Sunday, February 19, 2006

Boys falling behind

This article in the Town Talk talks about a trend in education. Boys fall behind.

I don't think that is much of a trend. High School age boys are concerned with two things: cars and girls. It has been that way since time immemorial. Some few in the subset are concerned about sports. Some other few are concerned about academic progress, but basically, cars and girls figure into the process.

Me too. When I was in high school, I was 90% hormones by body weight. I had a ratty-assed car and when I parked every morning I had to walk past the Army recruiter standing in the parking lot. It was 1969 and the Government needed fresh meat. They needed it so desperately that the government had a little thing called the draft, where your friends and neighbors would recommend you for service. That recommendation was always heeded. We all understood that the quickest way to an Army career was to drop out of high school. The Army would, after training at some stateside resort center, send you on a Senior trip to Viet Nam.

The Army travel program was a powerful motivator to stay in school. Then college loomed, and a college deferment was a good thing. Especially since the local colleges were populated with girls. Lots of girls. My Alma Mater had about a 3:1 girl/boy ratio. On Friday night, most of them liked to drink beer and dance. It beat the hell out of being in uniform.

Eventually, I went into the Army and did my patriotic chore. I missed the unpleasantness of Viet Nam, but was around later for other regional rudeness. I don't regret a minute of it.

What boys lack today is a prime motivator, and that Army recruiter standing in the parking lot with a stack of draft notices was an excellent one.

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