Friday, July 07, 2006

Welcome to the Real World

I think this post by DAG sums up one of the most serious problems facing Orthodox Jewry today:
My wife reminded me of an incident from three years ago. I was teaching English at a right wing Charedi High School. Towards the end of the year, I decide to confront one of my students. He was 17, a high school junior, of below average intelligence and no drive to succeed. Not everyone is blessed with intelligence. That is fine. What annoyed me is the fact that he put in ZERO effort. I had tried everything to engage him in his school work, positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, meetings with parents, meetings with the Menahel, etc.

I finally asked him,
"Dovid, you lack even the most basic English skills. You can't write or even speak in coherent English sentences. What do you plan to do with your life?"

Dovid: "I'll learn in Kollel."

Dag: "And who will support you?"

Dovid: "My Father In Law."

Dag: "What if your father in law doesn't want to support you."

Dovid: "(Blank stare) Why wouldn't a father in law want to support a learning boy?"
He had never contemplated the idea that perhaps he didn't have the skills needed to learn in Kollel OR the idea that a prospective father in law, wouldn't or even couldn't, support him in Kollel.

Sad.
"(Blank stare) Why wouldn't a father in law want to support a learning boy?" Wow, does that speak volumes. Is that the expectation that students are taught to expect? I certainly hope this is not coming from rabbeim, so where is it coming from? And why are people, instead of addressing the issue as DAG did, allowing this skewed perception to become reality? This garbage is so frustrating it makes me sick.

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