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Old 02-24-2012, 02:55 PM
 
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It's amazing how many scientific concepts I have picked up from SF. I'm with you there. 

 

But I started with a rigorous formal grounding in the basic branches of science, did a subset of the Great Books (no normal person can do them all!) at the secondy and postsecondary levels, and that's the absolute min-bar for my kids, who are privileged to have access to prep school and two well-educated parents. (If my DH were in this thread, he would add a min-bar for formal mathematical study, and it would be waaaay above Algebra II where I quit.)

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Old 02-24-2012, 03:00 PM
 
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(That's "functional literacy," which is not an insult, BTW.)  


When it's compared to "actual literacy," I think it could be seen as one.  

 

 

 

 

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Old 02-24-2012, 03:18 PM
 
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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. 

 

I think this is a little bit like saying "Okay, you can balance your cheque book, and figure out how many days a tank of gas will last you, but you haven't learned calculus so you don't actually understand math." I think 'actual literacy' is being able to convey your meaning, and understand another person's meaning through text.

 

I enjoy reading Shakespeare, but it's a different kind of reading. The closest thing to it that I've seen in modern day writing is legal documents... you can't focus on every word and sentence, you have to read a few more lines before get the gist of what's being said or it's totally overwhelming. Educating oneself in certain topics might be advantageous if you're trying to fit into a certain crowd, but I wouldn't assume that literature was the thing to know. (I just had to spell check 'literature', oops! ha ha)

 

 


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Old 02-24-2012, 04:20 PM
 
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I hate Shakespeare. I find it dull & repetitive.

I have 2 college degrees, have read a ton throughout my life... in the realm of hundreds of books a year, until I had a kid & got too busy. But I mostly read medical or psych books, I have no patience for fiction, whether it's Shakespeare or JK Rowling, though I do enjoy poetry (not so much classical poets...)

I have to admit, I think of the people who like Shakespeare as uptight, stuffy, self-important types who believe academics and theoreticals are more important than reality. No offense to anyone who likes his works, that's just the stereotype I seem to have stuck in my mind lol.

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Old 02-24-2012, 05:08 PM
 
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I hate Shakespeare. I find it dull & repetitive.
I have 2 college degrees, have read a ton throughout my life... in the realm of hundreds of books a year, until I had a kid & got too busy. But I mostly read medical or psych books, I have no patience for fiction, whether it's Shakespeare or JK Rowling, though I do enjoy poetry (not so much classical poets...)
I have to admit, I think of the people who like Shakespeare as uptight, stuffy, self-important types who believe academics and theoreticals are more important than reality. No offense to anyone who likes his works, that's just the stereotype I seem to have stuck in my mind lol.


You know what's funny....is I don't think Shakespeare intended the general public to read his work, but to see it performed.  I love a good Shakespeare play and all the trappings.  I'm a big fan of Julie Taymor and she did a great interpretation of Titus Andronicus (it was in the movie theatres for about a week - but such is the life or art films).  I like to see different actors and actresses interpret the characters.  I love the premise of Shakespeare's tales (morality, death, sex, intrigue).  There's just a language barrier there that turns a lot of people off and I think the problem is that we are introduced through reading, rather than seeing and hearing.  I have the complete works of Shakespeare sitting on my shelf and let me tell you, I use it only as reference.  They are plays.  It would be like us sitting around reading movie scripts today.  His work is meant to be viewed in the realm of stage/theatre.  

 


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Old 02-24-2012, 05:17 PM
 
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This discussion has a scene from one of my kid's favorite movies, Gnomeo and Juliet, running though my head.  

 

(hear Michael Caine and Maggie Smith while reading) 

 

Lord Redbrick:  I don't like what you're incinerating. 
Lady Bluebury: The proper word is "insinuating", illiterate. 
Lord Redbrick: I am not illiterate! My parents were married! 
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Old 02-24-2012, 05:24 PM
 
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CatsCradle, I think you are totally right! Good point!

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Old 02-24-2012, 06:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Smithie View Post

 

It's amazing how many scientific concepts I have picked up from SF. I'm with you there. 

 

But I started with a rigorous formal grounding in the basic branches of science, did a subset of the Great Books (no normal person can do them all!) at the secondy and postsecondary levels, and that's the absolute min-bar for my kids, who are privileged to have access to prep school and two well-educated parents. (If my DH were in this thread, he would add a min-bar for formal mathematical study, and it would be waaaay above Algebra II where I quit.)



