their affair. But I don't consider it a benchmark of an educated mind.

 

I imagine there is a lot of lunacy and violence in the streets of Chicago your classmates could just as equally worry about. And since it is closer to home, they'd be in a better position to do something about it if they feel so inclined.

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I voted "I don't care."

 

You'll care when our government decides to send troops into Darfur next, and our tax dollars start pouring into another backward country that hates our guts.

 

-- Nephele

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I voted "I don't care."

 

You'll care when our government decides to send troops into Darfur next, and our tax dollars start pouring into another backward country that hates our guts.

 

-- Nephele

Sadly, neither your government or mine will ever send troops into this area because it is not profitable. And that is exactly why we should care. These countries hate our guts because our military intervention so obviously follows our own interests, and is not at all geared to combating injustice, like our propaganda states. And this is just as transparent to people in these countries as was the crass propaganda of the Eastern Block a generation ago to us.

 

Our intervention in Iraq replaced one tyranny with another (as the locals see it). Our intervention in Darfur or Rwanda would have given ( or will give ) the world a sign that our intentions are benign and in the interests of benefiting innocent people. Maybe, if that happens, people will start hating our guts a little bit less.

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I voted "I don't care."

 

You'll care when our government decides to send troops into Darfur next, and our tax dollars start pouring into another backward country that hates our guts.

 

-- Nephele

Sadly, neither your government or mine will ever send troops into this area because it is not profitable. And that is exactly why we should care. These countries hate our guts because our military intervention so obviously follows our own interests, and is not at all geared to combating injustice, like our propaganda states. And this is just as transparent to people in these countries as was the crass propaganda of the Eastern Block a generation ago to us.

 

Our intervention in Iraq replaced one tyranny with another (as the locals see it). Our intervention in Darfur or Rwanda would have given ( or will give ) the world a sign that our intentions are benign and in the interests of benefiting innocent people. Maybe, if that happens, people will start hating our guts a little bit less.

 

 

What were U.S.A interests in Sumalia and Bosnia ? There is no oil there

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Our intervention in Iraq replaced one tyranny with another (as the locals see it).

 

Have you actually discussed this with the locals? I haven't and I don't know which side of the political agenda to believe. As stupid as the invasion of Iraq was, it actually seems that its finally starting to get to the point where real self-governance is a reality. Do some people hate the US and British for it? In the immortal words of the Alaskan nitwit... you betcha, but there must be many who don't see it that way. Was it worth the price on any number of levels (casualties... our soldiers, Iraqi civilians, world relations, localizing the threat of terrorism or giving the radicals a rallying cry, etc.)? I sure don't know, but then again, this is a completely different topic.

 

As for "regime change" in general... without being instigated by the people who are oppressed or victimized in some way, it lacks a certain zealousness necessary to make it happen and stick.

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For the geography-challenged (an homage to Tom Lehrer's "The Elements"):

 

Nations of the World

 

-- Nephele

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For the geography-challenged (an homage to Tom Lehrer's "The Elements"):

 

Nations of the World

 

-- Nephele

 

 

 

Crete ? A nation ?

 

Edit : deleted

 

That's to see if you're paying attention. "Transylvania" is also included in the song. :D

 

Lyrics

 

Forgotten and New Nations since song was written in 1993 (updated as of 1995)

 

Also, since Tom Lehrer wrote his song "The Elements" (1959), there have been a few additions to that list, too.

 

-- Nephele

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