Wooden Table, High School Edition



  • I just graduated from college a short while ago and am back at home while I'm searching for a job. A combination of radio news regarding my old high school and the various wooden table posts on here got me reminiscing about the web development class (the only computer class my high school offered that wasn't keyboarding) that I took when I was a sophomore.

    In my sophomore year, my high school acquired some kind of online yearbook thing. It was likely created by my teacher, which may explain why he worked at a high school. My assignment for a few weeks of class time was as follows:

    1. Carry old yearbooks (anywhere from the 60s to the 90s) downstairs to the teacher's lounge, which housed the only copy machine in the building
    2. Copy each yearbook one by one
    3. Carry the copied sheets back to the top floor of the building where the lab was located
    4. Scan each of my copied sheets using the only scanner in the building
    5. Open up Photoshop on my eMac and crop each scanned image to encompass each person's face one at a time
    6. Upload these scanned images using the software's alumnus addition form and fill out all of the available info for that student
    7. Repeat until the semester is over or we run out of yearbooks

    Seeing as this was extremely monotonous and I was in my teens, I sometimes forgot various fields - names, graduation years, sometimes I didn't even upload a picture or just submitted a blank form. No problem - all fields were optional. This resulted in a number of blank entries showing up at the beginning of the student list.

    When queried about how I might fix this, the teacher's only response was that "you can't." He must have thought I couldn't handle a technical explanation, but from what I gathered and can still recall, fixing the problem would require him manually fixing/removing each offending entry using whatever backend database they were using.



  • Why couldn't you just scan the yearbooks directly, instead of scanning a photocopy? The rest of your narrative is semi-justifiable, albeit uncreative... but scanning a photocopy? Yeah, that's wooden table - type stuff there.



  • I think it may have had something to do with the teacher wanting to get rid of me for a while. I was the typical computer kid whose family comes to him with computer problems. I knew just enough to get myself into all kinds of trouble if he let me sit there surfing like the rest of the class did.



  • @Kaulesh said:

    I think it may have had something to do with the teacher wanting to get rid of me for a while. I was the typical computer kid whose family comes to him with computer problems. I knew just enough to get myself into all kinds of trouble if he let me sit there surfing like the rest of the class did.

    Ugh... I'll never understand what purpose wasting 12 years of perfectly good childhood is supposed to serve. I guess it's what you said, i.e. adult laziness. I don't think I had a classmate in high school who wasn't either way too smart for the coursework or way too dumb. It's no wonder high school devolves into a pathetic social event. In my opinion, 90% of high school students should be picking up litter instead, and the other 10% should be in a real school.



  • Our city's high school system did seperate out the smart nerd into the International Baccalaureate program, the smart geeks into the Magnet Math and Science program, and the hands on smart into the Technical Career program.  I was in the Magnet program and so I was with a ton of other computer geeks, and we had enough to get two different programming classes, and a semester computer architecture class available.  The best part was all three of those classes counted as math credits not electives, so combined with taking a high school math class in middle school, and that I took all 3 of those classes, I graduated with 7.5 math credits/classes.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @bridget99 said:

    I'll never understand what purpose wasting 12 years of perfectly good childhood is supposed to serve.
    It serves a number of purposes, depending on your perspective. For parents, it's free child care. For the students, it's preparation for college, which is preparation for getting a high-paying job (that last part doesn't seem to be working very well lately). For employers, it's a source of workers who will follow orders and do pointless tasks without complaining. For the government, it's indoctrination: the set of ideas that they want people to have is drummed into students' heads basically as soon as they learn to read.



  • @PedanticCurmudgeon said:

    @bridget99 said:
    I'll never understand what purpose wasting 12 years of perfectly good childhood is supposed to serve.
    It serves a number of purposes, depending on your perspective. For parents, it's free child care. For the students, it's preparation for college, which is preparation for getting a high-paying job (that last part doesn't seem to be working very well lately). For employers, it's a source of workers who will follow orders and do pointless tasks without complaining. For the government, it's indoctrination: the set of ideas that they want people to have is drummed into students' heads basically as soon as they learn to read.

    For labor, it reduces competition from teen workers.



  • @rstinejr said:

    @PedanticCurmudgeon said:
    @bridget99 said:
    I'll never understand what purpose wasting 12 years of perfectly good childhood is supposed to serve.
    It serves a number of purposes, depending on your perspective. For parents, it's free child care. For the students, it's preparation for college, which is preparation for getting a high-paying job (that last part doesn't seem to be working very well lately). For employers, it's a source of workers who will follow orders and do pointless tasks without complaining. For the government, it's indoctrination: the set of ideas that they want people to have is drummed into students' heads basically as soon as they learn to read.

