A few days ago, I received a comment from a reader about rebuilding a 7/8/9th school on the Treasure Mountain site. The reader commented, “Hundreds of TMJH students walk back and forth to the HS for classes. This not only isn’t fun in the winter, it also makes them late for classes.” I was visiting with a friend about this and her comment was, “Did you ever walk across your college campus when it was -25 degrees and bare skin would freeze in 30 seconds? No? Did you ever have 15 minutes between college classes but the walk took 20 minutes? Welcome to the real world.”
She has a point. I lived about a mile from campus during college. That was about a 20 minute walk. Campus took about another 20 minutes to walk across if my class was on the other side. And yes, in winter, it was cold. We talk about preparing our kids for the future challenges all the time, yet I think many people would agree that Park City doesn’t represent the real world for many things our children will encounter.
Some of the things that come to mind from my time in school:
- If you go to a state school, you will have 300 people in your English 101 class (and math, and biology, and…).
- Most instructors don’t give a damn about you. If they do, they’ll pretend they don’t to make your better.
- You will take classes in some pretty crappy environments. If you don’t succeed just because the paint is peeling or it smells a little bad, that’s on you.
- Your professor, instead of asking you to stand up and say “I am an overprivileged white shit head” will just explain exactly how you are one.
The point is that it cuts both ways. If we are preparing our kids educationally for the “real world” we can’t ignore the basic “struggles” they will face. One of those could be walking a long way in an ice storm to attend a lecture that they care nothing about.
If we pamper our kids now, it only does them a disservice later.