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post #261 of 345

But what is upper-class education, anyway? Might it include going to Ivy League or exclusive liberal arts colleges, getting Cs there and having a great social life? (A Presidential Special Ed, sort of?) I've seen very upper-class students in remedial English courses (not English 101, more like English 51), getting those Cs and having a great time at lacrosse and field hockey. I've heard that math courses at said colleges that were not all that, really. People who went to serious universities afterwards reported that the whole semester of math at liberal arts college was covered in two weeks at the uni - that shocked them.

 

Upper-class education is not equal to first-class education, right?

post #262 of 345
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithie View Post

 

 

This is one of the most classicist posts I have seen in a long time.

 

Grammar and proofreading, OP. Teach your children not to make unintentional puns when they are trying to lay the smake down. smile.gif

 

But the hilarity inspires a serious point - give your children a very broad and thorough classical education if you want them to be socially mobile and/or to enrich the modest social stratum which they may inhabit in adulthood. I am surrounded by homeschoolers (many of who are poor by any definition, it truly runs the gamut socioeconomically) who have observed that while functional literacy is holding steady in our society (I can read and understand a menu, a job application, and a traffic ticket), actual literacy (I can read and understand Shakespeare, the KJV, and my AP Biology textbook) is sharply declining in public schools. You know where actual literacy is NOT permitted to decline? Exeter, Choate, and the Boston Latin School. Most people can't pay for that kind of secondary education, but you can make good headway into it with some judicious afterschooling and academic summer programs, even if homeschooling is not for you.

 

Have your kids study Latin and ancient literature. Classicists, as opposed to classists, have been successfully mingling with rich folks for quite some time. And the mental training confers many other benefits unrelated to social mobility. 


All I can think about is Good Will Hunting.  Trying. Too. Hard.

post #263 of 345

Unless you're a natural genius (and I'm definitely not), it's hard NOT to try too hard if a first-class education is what you're after. But in this day and age, you don't need to be rich to have access to all that, and as I said above, I agree with the other posters that education by itself wouldn't accomplish what the OP is after (although I still think cultural literacy is a social asset).

post #264 of 345
I haven't read the whole thread but OP to answer your original question... DH and I are I this income bracket and I grew up in a home where we lived below the poverty line and then eventually what you would consider upper middle class. I so totally value my upbringing, specifically living with little, learning how to save, not taking anything for granted, learning to work hard etc. DH and I talk on a regular basis about how to artificially create an environment for our kids that is way more middle class and way less upper middle class than we actually are. It's hard when you can afford to buy your kids anything because you want to not to do that, but we don't feel like that is a good thing. DH grew up with a real silver spoon in his mouth as did many of our friends. I guess I don't wish to instill the lessons in my kids that come from that sort of lifestyle. No, I don't want them to grow up in poverty and I want to be able to have fun experiences with them, but I also want them to realize how the majority of the world lives and not get caught up in or see their own worth as being tied to knowing a lot about wine. I guess I really see having too much money as a curse in many ways and while I am grateful we do not struggle, and we could afford to do many things and associate only with upper middle class families, I don't want my kids to grow up that way. I want them to be well rounded and be able to relate to all different types of people regardless of socioeconomic status. To me, that is way more important. If your kid needs to know about wine for work, fine, but they can learn that when they are 30 and need to.
post #265 of 345
Quote:
Originally Posted by Super~Single~Mama View Post


It's a bigger tourist attraction than you realized. I have some family in the super filthy rich category and they used to go skiing there. Maybe not at Christmas, but it was a frequent trip. They also used to go to another fancy pants rich ski resort in Colorado. The name escapes me at the moment.


Wow. I guess I knew that, but I grew up knowing all kinds of people who were going up to Whistler for a weekend of skiing or whatever. It's easy to forget that local places are big deals, I guess. It was at Whistler that ds1 got the concussion I posted about it at Christmas.

post #266 of 345
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithie View Post


In that case, I guess having my kids fit in with their social class is not nearly as important to me as I thought it was. I thought I cared a lot about it, because social rejection sucks and I don't want them to feel that pain. But if I look at my parenting choices, it doesn't look like I'm priming them to win a yuppie popularity contest. Oh well. Apparently nobody primed me to win one either. wink1.gif


