My dear daughter Hannah is graduating in a couple weeks and earlier this evening we went to the award’s banquet. It was actually a fine affair and it should have been an encouragement to the top students of the High School. Some interesting things stood out for me as I observed the proceedings…
1) Wonder Women rule! Yes indeed. Eight out of ten students of the month were girls. Top five GPA scores were all owned by the girls. By far the most awards were given to girls. What was even more interesting is that many of the top girls were going on to study science. You hate to say anything that could be seen as taking away from all this excellence. But, there really is something pitiful about the fact that boys are so left behind. The consensus in my family is that there are plenty of smart boys, but many are just plain lazy, or they simply have no interest in their studies.
2) Vocational survey:
Out of all the 35 students honored tonight I counted not one going on to study the humanities (languages, literature, philosophy, religion, and visual and performing arts, history, anthropology, area studies, communication studies, cultural studies, law and linguistics) except Hannah (music).
Out of all the 35 students I don’t think there were any going into human service vocations, but two were going into teaching (including Hannah), three into nursing, two into physician assistant, two into pharmacy, and two into psychology.
Hannah was the only student going into a church vocation, and that was contrasted with 2 or 3 of the students going into vocations associated with sports management and training, vocations that 30 years ago I don’t even think were heard of.
3) The superintendent of the school district spoke at the end and encouraged the kids to be good leaders in society and to find the vocation they love so that going to “work” would never be a chore. He also encouraged the kids to forget doing what they do for the money. He told them of his mother’s advice to him when someone asked him the question “What do you make?”: She said “Look him straight in the eye and say ‘I make a DIFFERENCE!’” How wonderful is that! Even though I am not expecting anyone will ever remember to say that, I hope they do!
I am not sure exactly what you can draw from all of this, as it is only one school… but I am thinking that these stats are fairly pedestrian and I just wish that there was more “imagination” in the goals of these kids. The vocations that demonstrate beauty and life such as the arts and humanities are so lacking. We need to light a fire in our children’s hearts and minds! The exception to these pedestrian results is those top girls who were going into the sciences. Kudos to them! And… of course I AM thankful there is my lovely Hannah, who herself truly excelled in the sciences and math, but has her eyes presently set on making music to the Lord and sharing its joys with so many! She is making a huge difference with a fabulous imagination!