Have you ever read a kind of older book and when it was finished desperately wished there was a follow up book? I HATE when that happens and it just did again recently when I finished The Big Test: The Secret History of the American Meritocracy by Nicholas Lemann.
The book is about how standardized testing came about in this country and how much of a scam it is. It takes you through the development of standardized tests, affirmative action, and the whole idea of how we decide (in this country) who gets to go to college. Have you ever wondered about why you took the SAT and/or ACT? Did you ever wonder why some schools accepted one test and not the other? How the scores were calculated? Why it costs so much to apply to college? Why certain schools were free to residents?
This book was published in 1999; ironically the year I graduated from high school and entered college. I wish that someone had given it to me then….
The basic reason that I wanted to review this book for you (even though it has nothing to do with fitness or yoga) is to make you consider the question for the weekend of WHY?
Why do I do the things I do? Why is my life the way that it is? Why?
And in addition to Why, HOW?
How much control do I have over my life? How much control is necessary and how much am I willing to allow others to make decisions for me?
The Why and How questions of the world can be great for guiding you toward your true self and enlightenment. They can also make you want to stand up and shout, THIS IS NOT RIGHT!
At one point in my life I was very proud of my ACT/SAT scores despite my performance on “grades” in high school. I’ve always been a good test taker. I have been lack in commitment to completing tasks like homework. This transferred over into my college career and is shown in my procrastination on this blog. What if someone had taken the time to tell me that test scores were not the best predictor of how well I’d do in college? What if I cared more about actually learning as much in my high school days as I do now? What if I could guide my children down a better path with less focus on testing and more focus on really learning (not memorization) and critical thinking? What if there were a whole generation of kids that got that guidance?
I encourage you to consider these questions this weekend and let me know what your thoughts are. There is a part two to this post….see you next Friday!