You know...rejection does suck, but I think it also has a lot to do with who people are, not how they're brought up. I can't help looking at my experiences in high school, compared to ds1's experiences at the same school. In the 20 years between my graduation and his first year of school, the "upper class" kids at the school became, if anything, wealthier overall than they'd been when I went through. DS1's upbringing was less advantaged than my own. (I grew up working class, yes - but my parents owned their own home, and by the time I was in high school, they'd bought another one, and used the rent on the first one to pay the mortgage. The year I graduated, they bought a third, which my mom still owns, although they sold the other two a long time ago. DS1, otoh, grew up in rental suites, and his early childhood was in borderline poverty. I also had an alcoholic dad, of the "absent", not abusive, variety, and my parents stayed together until my 20s. DS1 had a father who was addicted to cocaine - among other things - mostly unemployed, and dropped completely out of his life once we split up. Until dh came along, I was supporting ds1 on a smaller income - in actual, not adjusted, dollars - than my dad had been earning in the 80s.)  And, I stuck out like a sore thumb all through school, and made very few friends, almost all of whom were outcasts and misfits. DS1 slid into the social scene at his school as if he were born to it, and made tons of friends (mostly, but not solely, in the "drama clique"...the musicians, actors and artists). Anyone of the families of his 3-4 best friends could buy and sell me and dh a dozen times (or more) over. But, he fits. I never did. I had a considerably  "better" upbringing, in many ways. But, I'm not good at social stuff. DS1 is. He can fit into any social environment he wants to fit into...and I, at 43, still haven't found one that I fit into worth crap.

 

post #267 of 345
Quote:
Originally Posted by APToddlerMama View Post

DH and I talk on a regular basis about how to artificially create an environment for our kids that is way more middle class and way less upper middle class than we actually are. It's hard when you can afford to buy your kids anything because you want to not to do that, but we don't feel like that is a good thing.


I know what you mean - we've stuck with buying necessities for kids.  Whenever they want something we consider extra - we'd ask them what they need it for. 

 

We'd like our kids to learn the difference between needs and wants - it's challenging when the other kids around them get everything they want, and more, most of the time.   We do get the extras for special occasions and spread little surprises throughout the year.  We don't want them to take
those non-essentials for granted.

 

post #268 of 345

Not responding to the responses, but just the OP.

 

Generally children who are solidly middle class and up would be expected to do one or more sports for most of the year.  In the professional classes it is typical for boys start out playing soccer, girls to do something like dance, gymnastics or soccer; boys to do multi-season baseball.  Or competitive swimming for both sexes.  In Atlanta, the children who do not swim year round are likely to swim at least summer league at their private pool or country club at least in the early years.  This is said to be important as all parents want very strong swimmers for safety reasons. I imagine this is true in most areas.

 

Many children will also play one or more instruments and/or a children's choir and attend church.

 

At this point there is not much time for anything else until summer comes.  The solidly  middle class will usually try to send older age kids to sleepaway summer camp, often the camp a parent attended.   Unlike the wealthy who can afford a $10,000 camp bill for an 8 week experience, the solidly middle class will spend about $1500 for two weeks of a well regarded general camp or a theme camp advancing one of the child's areas of interest (sport, drama, etc).  They may also invest in several pricey day camp weeks in the $200-250 a week range because they are offering something interesting.  Circus camp, sports camp, etc.

 

This is what is typically going on, and I don't see wine tasting anywhere.  That's an individual thing and you can't know everything.  Also as people have described, some of that has do with professional norms and you learn it if you need it.

 

 


Edited by pigpokey - 2/26/12 at 3:45am
post #269 of 345
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post



Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. Shakespeare. I'm so sick of Shakespeare. I'm functionally literate, but I'm apparently not actually literate. I don't understand large chunks of Shakespeare, without a guide. I have no interest in understanding Shakespeare. Maybe, if I hadn't had his work crammed down my throat in the most tedious fashion possible as part of my "education", I'd be able to find the merit in his work, but it bored me to tears. Sure - he had insight into humanity. So do hundreds of other authors. If we're concerned about literacy in English, maybe there should be more focus on authors who wrote in something resembling the English language that we actually speak.

 

Sorry - you hit a nerve. Shakespeare isn't about "actual literacy". He's about the upper class equivalent of street cred. Not wanting to put down my book to dig out a Shakespeare study guide doesn't make me illiterate.


To be honest, Shakespeare should, like all plays, be read out loud, listened to, and watched to be really appreciated.  If you don't like, can't understand the original language (it is after all, where our language came from), get a modern version of one of the plays--West Side Story (Romeo and Juliet), Kiss Me Kate (Taming of the Shrew) to name 2.  Heck, even Disney's Lion King was, in many ways, a retelling of Hamlet.  Danny De Vito's Renaissance Man had the Saint Crispen's Day speech from Henry V in it.  Clueless is a retelling of Pride and Prejudice.