To each their own. I will point out that I know multiple people (some friends, some classmates) who were turned off of reading completely by the reading lists in high school. If I hadn't already been an avid reader before starting school, I suspect I may have been the same way. If people get something out of those books, that's great. But, if what they get is "reading is effing boring, and I don't want to do it", I don't think there's any great benefit to be had.

 

I'll have to look up the "Great Books", as I'm not sure which ones fall under this heading. But, I have no min-bar for my kids when it comes to books. I just want them to enjoy reading. If that means that, at 18, they're like ds1, who only reads sporadically, but discusses what he reads on multiple levels, I'm okay with that. I just want them to read.

 

Okay...I just looked up the Great Books Syllabus. All the Shakespeare would bore me out of my mind. I've read a few books in there, and started on a few more, which were too boring to hold my interest (notably War and Peace). But, I can't see how it's necessary to read them to understand allusions to many of them. I've never read The Odyssey, or The Divine Comedy, or the Old Testament (or New Testament, for that matter) or any Shakespeare beyond the two plays (MacBeth and The Taming of the Shrew) that were crammed down my throat in school. But, I also don't live under a rock. I'd have to live either there, or in a closet, to not be able to pick up on a lot of these things. Does anybody who ever reads anything not know at least the basics about 1984 or Romeo and Juliet? 

 

I'll freely admit there are books in there that I haven't read, but I also have to say that if reading more Shakespeare (and I think CatsCradle made a good point about him) or Orwell is the price I'd have to pay for being "acutally literate", I'll happily remain in a state of mere functional literacy. Getting through that list would leave me never wanting to pick up a book again. Orwell...really? I had to read Animal Farm in high school, and I can't imagine forcing myself through two of his books. (I am glad to see that the execrable Lord of the Flies isn't on there, though. That one almost put me off books, for fear I'd pick up something that bad again.)


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Old 02-24-2012, 07:20 PM
 
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I'll freely admit there are books in there that I haven't read, but I also have to say that if reading more Shakespeare (and I think CatsCradle made a good point about him) or Orwell is the price I'd have to pay for being "acutally literate", I'll happily remain in a state of mere functional literacy. Getting through that list would leave me never wanting to pick up a book again. Orwell...really? I had to read Animal Farm in high school, and I can't imagine forcing myself through two of his books. (I am glad to see that the execrable Lord of the Flies isn't on there, though. That one almost put me off books, for fear I'd pick up something that bad again.)


I think part of the "forcing it down our throats" in education is that someone, somewhere, has determined that it is culturally relevant.  I can understand that to an extent, but at the same time, I think the forcing of cultural stuff has been a very recent thing (give or take a 1000 years or so).  Somewhere along the way, someone or some body of individuals determined that certain works were/are worthy of our attention.  I don't know, I think it is our attachment to history.  I see the same thing in the way that people scrapbook now...there is some human compulsion to hang onto history...to make it special...to highly edit for personal comfort.  

 

Not that anyone noticed, but my member name "CatsCradle" is the title of a Kurt Vonnegut Jr. book, my favorite book in all of human history.  He's a 20th century writer and is crass and prone to gallow humour, but he best defines how I feel about life.  I love that guy.  I would have asked him to marry me if he had been my contemporary.  I care a lot about modern fiction because it speaks to me and in my language and circumstance.  My DH is a Phillip K. Dick fan but I haven't read any of his books...just love the adapted films.  I think, Storm Bride, you are right in that the themes of the so-called important books are in our collective brains, and I don't think it is important to actually tediously read this stuff to understand the morality and drama behind those stories.  Perhaps it is helpful to acknowledge them and know their place, but why torture yourself?  I think we tend to adequately educate ourselves through our own interests and things that excite us.  

 


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Old 02-24-2012, 07:44 PM
 
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I really think the most important things you can teach kids about moving fluently between social classes:

 

-read anything you can get your hands on, spend some time in bookstores, it's good to have intellectual curiousity and a broad cultural literacy

-never feel ashamed of where you come from--every life is unique and interesting.  Be proud of who you are and where you come from

-openness, a sense of humor, and curiosity go a long way.  If you don't know something, just ask.  No one will hold it against you, especially if you're friendly about it


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Old 02-24-2012, 10:28 PM
 
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I think part of the "forcing it down our throats" in education is that someone, somewhere, has determined that it is culturally relevant.  I can understand that to an extent, but at the same time, I think the forcing of cultural stuff has been a very recent thing (give or take a 1000 years or so).  Somewhere along the way, someone or some body of individuals determined that certain works were/are worthy of our attention.  I don't know, I think it is our attachment to history.  I see the same thing in the way that people scrapbook now...there is some human compulsion to hang onto history...to make it special...to highly edit for personal comfort.  

