WEB COLUMN: Common Ironies

More high schools are taking the approach of group work versus individual efforts. It’s been said this style of teaching is modeled after colleges and universities around the country that promote group work. When these kids apply to colleges are they going to apply as a group?

In the real world there is a sense of teamwork in companies, but ultimately for an individual to succeed he or she has to stand out on his or her own. You never hear of an entire group being promoted together.

We all know that when group work occurs there is always a leader who does most of the work, so ultimately high schools are now just providing students with the opportunity to slack off a little sooner in life. Common ironies.

A ton of coverage in the news lately has been about adolescents going on shooting rampages in their elementary, middle and high schools, no doubt from all the group project work.

The general description for most of the students who have committed school shootings in the past few years has been children who are socially taunted, scrawny and quiet. An extra emphasis has been put on scrawny.

Well, we better lock up those scrawny kids and start fattening them up because the fat kids are not the ones doing the killings. We better protect those socially taunted kids, so lets teach our children not to make fun of each other because it is wrong and it hurts people’s feelings. Possibly group-project work can help with that. And the quiet kids, those are always the most dangerous. Whoever knows what they are thinking.

By identifying the qualifications of those children who are more likely to be killers, I wonder if we are making all of those socially taunted, scrawny and quiet students out there think wild shooting sprees in the school library, bathrooms, playgrounds or cafeteria are the thing to do. They have all the qualifications and it can maybe make them cooler.

Besides, in most newspapers and magazines the photos of the killers are always run huge and in color. The picture of those who died in the shootings, always much smaller and in black and white. Common ironies.

Redundancy drives me crazy. Do you ever wonder why when you call a company to ask a question about a bill or something the recorded message will say something like, “to increase the expediency of this call please enter your account number followed by the pound sign.”

The first thing the customer service representative says when he or she picks up the phone is, “hi thanks for calling (fill in the blank). My name is Sheila. Can I please have your account number to access your account so I can further assist you.” Common ironies.

I’ll never understand the five register, one line thing. Mostly at larger retail stores and fast food places, but specifically at CVS, there are always several cash registers attendants ringing up orders, but the customers are only in one line. If there are several registers open, why do people not separate and form shorter lines behind each open register instead of one giant line down the middle of the store? Inevitably there is always the one customer who thinks the one line for many registers thing is stupid and cuts the whole line by walking up to a register and waiting on line there.

Some kind of ruckus and name-calling always escalates just because people don’t line up in the same number of separate lines as there are open cashiers. But beware, some scrawny quiet kid may start shooting everyone in the store including his friends who he was buying supplies with for his group project because he was sick of the redundancy of the fighting that always occurs because people stay in one long group line instead waiting on individual lines, no doubt something they learned in high school. Common ironies.

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