 

post #270 of 345


      Quote:

Originally Posted by sewchris2642 View Post

 Clueless is a retelling of Pride and Prejudice.


It was based on Emma. 

 

post #271 of 345
Quote:
Originally Posted by sewchris2642 View Post


To be honest, Shakespeare should, like all plays, be read out loud, listened to, and watched to be really appreciated.  If you don't like, can't understand the original language (it is after all, where our language came from), get a modern version of one of the plays--West Side Story (Romeo and Juliet), Kiss Me Kate (Taming of the Shrew) to name 2.  Heck, even Disney's Lion King was, in many ways, a retelling of Hamlet.  Danny De Vito's Renaissance Man had the Saint Crispen's Day speech from Henry V in it.  Clueless is a retelling of Pride and Prejudice.

 

 

I'm not interested, so why would I bother? I'm sure the plays are fine, but I'm just really not interested. Despite what English teachers would have us believe, literature (and even writing plays) doesn't begin and end with Shakespeare. He was one writer, and one I don't particularly care for. The antiquated language is a big part of it, but not the only part, and I can understand it, with a study guide. I understood it without the study guide, to some extent (more than most of my classmates, certainly). I just don't like it, and I'm not interested in putting forth the mental energy to bother.

 

I've seen West Side Story, and it bored me, too. If Kiss Me Kate is based on Taming of the Shrew, there's no possiblity that I'll watch it, because I can't stand that play.

 

You know, in almost any other form of entertainment, people are willing to accept personal taste as a factor. But, when it comes to Shakespeare and a handful of other writers, as well as certain visual artists, personal taste is suddenly invalid. I don't get it. If I said I didn't like some other author, most people would just accept it (maybe with a "but, how can you not like him/her?", if they happen to be a fan of said author). But, a dislike of Shakespeare just isn't acceptable. Not liking Shakespeare means the person has to try harder, or "doesn't get it" or whatever. Sometimes, people just don't like Shakespeare. Sure, the plays are better as performances than they are to read on a printed page. But, they just don't interest me very much.

post #272 of 345
Quote:
Originally Posted by pigpokey View Post

Generally children who are solidly middle class and up would be expected to do one or more sports for most of the year.  In the professional classes it is typical for boys start out playing soccer, girls to do something like dance, gymnastics or soccer; boys to do multi-season baseball.  Or competitive swimming for both sexes.  In Atlanta, the children who do not swim year round are likely to swim at least summer league at their private pool or country club at least in the early years.  This is said to be important as all parents want very strong swimmers for safety reasons. I imagine this is true in most areas.

 

Many children will also play one or more instruments and/or a children's choir and attend church.

 

At this point there is not much time for anything else until summer comes.  The solidly  middle class will usually try to send older age kids to sleepaway summer camp, often the camp a parent attended.   Unlike the wealthy who can afford a $10,000 camp bill for an 8 week experience, the solidly middle class will spend about $1500 for two weeks of a well regarded general camp or a theme camp advancing one of the child's areas of interest (sport, drama, etc).  They may also invest in several pricey day camp weeks in the $200-250 a week range because they are offering something interesting.  Circus camp, sports camp, etc.

 

This is what is typically going on, and I don't see wine tasting anywhere.  That's an individual thing and you can't know everything.  Also as people have described, some of that has do with professional norms and you learn it if you need it.

 

 


This is an awesome post, very true from my experience, and what the OPer needs to know. It really isn't so much about making sure they know certain things, but providing certain experiences with the assumption that those experiences teach the right things.

 

Swimming is also considered a great sport because it provides all over body conditioning useful in other sports -- it's a hell of a work out. Some kids swim on a team only when their other sport isn't playing. It's also very hard for kids to get heavy while swimming 1-2 hours a day. Some parents keep their kids on team just so they will have nice bodies (this first time I heard moms on my kids' teams discussing this, I about passed out).

 

Also, swimming and other sports are hard work. Some parents want to make sure their kids are hard workers. That they face their fears. That they learn to compete. They develop self confidence.

 

One thing not listed because it is so obvious is attending a really good school. It may be public and it may be private, but kids whose parent make over 100K are going to be attending a good school. Some of the things being bickered about would fall into "things one learns at a good school."

 

Since my kids are teens, conversations among the moms are how to instill judgment around alcohol, not wine tasting.

 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AbbyGrant View Post


      Quote:


It was based on Emma. 

