My father attended the gymnasium in Germany (the only boy in his town to be
accepted) and was later raised by a U.S. Air Force officer (stepfather),
who was supportive and kind (in a 1950s sort of way).  As a child he was
disciplined, respectful, and accomplished.  He studied Latin and Calculus
at age fourteen.  He transferred to an American school for high school.
Today he is a professor.

If he could do it all over again, he would not go to the gymnasium.  He
would be the first to admit that the culture of militarism he experienced,
while helpful in forwarding his scholastic goals, stifled his creativity
and made childhood stressful and exhausting.  As a result of his early
experience, he couldn't bear to put pressure on his own children when they
were in school.

My mother's Korean father was an accomplished U.S. military man in W.W. II.
 But patriotism in the U.S. (in the 40s and 50s) made school a living hell
for all Asians.  My mother, her brothers, and sisters, all extremely
intelligent (and now--finally--all well-educated) barely passed their
classes then.  They wouldn't reflect so fondly on militarism and patriotism.

Perspective, I guess.

For me, public school education was dull and infuriating: partly because it
force-fed data and partly because of the militaristic culture of bells,
lines, and rules.  The university represented free-thinking and personal
choice for me.  I try to teach this concept to my students: if you're angry
about your high school experience, fine.  But this is a new place.  Here
you're allowed to choose your own route.  If you don't like this school,
find a different one.  Nobody at the university can make you do anything!
You're free!

But sometimes this doesn't work.  They say, "I'm a paying customer, you
give me what I want."  Often this means a gimme grade, sometimes it means
some slack in areas like attendance policies.  Still, though, I usually end
up thinking that these students just don't know what they want or why they
want it--but, they've been trained by this culture to stand up and fight
for their rights (even if they're wrong).  But sometimes I say to myself,
"This kid needs to go to the Marines for a couple of years!"

Another admission: some of my best students came to college just after a
stint in the military.  And truth be told, I'd love to have disciplined
students who are also creative muckrakers.  Impossible?  I hope not.

Most of the great scholars and thinkers we admire were/are like this.  To
make it in our world (of the university), you have to be stubborn,
persistent, and aggressive, BUT you have to play by the rules.  As  Issac
Asimov says: "There is a morality in science that is further advanced than
anywhere else.  If you find a person in science who has faked his results,
who has lied as far as his findings are concerned, who has tried to steal
the work of another . . . his scientific life is over."

Suggesting a quick fix to this problem would indeed be immoral.

At 03:34 PM 11/3/99 -0500, you wrote:
>Militarism and patriotism was in its heydey in the days of WWII back in the
>days when many of my acestry was protected and liberated by the Americans
>during the D-Day invasion. My beloved France was saved by German occupation
>and militarisation. In the United States militarism abounded and you know
>what. children were better disciplined and schools were havens for learning
>not violence. Militarism and patriotism is a good thing and the lack of it,
>lack of morals, increase in drug use, liberal laws and judges and not
>teachers to discipline has resulted in violence. In France in the lycee,
>is much less violence and much more discipline and learning taking place.
>Maybe our American schools need to model after our friends in France and
>perhaps alittle conservatism is an order. France
>>===== Original Message From Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals
><[log in to unmask]> =====
>>I grew up in a time when militarism was MUCH more in evidence (WWII,
>>Korea, where I served). Nevertheless, school, with _in loco parentis_
>>still in place, was a largely non-violent environment. I could preach that
>>the current situation is a result of the unfortunate (and unconscious)
>>coalition of moralists and drug profiteers that prevents the passage of
>>reasonable drug laws, or because courts have taken control of the
>>classroom out of the hands of the teachers, or because of the enormous
>>number of distractions afforded by our affluent society... In truth,
>>probably all of these things exacerbate the problem. Moralizing about war
>>mongering does nothing that I can perceive to point to a solution.
>>John M. Flanigan <[log in to unmask]>     The equation is the final arbiter.
>>Assistant Professor, Mathematics                    --Werner Heisenberg
>>Kapi'olani Community College            The scoreboard is the final arbiter.
>>4303 Diamond Head Road                              --Bill Walton
>>Honolulu HI  96816                      History is the final arbiter.
>>(808) 734-9371                                      --Edward Gibbon
>>On Wed, 3 Nov 1999, James Valkenburg wrote:
>>> Good morning all,
>>>         I've been mulling this string over for days now, as have many
>>> others.  One important note is that our children did not invent the games
>>> of violence being foisted upon them.  Neither did they invent the social
>>> atmosphere of fear and loathing that precipitates the rage and violence
>>> they evidence.  The blame lies squarely on the shoulders of the adults who
>>> extol the virtues of militarism but deny responsibility for the violence
>>> that engenders, of those who preach the value of patriotism at any cost
>>> but fail to recognize the turf of the gang as an extention of that idea,
>>> who have generated the most armed society ever found on the face of the
>>> planet and question how the children ever got their ideas about the useful
>>> of weapons to solve their problems.
>>> Jim
>>> //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
>>> Jim Valkenburg    [log in to unmask]
>>> Delta College
>>> University Center, MI 48710-0002
>>> (517) 686-9034  FAX (517) 686-8736
>Je pense, donc, je suis, Rene Descarte
>Chacun ont deux pays et un de ils est France, Benjamin Franklin
>vive la France