With nursery rhymes, folk tales, legends, fables and other various and sundry modes of instructional communication, we learn as children fish are adept at swimming. Tree-climbing? Not so much.
Yes, this is a paraphrase of an amalgam of quotes and morals mis-attributed to Albert Einstein. It is far more precise.
Failure is big in our society. So much so, people around the globe fork over hundreds of billions of dollars to attend seminars telling them how not to be failures. All they need is the free meme above.
Let’s take Man Cub as an example. This little mugger is an enigma to society. He cannot fill in a bubble. It is a skill schools tried to teach him for three solid years. Not three school years, three solid years. See, he does not get a summer break. He has school twelve months per year. The only time he is off from school is when his mother is on vacation. (Calculate that.)
So, that makes him an imbecile, right? I mean, really? Who cannot fill in a bubble for cripes’ sake? Umm, Man Cub.
And now for something completely different.
Show of hands, who thinks yours truly is the family hacker? (Two huge websites, two forums, monster social media, digital art, not that you should choose a certain someone, mind you.)
How many times have you or have you heard of someone who has been locked out of their computer? On average, it costs about $60 and half an hour to get a hacker to unlock your computer. The
hacker computer technician takes your machine in a different room to apply an ancient Chinese secret. Meanwhile, said technician texts the flavor of the week, looks up geek-chic, scans the inbox and plays ten minutes of the MMPG du jour. You are dangling on tender hooks worried about the discovery of your search history and recently visited web pages. Ahem.
Yours truly has occasionally been said
hacker computer technician (Forget search history… What tunes do you have?). I never take a penny. Brow sweat is enough for me. Oh, what does this have to do with Man Cub? See, it goes a little something like this.
Man Cub can hack anything. He has hacked three of the latest and greatest child locks. He hacks my CrackBerry and makes telephone calls (even though no one understands what he says on a telephone). He has hacked a friend’s laptop, changed the master administrator password and the portal password. Now, to his logic, it is his computer.
(Gives audience intermission to Google steps to recovering a locked laptop and watch the YouTube video of same.)
Yeah, yeah, if it is on a video on YouTube anyone can do it. Are you willing to try locking yourself out of your computer and going the DIY route? ‘Nuff said. Take a guess who has never seen said video? Man Cub.
(Gives audience intermission to contemplate “cannot fill in a bubble” and “hacks any computer” in same person.)
MC(A³ + BS) + BSp = POd
For the math phobes in the audience:
- MC = Man Cub for the purposes of this equation, not mass times the speed of light
- A = Testing authority (cubed in this equation to cover the standard scales on which children test)
- BS = Pseudoscience, psychobabble, doublespeak, self-congratulatory palaver
- BSp = Pseudoscience, psychobabble, doublespeak, self-congratulatory palaver condescended into assumed parent-speak
- POd = One of the main reasons the name is RED.
Only as smart as…
It is a commonly-accepted principle, computers are only as smart as their programmers. Case in point: If the programmer teaches the computer 4 + 5 = 11, it will only ever output 11 when asked to add four and five. A parallel principle is almost as commonly-accepted: Tests can only gauge to the level of the person creating the test.
For example, if Billy-Joe-Bob creates a test which includes pictures of a ’52 flatbed Ford and gives it to Sing-Chi (who has never seen anything except electric cars, monorail and rickshaws), Sing-Chi is likely not going to pass Billy-Joe-Bob’s identification of common objects module. Sing-Chi is the fish in the tree.
Try this on, it comes in five psychedelic colors.
1. If the person being tested does not speak a language the tester understands, testee is docked points. In other words, if the tester does not speak sign language, the testee who answers in ASL is marked down for failing to answer and inappropriate body language gestures in the course of the conversation. Yay, Billy-Joe-Bob!
2. If the testee answers an appropriate answer to the question, which is not in the field of correct responses to be accepted, dock some more intelligence points. James T. Kirk was a moron.
3. If testee is a virtuoso in any field not measured by the test, no credit is given. Talk to Stevie Wonder about how non-consequential the piano has been in his life, you know, since he cannot see to fill in the bubbles without stray marks and all.
4. If the testee points out there is not a correct answer to choose and opts to skip said question with no correct answer, mark that wrong. Someone way smarter than the tester says “C” is correct, by thunder.
5. If testee has issues with short term memory, obviously tester is going to take off major points for that. Only idiots cannot parrot precisely what someone says randomly, without warning, out of context to previous conversation and beyond the scope of the testee’s general knowledge. Duh, already. Repeat after me: An acre is an area whose width is one chain and whose length is one furlong.
That fish is not getting up the tree any faster, is he?
If the fish would just forget about swimming at a virtuoso level and just repeat the simple steps of climbing a tree and then copy the orangutan who just leapt into the boughs, he could be intelligent, too. Stupid fish.
Man Cub cannot do some things other eight-year-old boys do, like tie his shoes or brush his teeth or recall where he hid the remote control. Man Cub can do things most adults cannot do. He inherited his Minnesota Twins father’s pitching arm and his mother’s power of research. He could escape from Alcatraz.
Since he cannot fill in a bubble, he does not even rank on the IQ scale.
(Pauses for effect. Swallow that sip before we reconvene.)
Since it is obvious (to everyone who is not me) Man Cub is intelligence-impaired (because he is a fish), the thing we should do is abandon everything which resembles swimming and teach him to be a primate. Oh, and when he rails against the machine, we need to label him as aggressive and combative (like his mother) and further implement more drastic measures to make him stop using those gills. After all, what good are gills in a tree?
While we are at it, he needs to grow lungs and speak English. Well, it is the only language spoken in the civilized world of primates.
And he needs to hold a crayon in a tripod grasp. (Never seen a chimp do that, have they?) We all know how important pencil skills are on a keyboard and a touch screen.
A&D or B&C People
People can generally be classed in two groups: A&D people can get from A to D as long as they know where A and D are. B&C people need you to tell them all of the points, A though D, to get there. Me? I am an A&M kinda person. I will wave out the window when I pass D because M is far more interesting.
Every.single.person in the testing community believes
in trolls no one is capable of knowing where D is unless they already know where A, B and C are. For example, since Man Cub can type, spell and read well enough to Google, surf YouTube and email Meet the Robinsons, it is apparent he needs to be tested to prove he can write with a pencil (inside a bubble). If he cannot write with a pencil, there is no need to test if he can type. E.v.e.r.y.o.n.e. knows if you cannot color between the lines you cannot possibly type.
Can you see the eye twitching from there?
Why is what we test merely about compliance with either test demands or test environment? How do you feel about standardized testing, especially for children?
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