Monday, August 14, 2017

Catholic Schools, Charlottesville and The Idiot in the Classroom

Image result for Chicago Brother Rice High School classroom
One encounters very few 'idiots' in Catholic high schools.  They are led away from folly or disciplined to control their impulses.

Go to any Catholic high school next week.  Really.  Pop in on one. Go to the Office and make your presence known and listen.   You will be astounded by the . . . quiet.

Catholic schools succeed because they are free, for the most part, of idiotic policies that do nothing to help young people learn to master literature, history, math, science,music, art and theology.   The best Catholic schools have empty halls during class periods and the 36 or so actively engaged males and/or females are being engaged by someone with a command of the discipline being taught.

More than often, in single gender and many co-ed Catholic schools, those teachers also coach most of the sports and moderate the extra-curricular clubs and activities.  That is even more conducive to classroom management, because the young people engage the instructor 'beyond the classroom walls' and learn that the guy in the tie, was also struggling to get both legs over the high hurdles, while maintaining a B+ average, working part-time and coping with adolescence.   Shared goals and sweat make easy alliances and seed respect.

Catholic schools are diverse, but not daffy about it.  I have yet to witness a Selma moment at Bishop McNamara, Bishop Noll, or Brother Rice High School.  In 21 years at Leo High School, situated in Auburn Gresham and south edge of Englewood, I watched a dozen white boys from suburbs and Canaryville USA bond with hundreds of black gents from Englewood, Brainerd, Gresham, Chatham, and Grand Crossing.  The Canaryville guys took the Halsted bus from 79th to the Ville without incident, when the school vans were unavailable for transport home.  Two dozen Mexican Americans fared even better.  One white boy graduated from Leo and of the dozen or so Mexican lads, one graduated as a Gates Scholar.

There were dust ups.  The "N" word was used, back and forth in the more heated debates over Hip-Hop artists, Hillbilly music and places in the offensive line.   Some times words came to blows and both colors sat in detention,  " That Irish N@##eer ( redhead from St. Gabe's) said Vic Mensa's from O Street!!!!!   N@##ah' stays near 62nd & Stony Island. "

Such distinctions are very important to sophomore age male egos.

At Brother Rice there was even less attention made to skin and more to ego and placement in the upcoming football line-up.  One Blue-chip African American junior stands 5'6" and already has D-One colleges asking for the diminutive but elusive Seniors season highlight disc and his arch-enemy  a 6'4" offensive lineman and Blue-chip wrestler will challenge one another in every class they over ability, toughness, endurance and appeal to the fair sex.

That is the reality of American racism that I see most days.

Here is what the delicate creatures of the Chicago Tribune editorial board announce, having wached cable news for three days of coverage on the idiots and blood shed in Charlottesville, Virgini, "America does have a problem with racism, with anti-Semitism and many other forms of bigotry and intolerance. That's no secret. The question Americans must confront every day is how will they respond." Bruce Dold et al. 

The Tribune's application of the modal auxiliary assures all and sundry - America has a problem with race . . .and with Anti-Semtism ( when conflated by Zionism, Gaza, Palestinians, neo-Stalinist rhetorical flourishes, or matters of policy).

No. Charlottesville this week was a gathering of idiots left and right with an emphasis on right.

Charlottesville and Chicago Tribune editorials concerning race relations should be treated the same way a good Catholic high school teacher/coach treats someone's cherished and darling nitwit, attention demanding idiot and sophomoric time assassin - chided and isolated with warm sarcasm, until he gets with the program, " Mr. Hickey, our discussion concerns analyzing Steinbeck's monster metaphor from chapter five of The Grapes of Wrath, join us or spend some quality with Kenny moving tables for the Circle of Champions over the next two Saturdays."

The Class was not inattentive.  Hickey was an idiot . . .again. Let us not dwell on idiots, let us learn that Banks to Steinbeck were like the living dead - zombies with an insatiable appetite for human beings.

Racism : "[t]he theory that distinctive human characteristics and abilities are determined by race"  was only used by a human being for the first time in 1930's by Communist, abortion and gay activist Magnus Hirschfeld.

That is the root of the term.  What it truly means is something else and I do not believe that I have witnessed overt acts racism anywhere, but by a few idiots on television.  I used to see Nazi dress-up losers on Kedzie at 63rd Street but they seem to have disappeared.

Lives matter.  Tiki torches not so much.

Go to any Catholic high school and watch lives being lived and one or two malleable idiots getting straightened out.

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