 


Yes, and "You've Got Mail" was based on "Pride and Prejudice"

 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
You know, in almost any other form of entertainment, people are willing to accept personal taste as a factor. But, when it comes to Shakespeare and a handful of other writers, as well as certain visual artists, personal taste is suddenly invalid. I don't get it. If I said I didn't like some other author, most people would just accept it (maybe with a "but, how can you not like him/her?", if they happen to be a fan of said author). But, a dislike of Shakespeare just isn't acceptable. Not liking Shakespeare means the person has to try harder, or "doesn't get it" or whatever. Sometimes, people just don't like Shakespeare. Sure, the plays are better as performances than they are to read on a printed page. But, they just don't interest me very much.


In the creative arts, writing, visual arts, and music,  understanding why someone is considered important --  what is amazing/innovative/timeless about their work --  is part of our cultural literacy. Then gen ed classes at classes, such as History of Theater,  are one of the places where culture is maintained.

 

I don't think everyone has to LIKE Shakespeare to be well educated. We all have different taste. But that's altogether different from appreciating Shakespeare.

post #273 of 345
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

 

In the creative arts, writing, visual arts, and music,  understanding why someone is considered important --  what is amazing/innovative/timeless about their work --  is part of our cultural literacy. Then gen ed classes at classes, such as History of Theater,  are one of the places where culture is maintained.

I don't think everyone has to LIKE Shakespeare to be well educated. We all have different taste. But that's altogether different from appreciating Shakespeare.



Well, I don't appreciate Shakespeare, either (and I don't see his work as timeless, except in the sense that he's a constant fixture in boring English classes all over the Western world).

But, then...I've never pretended to be well educated.

post #274 of 345

oh this is so sad. shakespeare is boring?!!!

 

i know. i know. i am not pointing fingers at anyone. 

 

i am just comparing how education changes your view of things. 

 

i went to a private expensive school abroad. 

 

we studied his language so well, his culture so well that i look upon his work with wonder. 

 

it isnt a case of like or dislike - its a matter of appreciating how 'he' as a man of his times could write so much about things he was not supposed to be aware of, the change in language (the disappearance of the 'ash'), etc. 

 

a lot of what i studied esp. in literature - because we studied so deeply - having a social and cultural and historical perspective that i find old classics a fascinating read. 

 

i definitely think my education contributed to my love for classics. 

 

i am not self taught like my ex who read paradise lost with a guide on his own. i cant do that. so school in that sense was good for me. it taught me to appreciate things i normally would not have. 

post #275 of 345
Quote:
Originally Posted by meemee View Post

oh this is so sad. shakespeare is boring?!!!

 

i know. i know. i am not pointing fingers at anyone. 

 

i am just comparing how education changes your view of things. 

 

i went to a private expensive school abroad. 

 

we studied his language so well, his culture so well that i look upon his work with wonder. 

 

it isnt a case of like or dislike - its a matter of appreciating how 'he' as a man of his times could write so much about things he was not supposed to be aware of, the change in language (the disappearance of the 'ash'), etc. 

 

a lot of what i studied esp. in literature - because we studied so deeply - having a social and cultural and historical perspective that i find old classics a fascinating read. 

 

i definitely think my education contributed to my love for classics. 

 

i am not self taught like my ex who read paradise lost with a guide on his own. i cant do that. so school in that sense was good for me. it taught me to appreciate things i normally would not have. 

 

I was enjoying Shakespeare as a kid (9-10 yo), and read all of his plays I could get my hands on, way before I got any serious education in literary analysis. After I did, I still enjoy Shakespeare. I kept re-reading Homer because I enjoyed it, in elementary school, way before the formal learning about history, anthropology, literature, stylistics, etc. It does not mean that everyone has to love those authors. For example, even though I know how important James Joyce was, his place in 20th century literature, his influences etc., I'm not re-reading that stuff. No thanks. smile.gif Sometimes thorough learning about things does not make one appreciate them. Not everyone has to love Shakespeare, it's expected that someone doesn't have a taste for it. And vice-versa, one can love an author without first learning extras about the history, the language, etc.

