If this does not make you shake your head in disgust about the sorry state of affairs in American schools, then not much will. And no, I am not talking here about the recent teacher slayings, as tragic as these events are. They also illustrate the sorry state of affairs in American schools. I am referring to a student talking to CNN about the Danvers, Massachusetts, math teacher murder suspect, her classmate Philip Chism, a popular soccer player:

“A member of Chism’s English class, Ariana Edwards, said Chism had friends, but chose them carefully. “He wasn’t, like, too friendly though,” she said. “He, like, only had certain friends. He wasn’t, like, outgoing to everyone … in classes he would only talk to, like, a select few people. And he was new too, so, like, he didn’t have, like, the, like, amount of friends as everyone else.” (an excerpt from this CNN story).

Did you count the number of times this high school student used the crutch-word “like?” Seven! Seven times in four sentences.

And just think, this Ariana is a member of Chism’s ENGLISH class, not his soccer pal!?

Do you think she should be accused of murdering the English language? Or should her parents and the English teacher be charged with dereliction of duty? 🙂



    Good one, Bob.

    Edith and I are always cringing when we hear these abuses…and not just from kids. It is inexcusable that students are allowed to proceed in school when they can’t communicate properly.

    One that always bugs me, is when someone says ‘I seen her at the store’ – I get a knot in my brain.

    My Dad had good marks at school, and enjoyed studying – but his Dad forced him to quit school as soon as he turned 16, and made him work in the family bakeshop. Nevertheless, my Dad took it upon himself to improve his vocabulary and grammar, and always had a dictionary around.

    He always spoke and communicated very effectively; I remember that people were always surprised to learn that he was not a university graduate.

    I believe I have never caught up to him in vocabulary….

    Anyway, I better, like, go.

    Your old pal,


  2. My wife and I just attended Union Universities (Jackson, Tn.) annual scholarship banquet. The speaker was Dr. Ben Carson. A neurosurgeon at John Hopkins and one of the first to separate Siamese twins at the head/brain.

    He is a black man who survived the slums in Detroit and made himself by hard work, research and studying. He is a very soft spoken man with a tremendous message. He covered topics that included what’s causing the issues in America and what to do about them.

    One of those subjects had to do with education. He said a recent poll stated that America finished 21 out of 22 modern countries in math and science skills. He absolutely denounced our education system saying that we know more on the local sports teams and gossip columns than we do in our own Constitution.

    There was a movie out a few years ago called Gifted Hands where Cuba Gooding Jr. played Dr. Carson’s life story and it is amazing and I would recommend it to everyone


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