 

I think that's exactly. it. These books have been deemed to be culturally relevant, so we have to read them. But, honestly, for many of those books, I'd have had much more fun reading brief summaries, including information about the impact each book had, in a historical/cultural/literary sense, than I had actually having to read them. I think the same probably goes for a lot of other people, too. I remember asking my mom (during one of my many violent anti-school rants, admittedly) if the educational system wanted kids to hate reading. She told me she didn't think that was the case, but had wondered herself at times. It might have been fun to read a brief summary of Lord of the Flies, and then have a class discussion about the point of the book, and what the author wanted to say, and things like that. (I do have to admit to having been highly social phobic and insanely self-conscious as a teen - heck, I am now, and I'm nowhere near as bad as I was - so I probably wouldn't have actually said anything...but it would have been interesting.)

 

Not that anyone noticed, but my member name "CatsCradle" is the title of a Kurt Vonnegut Jr. book, my favorite book in all of human history.  He's a 20th century writer and is crass and prone to gallow humour, but he best defines how I feel about life.  I love that guy.  I would have asked him to marry me if he had been my contemporary.  I care a lot about modern fiction because it speaks to me and in my language and circumstance.  My DH is a Phillip K. Dick fan but I haven't read any of his books...just love the adapted films.

 

I can't believe I never picked up on that. I never really got into Vonnegut, because I didn't like his writing style that much, but I did read Cat's Cradle, and one other one, which I can't even remember (I know it wasn't Slaughterhouse-Five). I kept thinking I should go back and read some more when I got older (read the couple I did when I was about 17), but never got around to it. I've read some Phillip K. Dick, but only short stories. I liked them fairly well, but he was never a favourite. I liked his ideas, and some of where took them, but (again) wasn't crazy about his writing style.

 

 I think, Storm Bride, you are right in that the themes of the so-called important books are in our collective brains, and I don't think it is important to actually tediously read this stuff to understand the morality and drama behind those stories.  Perhaps it is helpful to acknowledge them and know their place, but why torture yourself?  I think we tend to adequately educate ourselves through our own interests and things that excite us.  

 

That's my take, for the most part. It's one of the reasons I'm homeschooling (I'm not a real unschooler, but something along those lines). I want my kids to follow their interests. It's even things like geography. When I was in school, we studied whatever countries were in the textbooks. But, if a child has a strong interest in, say, South Africa, why not study that, instead of Kenya, yk? I want my kids to learn about the whole world, but I don't see any reason to focus in on parts that don't interest them. We can start with the stuff that does interest them, and see where it goes (eg. they're both at least somewhat intrigued by Brazil, as a result of visits to the "Amazon Gallery" at our local aquarium).

 

I certainly have no objection to my chlidren reading the "great works", but I'm not going to make them, yk? That "Great Books" list also has a "good books" list for younger people. I read quite a few of them - loved some (eg. all things Edgar Rice Burroughs - he was my favourite author when I was 10 or 11), liked others (eg. Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer), and hated others (Little Women was a snoozefest). I'm reading the Little House books to dd1 now. I'm enjoying them, and so is dd1. If she weren't, we'd move on to something else.



 


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Old 02-24-2012, 10:32 PM
 
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I don't snuggle up in front of a roaring fire with Hamlet, either. orngtongue.gif But yes, I can understand most of the vocabulary and allusions, because I had a rigorous liberal arts education. "Upper class street cred?" Yup. The OP is looking for that, after all. But it's not just that - so many great authors and historians and politicians learned to read on the KJV and took their rhetorical cues from that Great Books syllabus, and I understand their work more deeply because I can follow their allusions. 

