The GED - Getting Old

What's with this Lady GaGa chick? She's like Britney Spears but with stranger shoes. Catchy tunes, though! I found myself whistling "Bad Romance" on the way to work this morning - darn near started singing aloud.

One of my most fun Christmas presents was a DVD three-pack of Charlie Brown holiday specials: four specials in all. I've only watched the two Christmas specials so far. Notable in both are the numerous bible references. Notable because Schulz wasn't evangelizing (he had a reserved Wesleyan bent) - he assumed his audience would get them. I'm not sure that's still true.

In the 60's, George Steiner was writing essays about how university students didn't know the Greek and Roman myths anymore. He wasn't evangelizing either. He was just commenting on pieces of "Western culture" becoming more difficult for students. He said composers of poetry, plays or music who assumed their audience knew the myths would soon find themselves without any audience at all.

I think this is turning into one of my "old guy" posts.

See, there was a book on Queen Victoria on my desk this morning. It was left there from the pre-Christmas clean-up. "I should read that," I thought. And then I thought, "♪♪ You and me could have a bad romance, ♫ mmmmm. ♪ "

History, culture... these things really are rivers that sweep past at frightening speeds. For me, a recent war is Vietnam and a recent Prime Minister is John Turner. But that was 25 or maybe 50 years ago - more years than most of my adult learners have been alive.

The decision not to up-date the GED in 2011, and then not to up-date in 2012, means learners will be dealing with 10 or 12 year old materials. The Science test will reference acid rain and the ozone layer, but not peak oil or global warming. The Social Studies test will reference Free Trade and civil wars in Africa, but not the dot-com and housing stocks melt down or post 9/11 tensions. Goodness knows what will pass as "contemporary" fiction or poetry. The big, blue Steck-Vaughn book Complete Canadian GED Preparation from 2003 - that is, three or four years more recent than the last GED tests - quotes from works like Carl Sagan's Contact (1985) and Josephine Miles 70's poem "Moving In." Even the review of the movie Love and Basketball is 10 years old.

I've always said the GED is about reading - it's five reading tests with a little bit of math and writing thrown in.

Now I'm starting to say it's all about history - old guy stuff - as well.

1 comment:

What was done said...

Getting old is only in our mind.
Age never prevented people from doing things: