So long and farewell to Salutatorians and Valedictorians?
This year is my 25th anniversary of me graduating from high school. If I recall correctly, Matt Buss and Natasha Horne were the Valedictorian and Salutatorian of my high school graduating class.
I’ve known them both since elementary school (unfortunately, Matt passed away a few years ago from cancer), and I know they were both stellar students.
I’ve always loved learning, and anyone who knows me knows that I study incessantly, but I always hated school, and my overall GPA reflected it. My college GPA was a full point higher than my high school GPA. It didn’t affect my self-esteem at all that they earned those accolades, because I know that they were more diligent in their coursework than I was.
We are so concerned nowadays about the “feelings” of people, that we no longer encourage folks towards excellence, and the current state of the country reflects that. As Thomas Sowell so aptly said, “Much of the social history of the Western world, over the past three decades, has been a history of replacing what worked with what sounded good.”
Bottom line, I didn’t cry about them receiving those accolades (an award or privilege granted as a special honor or as an acknowledgment of merit), because I know that, according to the standards established by the school, they earned it, and I didn’t. The idea that we are now supposed to stop recognizing and rewarding excellence, because doing so “hurts the feelings” of others is asinine. To quote Thomas Sowell once again, “The problem isn’t that Johnny can’t read. The problem isn’t even that Johnny can’t think. The problem is that Johnny doesn’t know what thinking is; he confuses it with feeling.”
When I look at this younger generation, I find myself thinking that a large part of the reason why so many of them basically suck, is because they are being raised by the people from my generation who sucked. I swear, if I didn’t know better, I would think that I was living in the year 2081 that Kurt Vonnegut described in his short story, “Harrison Bergeron”, rather than living in America in 2016.
If you want to know what happened, check out this story from Wake County, North Carolina.