    For labor, it reduces competition from teen workers.

    The high concentration of children is also hugely convenient for pedophiles, terrorists and fast food chains.



  • @PedanticCurmudgeon said:

    For the government, it's indoctrination: the set of ideas that they want people to have is drummed into students' heads basically as soon as they learn to read.
    It's difficult to express how much resentment I harbour over that one. I almost gag when I remember how much nationalistic and religious crap they stuffed into my head as a kid. The saddest part though is that we have a family member who will soon be joining first grade. It saddens me to think of all the shit that kid will go through to make it to college.



  • @PedanticCurmudgeon said:

    @bridget99 said:
    I'll never understand what purpose wasting 12 years of perfectly good childhood is supposed to serve.
    It serves a number of purposes, depending on your perspective. For parents, it's free child care. For the students, it's preparation for college, which is preparation for getting a high-paying job (that last part doesn't seem to be working very well lately). For employers, it's a source of workers who will follow orders and do pointless tasks without complaining. For the government, it's indoctrination: the set of ideas that they want people to have is drummed into students' heads basically as soon as they learn to read.

    Yeah, I took Sociology class, too. What I was saying is that high school, in the USA at least, is not at all effective at these things. Is a typical American 18-year-old really well-socialized? Do they know, believe, and take pride in the accomplishments of the nation? Are they really prepared for college? Do they even know how to do arithmetic with fractions, or that the day starts at 12:00 AM? Were they even well-supervised during their 12-year ordeal?

    Personally, I went to an expensive, well-respected private high school of my parents' choosing, and then I went to a free, semi-respectable college of my own choosing. Reputation and cost aside, I learned next to nothing at the former (a place where band class consisted of instructions like "press the middle valve down and blow as hard as you can at this part of the song") whereas at the latter my mind was filled with useful things and I left a different person from when I entered. If years 1-12 of school are intended to socialize children and teach basic skills, why don't they fucking do that?

    To me, the answer lies 1) in how high school instructors are selected and prepared for their jobs versus college instructors (be they professors, graduate assistants, or whatever) and 2) in how college students are selected and assessed.

    One might think that the processes used for #1 (taking ordinary, unintelligent people and making them take a bunch of psychology courses) would be adequate for the job at hand (teaching things like arithmetic and resisting the urge to pick one's nose), but empirical observation tells us that such is not the case. Similary, one might think that basically everyone can get significant value out of learning things like arithmetic and not to pick one's nose; George W. Bush apparently believed this strongly. But once again, real experience tells us that this is not so.

    What's the answer to this dilemma? It's obvious, because other countries have done it. Competition, and interaction with people who are really educated in their field (NOT just psychology), for the winners of the competition, needs to begin sooner than age 19. Age 19, in my mind, is when people should be getting married, having kids, etcetera. Obviously, the actual 19-year-olds we are producing are not suited to do this. I'm saying that under a better system, they would be, or, those who were really suited for graduate studies would be starting them around age 19.

    That International Baccalaureate crap seems like a step in the right direction, except that for administrative purposes it's not a baccalaureate. The people who go through the program bust their asses in high school and then have to go to college and basically get another "real" baccalaureate alongside their same knuckle-dragging peers. Remember, "no child gets left behind." That's the problem, and like so many of our problems, the perpetrator behind it is, most proximately at least, George W. Bush.

    Relatedly, getting into college shouldn't have ANYTHING to do with money or creditworthiness, and in the USA it most certainly does. Selecting an academic cadre based on anything other than academic aptitude is suboptimal, and we all suffer the consequences. Again, the people pushing this system are disproportionately named Bush.

    People on the other side of the political fence will probably point at teacher's unions instead of old fuckface Bush, but they're wrong. Professors have a union, too, (the AAUP), and it hasn't kept them from doing great research, and teaching others to do it.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @bridget99 said:

    If years 1-12 of school are intended to socialize children and teach basic skills, why don't they fucking do that?
    My point was that years 1-12 of school may be intended to socialize children and teach basic skills from our perspective, but not from the perspective of any one who has any actual say in how things are done here. The general principle is this: if policies that don't achieve their stated goals are followed year after year by both parties, there are only 2 reasonable conclusions to draw: 1) they're all idiots or 2) they have actual goals that are different from their stated goals.



  • @bridget99 said:

    Age 19, in my mind, is when people should be getting married, having kids, etcetera
     

    This is some load of shit. 25-30 is a more stable and mature age to start procreating. Getting a high-end college/university degree last well into one's twenties. Or you choose to skip that and get a job. That's cool, too. 19 is more the time of getting a place of your own (that isn't just to temporarily live closer to school and not actually learn any proper self-sufficiency).