 

There's the "upper class" OP is talking about, which is from a socio economic perspective, and then there's academic "street cred" which is what I think you are actually getting at here.  Oh, and if you want to get all these types of allusions you are referring to, turn no further than The Simpsons.  Is that what the "upper crust" are watching these days?  Probably not, but an academic will pick up on the numerous illusions you are referring to.  For example, what street does Mr. Burns live on?  On the corner of Croesus and Mammon streets. read.gif  Why do I know that?  I'm a giant nerd.  If this came up with any of my friends who actually grew up "upper class", far, far beyond the level OP is talking about, they'd just confirm my nerdy-ness.  Trust me, these things don't put you in with the "cool kids" from an upper class perspective.  What does?  Being social (having social intelligence), having financial literacy.    

 

 

Educated people who've completed their secondary schooling need to possess sufficient scientific literacy to read books like that and understand them. That one's less of a yuppie party trick, and more of requirement for full citizenship in the modern world, where you pretty much need that level of scientific literacy to figure out what groceries to buy. Now, figuring out what groceries to buy and then hooking your friends up with new sources - THAT'S a yuppie party trick, and also a nice thing MDCers and IRL friends to do for each other with no pretensions to yuppiness. Context is all. 

 

Really??  I think groceries require more common sense than "scientific knowledge" of any kind.  And from someone who has 2 post secondary degrees, I actually find this kind of insulting.  I *have* to read biology?  (Eye roll).  And math?? (Double eye roll).  Math skills and financial literacy aren't even related.


Sorry, your post just really rubs me the wrong way!

 

OP is talking about fitting in, not getting ahead.  And then a lot of what you are talking about is just great from an academic perspective, but not practical from a "getting ahead" perspective either.

 


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Old 02-24-2012, 10:34 PM
 
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Oops - I've gone way OT. I keep thinking this is the thread about going to college. redface.gif


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Old 02-24-2012, 11:14 PM
 
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I don't snuggle up in front of a roaring fire with Hamlet, either. orngtongue.gif But yes, I can understand most of the vocabulary and allusions, because I had a rigorous liberal arts education. "Upper class street cred?" Yup. The OP is looking for that, after all. But it's not just that - so many great authors and historians and politicians learned to read on the KJV and took their rhetorical cues from that Great Books syllabus, and I understand their work more deeply because I can follow their allusions. 

 

There's the "upper class" OP is talking about, which is from a socio economic perspective, and then there's academic "street cred" which is what I think you are actually getting at here.  Oh, and if you want to get all these types of allusions you are referring to, turn no further than The Simpsons.  Is that what the "upper crust" are watching these days?  Probably not, but an academic will pick up on the numerous illusions you are referring to.  For example, what street does Mr. Burns live on?  On the corner of Croesus and Mammon streets. read.gif  Why do I know that?  I'm a giant nerd.  If this came up with any of my friends who actually grew up "upper class", far, far beyond the level OP is talking about, they'd just confirm my nerdy-ness.  Trust me, these things don't put you in with the "cool kids" from an upper class perspective.  What does?  Being social (having social intelligence), having financial literacy.    

 

 

This is an interesting post. I was the "poor" kid at my high school, and I was also the one who would get the jokes like "Croesus and Mammon streets". Knowing those things just made me more of a misfit than anything else. I don't think the kids at my old school were the "upper crust', but they certainly fit into the class in the OP. I'd have done better socially if I'd known more about sports. Literary references just didn't cut it.


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Old 02-24-2012, 11:25 PM
 
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This is an interesting post. I was the "poor" kid at my high school, and I was also the one who would get the jokes like "Croesus and Mammon streets". Knowing those things just made me more of a misfit than anything else. I don't think the kids at my old school were the "upper crust', but they certainly fit into the class in the OP. I'd have done better socially if I'd known more about sports. Literary references just didn't cut it.



I was not the poor kid at my school, but growing up in a very small town being "the rich kid" is not the same as growing up with money.  It doesn't take much money in a small town, KWIM?  I was always the nerd, but also lucky enough to play sports although I didn't fit in with the jocks.  FF to Uni, when I made friends who actually DID have money and it becomes apparent how the other half lives, so to speak, and what helps you fit in with them.  In my experience they accepted my nerdy-ness because I was pretty social as well.  None of them read Shakespeare, or Atwood, or Findley or Tolstoy, or etc. etc. etc. or cared much about the groceries they bought.  They did care about Christmas at Whistler and what seats they could get at the olympics.


