Saturday, December 09, 2006

Holy Geography, Bat Man

The following is a short portion of a "cleaned up" (ie. - I took out all the time & dates lines and made each sentence one line) version of an instant message between one of my co-workers (a 19 year old male - aka "AL" ) and a friend of his - (senior in high school, female - aka "HSG") Names have been changed to protect the innocent (or the idiot, I'm not sure which) - but I didn't change any grammar or punctuation - This really has had me shaking my head and among the people I've told about it, most were incredulous, but my sister, who taught middle school for almost 35 years thinks that the young woman was just pulling his leg - you tell me -

HSG: whats new with you
AL: ha not much - just got back from leavenworth in time to catch the last 5min of the football game :-)
HSG: the seahawks? What were you doing in leavenworth? Where is leavenworth?
AL: its on stevens pass - its a bavarian themed mountain town -pretty sweet
HSG: oh! i think i've been there Is there a starbucks that looks like a gingerbread house?
AL: no clue, but its funny cuz it wasn’t themed until like 1960 so no one there is really german - they just kinda pretend to be
HSG: is that what bavarian means? german people?
AL: sorta and austria and other countries in and near the alps
HSG: i thought the alps were on the east coast
AL: ! hahahahahahahhahah.........
HSG: what?
AL: did you ever take geography?
HSG: i took it last year because i took algebra 1 in middle school.
AL: and you dont know where the alps are? sorry i find it funny :-)
HSG: we didn't talk about alps in geometry
AL: ! ? !
HSG: we talked about math
HSG: that's a math class
AL: please tell me your just playing dumb
HSG: i'm really confused now
AL: geography not geometry
HSG: whats the difference oh.. i get it … no i took social studies and us history
AL: LOL you just made my night
HSG: i'm happy to help so... where are the alps?
AL: ever heard of the swiss alps??
HSG: so its in sweden?
AL: sweden?
HSG: what now
AL: sweden are swedish
HSG: aren't swedin called swiss . . .i thought swiss was sweden and cheese
AL: switzerland? ever heard of that?
HSG: i thought they were called dutch - oh no. i'm stupid - thats dutchland
AL: YES - - - NOOO
HSG: no to what
AL: dutchland!??! HAHA
HSG: well i don't know how to spell it - but it's pernounced doichland
AL : you mean deutschland?? which is german.... for german - germany
HSG: germany?
AL: dutch are from holland

They talk a for a little bit about the difference between Dutch, German, Holland, etc and go on with:

HSG : why are they called dutch? why not like holland people?
AL : holland people?
HSG : that would be a whole lot less confusing
AL : its like how germans, austrians and swiss are called bavarians! - the roots of it are way to far back to need to make any sense
HSG : well they should change it now
AL : wow thats very american of you to say
HSG: well it would make a lot more sense to regular people who aren't like obsessed with knowing every country's name

I'll stop here, as it gets a little remedial - for instance, when she refers to Italy as "the boot thing" . . .

Neelix says he's bored of hearing about this poor girl who doesn't know her cheese from her chocolate - and thinks that mom should get on with her life.

While Sinda agrees with mom and thinks it's a very sad reflection of education today - maybe they should have a Geography test on the WASL (that's Washington Assessment of Student Learning, for those of you in other parts of the world - a test that's given to all students, I think three times during their school career, but they eventually will have to pass it in order to graduate from High School)

So, here's a start - see how you stack up on this Third Grade Geography test:

Have fun!


Anonymous said...

This is sooo bittersweet! While laughing my a-s off I was also thinking of how pathetic a statement it is on our educational system - and parenting (yes, I said it - how dare I?)- today. I was brought up looking at maps and learning about cultures associated with them. Since we moved a lot my brother and I learned to jump in with both feet and eyes wide open with each new place we lived in. How wonderful to experience that, even though the down side was I was always the new kid in class.
And being a military family, we did the same with our know...the one who packed up everything she owned and moved to New Zealand! ('s a given that my son-in-law was involved as well, but it still took courage).
I remember when I worked for a large national printing company and someone from the east coast thought that New Mexico wasn't part of the US and I was joking with her.
This is one for Leno, Tina! :)

Anonymous said...

Whew. Makes me glad I homeschooled my two.