Back to SF School

Sep 5, 20:28 by IROSF
Thread for the discussion of MaryAnn Johanson's essay on schools in science fiction and in real life.

The article is here.
Sep 6, 08:10 by Emily Burkman
MaryAnn Johanson's take on how schools handle gifted students seems outdated to me, or at least less true than it might once have been. High schools, in an effort to give advantage to their best in college applications, have incorporated more and more honors and AP courses into the curriculum. Being an intelligent teen is not a stigma anymore. So much of science fiction has leaked into the mainstream that, unless you really are a social reject, you can be an sf geek while maintaining a healthy relationship with the rest of humanity.
Sep 6, 09:07 by Bluejack
I think that depends a lot on where you are. And even in places where smart is not a stigma, nor is it necessarily what is socially valued.
Sep 7, 10:37 by Adrian Simmons
I think that one's ability to relate to the people around you is a big part of whether you are a social reject or not. I mean, I took honors classes and played D&D and all that, but I didn't TALK about it all the time to people who clearly didn't care.

I have to admit that the temptation was hard, but usually I'd default to music or something.
Sep 9, 15:21 by MaryAnn Johanson
It's not about being a social reject -- the validictorian and salutorian at my high school, when I graduated way the hell back in 1987 were two of the most popular kids at school. But we smart kids (I was 11th in a class of 410) were not challenged in our classes. Hell, my senior year was almost all AP classes, and I didn't have to exert myself to be 11th in the class. My whole educational life, I was in gifted programs and honor classes and all that crap, and it still wasn't enough to keep me genuinely engaged.

I'm with Mark Twain: I never let my schooling interfere with my education. The best stuff I learned, I learned on my own.
Sep 12, 09:14 by Adrian Simmons
Sorry to hear that you were let down by your high school expereinces. A few things- the valedictorian and the salutatorian are usuall the first and second ranking students of a school- but not always. My AP classes ate me alive. I had to memorize and reporduce the entire Krebb's cycle. And then college, of course, was even harder, plus all the drinking didn't help.
As far as being genuinely engaged, I've noticed that science shows (NOVA, Connections, The Nature of Things) keep people 'engaged', but actual science classes tend to be very boring. Very much mired in minute (but important) details.

Sep 12, 10:59 by Bluejack
Mind you, science classes are generally constructed to teach people the scientific method and how to apply it in different domains, rather than to introduce people to the neat ways in which the world works. That is generally an afterthought, if at all, particularly since most of the "important details" about those cool features of the universe require advanced mathematics and a thorough understanding of the "boring" stuff to actually comprehend in any useful way.
Sep 19, 12:59 by Michael-Xavier Maelstrom

"Which SF film best approaches the SF fan's understanding of what our schooling really was?" -MaryAnn Johanson


The film would need involve these key ingrediants:

(mainly) Starring: overbearing Painfully small-minded lower-middle-class 1 to 2 max generation removed "white trash" professionals who self-identify withand use students. a means to either,

1. Compensate for their own self-recognized mediocrity (seems to manifest in an overt Godification of and self-identification with, a particular student., often at the expense of all other students)

(and these Profs are very easy to bed - Ed)

Please don't help me Ed.

or alternatively, they may (will - Ed)

2. Compensate for their own self-recognized mediocrity (by throttling students that remind them of themselves., in an desperate attempt to escape the realization that they are not lucky enough to be stupid enough to not know that they are stupid, rather they are just average enough to realize that they are not smart enough to fully recognize that they are not smart)

(though they are beginning to suspect it - Ed)


Now take this lower-middle-muddle character and place it in Management positions about the globe from Government to Education to Corporation und have their position and authority supported by the people that couldn't even get past them in school., and give them guns.


"Which film best approaches the SF fan's understanding of what our schooling really was?"


Andy Warhol's Frankenstein.

(for no apparently discernable reason - Ed)

At least not publicly.

Anyway, another enjoyable interesting omega-3 IROSF article.

Other films that come to mind as reflective of the schooling experience:

Dr. Strangelove.
Jurassic Park

and of course,

Apocalypse Now.

Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Earth, Sometimes.

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