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Old 02-25-2012, 12:37 AM
 
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I was not the poor kid at my school, but growing up in a very small town being "the rich kid" is not the same as growing up with money.  It doesn't take much money in a small town, KWIM?  I was always the nerd, but also lucky enough to play sports although I didn't fit in with the jocks.  FF to Uni, when I made friends who actually DID have money and it becomes apparent how the other half lives, so to speak, and what helps you fit in with them.  In my experience they accepted my nerdy-ness because I was pretty social as well.  None of them read Shakespeare, or Atwood, or Findley or Tolstoy, or etc. etc. etc. or cared much about the groceries they bought.  They did care about Christmas at Whistler and what seats they could get at the olympics.


Sports and sociability are definitely helpful. I don't play sports - I don't enjoy them, and I'm really, really bad at them (very uncoordinated, and I also lack depth perception). I'm also not a social type. I'm okay with people I know well, but strangers make me twitch....and I prefer very small groups, even with friends.

 

Christmas at Whistler? Are you local to the area, or is it a bigger tourist destination than I realize?


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Old 02-25-2012, 05:15 AM
 
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Christmas at Whistler? Are you local to the area, or is it a bigger tourist destination than I realize?

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.
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Old 02-25-2012, 06:17 AM
 
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I disagree that Shakespeare and the like are part of what one needs to know to fit in with with 100K to 250K crowd.  (It's possible that things are different in social circles with lots more money than that).

 

I like Shakespeare; I've seen about 20 of his play performed, many in London. It has never helped me navigate social waters. A lot of people who are upper middle class make their money in fields like IT and engineering. Nerds do better financially than English majors. Some of things being listed on this thread are things that are more true of the *spouses* of people earning those kinds of salaries, but not typically true of the people earning those salaries. Lots of people who like to discuss Shakespeare end up doing things like working at Starbucks.

 

Academic concerns are not social concerns. Being a fun person to hang out with at a Super Bowl party, being able to tell a funny story over a drinks, etc are more important *socially*  than being intellectual.

 

When our kids are grown, they will be socializing with each other and with people slightly older and younger than themselves. They'll talk about movies, video games, vacations, etc. Sure, books will make it in there, but something like "Hunger Games" may be more important for conversation than "Othello." 

 

Isn't the best reason to read a book because you enjoy it? Isn't that something we want to instill in our kids? (what ever sort of salaries they eventually end up with.)


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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Old 02-25-2012, 06:29 AM
 
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Not that anyone noticed, but my member name "CatsCradle" is the title of a Kurt Vonnegut Jr. book, my favorite book in all of human history. 


Hey, I noticed, and I always wondered if that's what it was. Btw, I remember his interview on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, back in 2005, he was great, I was lucky to catch that show.

 


 

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OP is talking about fitting in, not getting ahead.  And then a lot of what you are talking about is just great from an academic perspective, but not practical from a "getting ahead" perspective either.

 

Yeah, "schmooze and act thrilled when they share the insider gossip" would help much better with fitting in than instructions such as "read as many books as you can, spend times in bookstores, have never ending intellectual curiosity". Trust me, I know. Reading Sophocles' plays for fun never helped me to fit in. If anything, it makes it even more annoying to be stuck at a party and listening to tipsy people go on about nothing. 

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Old 02-25-2012, 07:17 AM
 
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OK, I accept the consensus here that knowing about sports and the latest gossip are more useful for fitting in to the upper-class than having an upper-class education and a high level of cultural literacy (which is obviously what I should have said, rather than "actual literacy." Sorry about that.) I do OK at parties and such, but that's social intelligence - I know how to identify the people who will appreciate what I have to offer, and I know how to find neutral topics when I'm with somebody whose enthusiasms don't intersect with mine. 

 

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

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Old 02-25-2012, 07:38 AM
 
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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?

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Old 02-25-2012, 07:45 AM
 
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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. 


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Old 02-25-2012, 09:22 AM
 
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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).

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Old 02-25-2012, 09:52 AM
 
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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.
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Old 02-25-2012, 11:31 AM
 
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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.


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Old 02-25-2012, 11:43 AM
 
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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.

 


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Old 02-25-2012, 12:57 PM
 
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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.

 


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Old 02-26-2012, 04:06 AM
 
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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.

 

 

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Old 02-26-2012, 10:00 AM
 
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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.

 


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Old 02-26-2012, 10:27 AM
 
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      Quote:

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 Clueless is a retelling of Pride and Prejudice.


It was based on Emma. 

 

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