    @bridget99 said:

    Again, the people pushing this system are disproportionately named Bush.

    😃 Malkovich Malkovich Malkovich Malkovich.

    @bridget99 said:

    Relatedly, getting into college shouldn't have ANYTHING to do with money or creditworthiness, and in the USA it most certainly does.

    I agree.

     

     Wait... what just happened



  • @bridget99 said:

    Relatedly, getting into college shouldn't have ANYTHING to do with money or creditworthiness, and in the USA it most certainly does. Selecting an academic cadre based on anything other than academic aptitude is suboptimal, and we all suffer the consequences.

    It's always confused me in the US how the college\uni system works. To get into my course, I went to the SATAC website, punched in that I wanted to apply for one course as my first preference and another as my second preference, paid something like $50, and got told later in the year "yay your ATAR* score was high enough to get into your first preference". The government pays the uni fees for me until I make over $49,000 or thereabouts in a tax year, then they start taxing me until I have no debt left (or I can pay it early and get a discount).

    I think much of Europe works in a similar fashion with the fees... not so sure about the application system.

    • The magical score that Australian students (bar Queensland who refused to change to the new system along with the rest of the country) usually get upon finishing high school. They scale your scores and chuck you in a percentile, highest being 99.95 for some reason.


  • @rstinejr said:

    @PedanticCurmudgeon said:
    @bridget99 said:
    I'll never understand what purpose wasting 12 years of perfectly good childhood is supposed to serve.
    It serves a number of purposes, depending on your perspective. For parents, it's free child care. For the students, it's preparation for college, which is preparation for getting a high-paying job (that last part doesn't seem to be working very well lately). For employers, it's a source of workers who will follow orders and do pointless tasks without complaining. For the government, it's indoctrination: the set of ideas that they want people to have is drummed into students' heads basically as soon as they learn to read.

    For labor, it reduces competition from teen workers.
    Not only that. The maximum age limit for going to high school in Belgium was (long-time ago) raised from 16 to 18 years. For at least two years there were less unemployed kids entering the job market which reduced the official unemployment statistics and the amount of unemployment benefits the government had to pay out. Similarly older people have been allowed to take a "bridge" pension when they were too old to become unemployed (hard to find companies willing to hire older people) and too young to take their effective pensions. Looks good on the statistics though. Official unemployment rates are very good compared to neighboring countries when only a very small part of the population is actually working and contributing to the GNP.



  • @Douglasac said:

    It's always confused me in the US how the college\uni system works. To get into my course, I went to the SATAC website, punched in that I wanted to apply for one course as my first preference and another as my second preference, paid something like $50, and got told later in the year "yay your ATAR* score was high enough to get into your first preference". The government pays the uni fees for me until I make over $49,000 or thereabouts in a tax year, then they start taxing me until I have no debt left (or I can pay it early and get a discount).
    Yeah well .. I applied for the courses I wanted, did my HSC and then had the government pay for my uni education. Total cost to me was about $AUD 1000 in student union fees plus room and board for the duration.

    Bu the US system is weird in comparison. (Big generalization follows) It seems like you have to prove yourself as an over-achiever in your personalized application, not only in course work but in extra-curricula activities, in order to stand apart from all the other applicants and get noticed. On occasion I see/hear reports of current high school students in the US and I can't conceive how they can fit all their activities into a 24 hour day.

    But the application process is only half of it. (generalization continues) The student funding is another WTF as there is no link between course costs and results. So the students get big $$ loans from a lender to do the course of their dreams, then the institutions treat those loans as free money and are not responsible for the students debt. As a results there is no negative feedback to control course costs and the lender gets their pound of flesh - so everyone but the student wins. You could blame the students for over-extending, but I don't expect people of that age to always be making the best decisions for themselves.



  • @OzPeter said:

    As a results there is no negative feedback to control course costs and the lender gets their pound of flesh - so everyone but the student wins.

    Nah, the bubble will pop soon, and once again the tax payer will be screwed, since the Feds have taken over the student loan industry. It's amazing what can happen when you try to legislate risk out of a system. Eventually (I hope) the education industry will start firing all of the excessive administrative overhead, and get back to actual teaching and research.



  • @boomzilla said:

    Eventually (I hope) the education industry will start firing all of the excessive administrative overhead, and get back to actual teaching and research.
    In a way that has already started The UVA Controversy Threatens its Reputation but I am not sure which side was which.


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