[lit-ideas] Re: What the Tortoise said to Achilles

  • From: Andy <mimi.erva@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 2 Feb 2012 05:20:54 -0800 (PST)

For Julie and Veronica.  I agree that we need to clean up and tighten up 
government, not get rid of it.  We are the government and it needs to serve us 
and help us.  The French are way ahead of us in having figured that one out.  
They fight for their Social Security retirement even as very young adults.
About the Barenstain Bears, I looked on Wikipedia and it seems that kids love 
the bears.  The only thing I can think of is that kids like stability and 
certainty.  Believe it or not, kids like authority figures, just not scary 
ones.  It makes them feel safe to have a mom and a dad.  Kids left to figure 
things out on their own is like us not having traffic lights.  A balance 
between encouragement, guidance and space is the ideal.  Most people confuse 
that with praise and they're not at all the same.  I know I sound like a broken 
record, but that's why I think parenting needs to be taught, beginning in high 
school.  Ideally all people would be licensed before taking up as daunting a 
job as raising a human being.  Instead parenting is the most denigrated of 
tasks, women's work.  And the women themselves are denigrated, have no rights 
at all until recently in some places.  So maybe the Barenstain Bears are 
striking a cord with children because
 they're filling a need, even if only in fantasy. 

From: Eric Yost <mr.eric.yost@xxxxxxxxx>
To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
Sent: Thursday, February 2, 2012 2:24 AM
Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: What the Tortoise said to Achilles

>> Excerpt from a comment in the daily InsideHigherEd.com.

'The so-called "No Child Left Behind" policies have given us a crop
of students nearly incapable of drawing conclusions on their own--so
to teach critical thinking, we have to teach what thinking is

Would not solely blame the NCLB for that. Am reminded of Joyce Carol
Oates' essay, "On Subversive Children's Literature" which compares
Alice as problem solver in her Wonderland with the feeble, drudge
bear cubs in the Berenstain Bears, who always ask the authority
figures for help solving problems. If the same situation applies
vis-à-vis tot-lit, the same robotic, polite, clueless
unique-snowflakes may have been mentored by it.

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