Education matters

Check this guy on YouTube (born in 1928), showing off and testing his brand new Canon HV20 HD camcorder and his video editing skills. That’s just so cool and refreshing to see older people still having curiosity for new stuff.

My grandfather has a similar age as he does, and he can only do simple arithmetic calculations in his head. My grandmother faired better, she went 1 year to school so she can actually recognize simple written numbers. And that’s about it.

I don’t even have to go as far back as my grandparents. My mother spent just 6 years in school, and my father 7 (he ran off from high-school in the first year, they had summon everyone in the village trying to find where the hell he ran off to).

None of them is capable of using a computer, or operating a camcorder or a digital camera. Their education level matches most of their compatriots (at their respective age bracket) in the north-west of Greece, so it’s not of any surprise. People born in big Greek cities fair better, but still, it shows how far behind Greece still is compared to the education level of USA or Northern Europe.

Update: And then, I read this. When I was in school in the ’80s in Greece, there WERE NO BULLIES, and the teachers made sure of that. Sure there were a few kids that were a bit difficult to deal with, but they would never do anything to hurt you unless you really provoke them. I really don’t understand why USA has so many bullies at schools. For me, this is a completely alien concept, and so I perceive it as very degrading of the US culture.

5 Comments »

Thom Holwerda wrote on August 14th, 2007 at 5:42 AM PST:

The problems with the US schooling system are drop dead obvious to anyone outside of the US.

Schools in the US are too large and too anonymous. Also, the pressure on students to conform to the cheerleader & high school footballer image is high. Way too high. The US claims to be a country which values individual freedom, but at the same time, the schooling system only rewards mediocrity; students are pressured to conform to the utopian image of the cheerleader and the football player. People who stray from this norm, people who are truly trying to be different, are not rewarded. In fact, they are bullied and excommunicated. Of course this happens everywhere, but not on such a grand, almost institutionalised scale as in the US.

Even in my country, this becomes painfully obvious. Smaller schools fair better than larger ones when it comes to these things. The students perform better, the dropout rate is lower, you name it.


This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on August 14th, 2007 at 7:29 AM PST:

>all I know is it didn’t happen in the US

Wake up. That was a mistake on my part. But as I fucking wrote, THE SAME SHIT happens in USA too, so I am using the incident as an excuse to comment on this in GENERAL.

>bullying is NOT exclusive to the US

No. But where I am coming from, it did not exist. That’s what I am trying to say, and you just don’t get it.

>That’s great, but the accident happened *outside* of the school grounds,

So?? As I ALSO WROTE AND YOU SEEM TO IGNORE, where I am coming from, such shit do NOT HAPPEN, in OR out of schools.

There was NO violence among kids while I was growing up.


Edwin wrote on August 14th, 2007 at 8:40 AM PST:

The accident happened in Canada, not in the US, so I don’t know what it has to do with US culture. Also, if you check more news-clips regarding that death and that community, you’ll read there was another incident where minors beat a 22-year old to death there earlier this year, and that there’s a major substance abuse problem in that community. You seriously think this is *just* about bullies?

Besides, what do teachers have to do with this anyways? Did they follow you around all the time when you were a kid making sure you weren’t a bully/being bullied around outside the playground as well? This didn’t happen at a school. Not to mention, bullies are far from a US thing, there were bullies while I was growing up in the Netherlands as well… It was common for first years in high school to get picked on, you just dealt with it. Different category maybe, but it was bullying nonetheless.


Edwin wrote on August 14th, 2007 at 11:20 AM PST:

The US is not better in terms of bullies than Canada.
I never said they were, I don’t know if they’re better or worse, all I know is it didn’t happen in the US, yet you took something that happened in Canada and used it to make a statement about US culture. Strikes me as a bit odd, that’s all. But hey, if you’re also okay with me judging Greek culture based on something that happened in Turkey, then I’m all for it I guess.

teachers would walk around the playground at school in Greece and made sure that there was order.
That’s great, but the accident happened *outside* of the school grounds, so I don’t see what that has to do with anything? Unless each kid had a designated teacher that followed the kid around 24/7?

And even outside of school, I had *never* heard of a kid getting ridiculed or beaten by other kids. EVER.
Again, what does this have to do with ‘US culture’?! Get it inside your head please, bullying is NOT exclusive to the US, it’s not a ‘US culture’ thing, and quite frankly, this incident is an excess, not the norm. Simple as that. Just cuz it never happened in your community (which is a great thing, really) doesn’t mean it didn’t happen anywhere else, then or now.


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Eugenia wrote on August 14th, 2007 at 8:50 AM PST:

The US is not better in terms of bullies than Canada.

Secondly, yes, teachers would walk around the playground at school in Greece and made sure that there was order. And even without the teachers, they would not have been any incident because back in the ’80s in my school, there were no bad mindset in my town. Maybe there were more problems in bigger cities like in Athens, but not where I lived.

And even outside of school, I had *never* heard of a kid getting ridiculed or beaten by other kids. EVER. Sure, boys might have been getting angry sometimes and fight a bit, but the FIRST thing it would happen in that scenario is that the other kids would try to GET THEM APART, not try to beat even more the weak kid.

That’s the community I grew up at. We were poor, but we were not gangsters. There was no crime in my hometown. In my town everyone is responsible to be a respectable member of the community, including kids. Kids stealing was extremely rare too while shop-lifting was *unheard off*. THAT’s how I grew up and I am damn proud of it.

So again, where I grew up, THERE WERE NO BULLIES. Heck, I have never even heard of a kid “asking the lunch money” from another kid where I lived. EVER. And if Greece can do that, then so should USA and Canada and The Netherlands.

Maybe the older people in my town have only being to school for very few years, but they have a culture that nurtures their kids and does not allow for such crap behaviors as we see from some kids in other countries. When I was in school, there were no drugs either. No one, absolutely no one among 500 children, was a user.


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