Ben Langhinrichs

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February, 2006
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Civility in critiquing the ideas of others is no vice. Rudeness in defending your own ideas is no virtue.

Sun 26 Feb 2006, 12:03 PM
My son is 15, and a tenth grader suffering through a year of AP U.S. History (affectionately, and accurately, known as A-PUSH).  He is a math genius, but not a history genius, and Shaker Heights takes its A.P. courses very seriously.  For those of you unfamiliar with the terminology in U.S. schools, A.P. courses are Advanced Placement courses, and they are supposed to be like "college courses for high schoolers".  Many schools do not really act like these are college courses, but Shaker does, and it is not uncommon for Shaker graduates to go off and find themselves quite bored with college, even very intense colleges.

In any case, my son was complaining as I drove him to school, and I reassured him that he wouldn't have to take history courses in college if he didn't want to.  He was not placated, and pointed out that he still needed four years of history in high school, and couldn't he please not take A.P. Modern European History next year.  I said it was very important, and he could do it, and all that parental clap trap, and he ignored me, and asked:
Why can't I take the History of Rock and Roll or something like that?  You know, something actually useful.
Anybody have an answer for that?

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