 

Looking back at Shakespeare, I think that some of his plays are a mix of true greatness and fluffy movie scripts. E.g., "Midsummer Night's Dream" is nice, I always loved it, but it's a summer comedy movie, pretty much, high-quality one, but still. One book by Theodore Dreiser has more depth than half a dozen of Shakespeare's certain plays that are just fluff and easy reading.

post #276 of 345

I feel really sad for Shakespeare reading all this!  LOL!   I've read a lot of him, seen some, like some, hate some.  He is just a writer, that his work has survived is a cultural reflection.  The modern "boring" english teachers who endorse him aren't Time Lords with a grand plan.  He still exists on his own merits, and even if you hate his stuff, isn't it still interesting that he survives?  Isn't it the same of ALL "classic" works of art or literature?  Isn't it interesting to read/view/experience the piece, then contextualise your own feelings about it against culture or even against your own life experience?  I can remember loving R&J as a soppy, naive teenager.  Now i'm an adult with kids and relationships deeper than the teenaged infatuations i'm faintly horrified by it and its message.  At school the Merchant of Venice was soooooooooooooooo boring - i can remember telling my english teacher that in my mind the curtain between acts was grey and FAR more exciting than what had passed or was yet to come!  I flipped through it the other day and it is still super dull to me.  

 

To me that is the point of "classic" literature, whether it was written 600 years ago or last year.  It speaks of our journey through culture, because enough people or the "right" people have distinguished it for some reason (and who did that and why everyone else allowed them to is also interesting).  And to me those reasons, whether i love or hate the actual piece of work, are why it's fun to read them, think about them, discuss them.  I'm not a snob about it, i'm as happy to discuss King as Shakespeare, it's just that art/literature is a jumping off point for communication to me.  I've read some really disturbing stuff that was deemed "important", really terrible stuff that was deemed "great".  I like measuring me with the cultural yardstick, i like looking at how fashions change in EVERY sphere of human life and interaction, and i like to read the things so many other humans have read and commented on and thinking about how i feel.

 

 

post #277 of 345
Quote:
Originally Posted by AbbyGrant View Post


      Quote:


It was based on Emma. 

 



My bad.  You're right.  Linda on the Move got it right.  I was mixing up the movies.


Edited by sewchris2642 - 2/27/12 at 10:04am
post #278 of 345
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post

 

I'm not interested, so why would I bother? I'm sure the plays are fine, but I'm just really not interested. Despite what English teachers would have us believe, literature (and even writing plays) doesn't begin and end with Shakespeare. He was one writer, and one I don't particularly care for. The antiquated language is a big part of it, but not the only part, and I can understand it, with a study guide. I understood it without the study guide, to some extent (more than most of my classmates, certainly). I just don't like it, and I'm not interested in putting forth the mental energy to bother.

 

I've seen West Side Story, and it bored me, too. If Kiss Me Kate is based on Taming of the Shrew, there's no possiblity that I'll watch it, because I can't stand that play.

 

You know, in almost any other form of entertainment, people are willing to accept personal taste as a factor. But, when it comes to Shakespeare and a handful of other writers, as well as certain visual artists, personal taste is suddenly invalid. I don't get it. If I said I didn't like some other author, most people would just accept it (maybe with a "but, how can you not like him/her?", if they happen to be a fan of said author). But, a dislike of Shakespeare just isn't acceptable. Not liking Shakespeare means the person has to try harder, or "doesn't get it" or whatever. Sometimes, people just don't like Shakespeare. Sure, the plays are better as performances than they are to read on a printed page. But, they just don't interest me very much.




I'm not saying that you need to see/read/enjoy Shakespeare or any other playwright.  I'm sorry if that's how my post came out.  I was trying to suggest a reason why many people don't like him--it could very well be the fault of the educational system.  I don't like Hemming way or Fitzgerald.  There are a lot of authors I don't like and therefore don't read.

 

post #279 of 345

I don't love Shakespeare, but I have a good working knowledge of his works, characters, plotlines, major quotes etc.  Same for things like Chaucer (ugh "Canterbury Tales" was my Waterloo v. minoring in English)  I call it the "Jeopardy" factor.  I consider it a solid education to know enough about the who/what/when/how/why and that having some personal love for the Bard or or literary greats isn't necessary.  Great if you like it, but you're not a lesser academic if you don't.

 

Same for all subjective areas of arts - you don't have to love abstract painting to have a solid grasp on the Abstract Expressionist movement.  It's more essential to know about the school of work - why it was important in the context of art history etc than it is to love Kandinsky (spelling?)

 

You can appreciate the academic nature of these things without personally adoring them.

post #280 of 345
Quote:
Originally Posted by sewchris2642 View Post




I'm not saying that you need to see/read/enjoy Shakespeare or any other playwright.  I'm sorry if that's how my post came out.  I was trying to suggest a reason why many people don't like him--it could very well be the fault of the educational system.  I don't like Hemming way or Fitzgerald.  There are a lot of authors I don't like and therefore don't read.

 


That's possible. IME, the educational system (at least at high school level) goes out of its way to make reading anything as unenjoyable as possible. They take that to special heights when it comes to Shakespeare (and poetry), though.

 

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