Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Lessons in Collectivism

I'm sure you'll expect - reading my views on things - that my kids get ever-so-tired of hearing me rant about the evils of collectivism.

Yesterday my daughter got yet another lesson - this time one that really hit home for her.

Let me first lay in a little background...
She's 16 years old.
She has never -- Not ONCE in her entire life, ever had one single grade that wasn't an "A."
She entered High School with 4 credits toward graduation, earned by taking advanced classes in Middle School. As a Sophomore, she's taken Spanish IV, Advanced-Placement Calculus and other "AP" and "Honors" classes -- every HS course she's had outside the required idiocy like PE and "Art" has been either Honors or AP level. So far she's on track to exit high school with about a year's worth of COLLEGE credits under her belt.

In addition, she works a job 3-4 days a week, is very active in the school's Drama productions, is a member of "Youth Rise" and helped organize the "Relay for Life" event and other charitable functions. She also studied Ballet at a pre-professional level for 11 years, dropping it when she entered High School so she could focus on her academics.

She's also GORGEOUS - and turns heads wherever she goes. In sum, she's a VERY formidable young woman.

Currently her GPA is over 4.9 (due to all the AP/Honors classes) she's ranked third in her class of ~350 - and thus on course to be "co-valedictorian" if things continue to progress as expected.

A few weeks ago, she filled out the usual application for admission to the National Honor Society. Her older siblings did so as well, so this was fairly routine for us, but it certainly wasn't taken lightly - she fully understands how this can aid her in her future plans to go to medical school to be a pediatrician.

Yesterday she received a letter from NHS, telling her that she'd been REJECTED.

Why was she rejected? According to those who should know, it was because she didn't have enough "extracurricular community service" points listed on her application.

I'll refrain from repeating the vulgarities I uttered when she told me this.

How, for pete's sake, can THIS young woman not be NHS material?

Now - granted - I'm her father, and like all parents subject to some prejudice where my kids are concerned -- but the FACTS I listed above are self-evident, and thus not subject to prejudice or interpretation.

The simple fact is that she's being penalized because they feel (note - not "believe" -- "FEEL") that she hasn't spent enough of her time in involuntary servitude.

Our state has mandated a certain number of "community service" hours as a requirement for HS graduation - she satisfied that commitment as well in her Freshman year, and has done even more THIS year -- but not enough for the collectivist locals in charge of the NHS locally.

She herself asked the most relevant question: Since NHS is an Academic institution, what does any of this have to do with her admission in the first place??!

I'm an "OLD-school" Dad, who insists his kids work to earn gas money and other luxuries. They don't HAVE to work, but they also don't HAVE to drive their car to school or wherever. Though we could easily afford to give her an allowance bigger than her paycheck, the point is not the money, but the WORK -- the EXPERIENCE.

Her other poignant question was this: What about all the farm-kids who CANNOT do all the "after-school" stuff because they must go home and work on the farm? What about the POOR kids who must work a job in order to help support their families? Are they all to be excluded from NHS because they don't do enough "community service?"

This sickness WILL NOT STAND - but here again: What about all the poor, hard-working kids whose parents don't know HOW to extor... er... "massage" the petty dictators in the school-system?

As I helped her - again - understand today, NOBODY has any moral right to her time, labor or property without her consent. While I am proud of her kind and charitable nature, and do all I can to set a good example in that regard, if it isn't 100% voluntary it is evil - period.

The best part of all of this is that some 20 kids who fall BELOW the 50th percentile academically were admitted to NHS - primarily because they play sports and thus are part of a couple of "fund raisers" annually.

Apparently we've sunk so low that admission to the NATIONAL HONOR SOCIETY considers academic performance unimportant when compared to sports or collectivist labor.

I'm trying to decide whether to puke or go break something...



Tom Wolff said...

Simply more of the indoctrination to
accept statism. My neice is going thru the same thing. A shame that the brilliant and free-thinking kids are
being subjected to such crap. I find it heartening to see them stand their ground in NOT blindly accepting such
diktats. Makes me PROUD!

at the edge said...

Know how you feeel, and it's not good to try and comfort someone when they're still fermenting over the injustice, but maybe now you've calmned down. What your daughter confronted should be the greatest injustice she'll ever have to face. Nothing in this world ever goes smooth. It's made to fix. Pretty soon she'll have her wish and be a great pediatrician - despite the NHS snub, which ain't the worst taht could happen in life. I enjoy your blog, although I need a vacation to read it.