Fun With Common Core! 9/5 edition

2014 September 5
by JustMary

Another school week completed, and new shenanigans to reveal. As you may recall from my last post, my son’s American Literature class is turning out to be a propaganda class, with some light reading thrown in for flair.

This week, the required reading was an excerpt from the sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”. The school managed to get this lengthy sermon down to 15 short paragraphs (long paragraphs were broken down into pieces to create this) for the purpose of discussing rhetorical strategies. This sermon contains powerful truths of hell, but also offers hope in the only one who can save you from hell- God. The assignment consisted of 3 parts:

1. Underline rhetorical strategies, and label them as Ethos, Pathos, or Logos.
2. Underline and label where “Scare Tactics” were used (you could easily run out of pencil lead if you view Biblical truth as scary).
3. Write a single sentence summary of each paragraph.

For the sentence summary, my son went down the line and only half jokingly wrote:

1. You’re going to hell
2. You’re going to hell
3. You’re going to hell
4-13. You’re going to hell
14. You might not go to hell
15. Just kidding, you’re probably going to hell

After sitting down and talking with me about it, he did manage to sum up each paragraph in a little more detail, but because of the paragraphs they chose, what he wrote was not entirely off the mark. Now, if this was the first questionable choice of assignments he had been given, I might not care as much…because Biblical truth is Biblical truth, even if it’s not delivered with the kindest of tones (Squirrel! moment- compare this sermon with anything coming out of the Osteen camp if you want to have a laugh or two). However, on the heels of “American Idiot” and “The Human Idea”, it does seem a bit strange to skip to a fiery sermon on hell, unless you were going somewhere with this.

Last night was back to school night, where I learned what will be assigned reading for next week. Don’t laugh…or do laugh…doesn’t matter. Ready? The Crucible, by Arthur Miller. So now we have, in order of appearance:

1. American Idiot (dumb Americans)
2. The Human Idea (Dumb America and evil Republicans)
3. Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God (Crazy Christians)
4. The Crucible (McCarthyism)

I asked the teacher what the theme might be, given the assignments we know about so far, and he replied “What it means to be an American”. If this is a foretaste of this theme, I don’t hold out much hope for our kids this semester.


24 Responses leave one →
  1. 2014 September 5 4:20 pm
    JustMary permalink

    For the sake of brevity in the post, I will tell you about a separate conversation I had with my son last night when I got home from back to school night here in the comments. He gets why I am concerned, but said that the teacher keeps reassuring them that these are just random works that they are using to get a better understanding of rhetorical strategies.

    To help him understand, I told him to diagram 5 sentences for me, the way he would have in the 3rd grade (subject, verb, etc).

    1. Your parents suck, and don’t know what they are talking about.
    2. Crack is cool, and all kids should use drugs.
    3. Government is God, and you are powerless against it.
    4. You don’t have to listen to anything your parents say, as they cannot tell you what to do.
    5. Do whatever you want, because YOLO.

    He finally understood where I was going with this. The innocent sounding “diagram a sentence” is not so innocent when you are using sentences like that. The words in front of your eyes become thoughts in your head. What the school is doing is subtle, but dangerous.

  2. 2014 September 5 4:21 pm
    bc3b permalink

    Thanks JM –

    I never would have thought to look on Facebook.

  3. 2014 September 5 4:41 pm
    JustMary permalink

    I should add that I am grateful the kids now know there is a God, that hell exists, and they have been sufficiently warned. This is a win- if they take it to heart. I understand it is a rather harsh sermon, but it isn’t made of lies. If they can get past the you’re going to hell, you’re going to hell, you’re going to hell part enough to find that there was a line or two thrown in about how you might escape that, then it is all good. The picture that I believe they are building though, is one that will bring a case against nationalism, Christianity, and Republicans.

  4. 2014 September 5 4:42 pm
    drdog09 permalink

    If your son can pass this — — with a 70% he is in the top 5% of the student population AT GRADUATION FROM HIGH SCHOOL. Keeping in mind that it is 8th grade work.

  5. 2014 September 5 4:46 pm
    drdog09 permalink

    ” The picture that I believe they are building though, is one that will bring a case against nationalism, Christianity, and Republicans.”

    Ever watched the movie `RollerBall`? What you have here is the educational equivalent of that movie. The point of course is one of nihilism and that the individual is not supreme. Since you can’t `win` on your own terms you might as well be the beast and do what feels good. Oh and let the State (Corporate in the movie) do the high level thinking for you.

  6. 2014 September 5 4:55 pm
    drdog09 permalink

    Zaaaap! — — looks like we are getting close to our own Iron Dome.

  7. 2014 September 5 5:10 pm
    Wylie E. Coyote permalink

    “By Ex-Shill, Above Top Secret

    I am writing here to come out of the closet as a paid shill. For a little over six months, I was paid to spread disinformation and argue political points on the Internet. This site, ATS, was NOT one that I was assigned to post on, although other people in the same organization were paid to be here, and I assume they still walk among you. But more on this later.

    I quit this job in the latter part of 2011, because I became disgusted with it, and with myself. I realized I couldn’t look myself in the mirror anymore. If this confession triggers some kind of retribution against me, so be it. Part of being a real man in this world is having real values that you stand up for, no matter what the consequences.

    My story begins in early 2011. I had been out of work for almost a year after losing my last job in tech support. Increasingly desperate and despondent, I jumped at the chance when a former co-worker called me up and said she had a possible lead for me. “It is an unusual job, and one that requires secrecy. But the pay is good. And I know you are a good writer, so its something you are suited for.””

  8. 2014 September 5 5:14 pm
    JustMary permalink

    #6 We need to teach terrorists how to use the technology too, in the name of fairness. 🙄

  9. 2014 September 5 5:16 pm
    justrand permalink

    my grandson will prevail…and so will my darlin’ daughter!!

    more to follow…gotta go have a Scotch now! 🙂

  10. 2014 September 5 5:19 pm
    Wylie E. Coyote permalink

    ” When the time comes, all their usual sucker-bait will be pulled out: “It only hits the rich,” “We have to trash the economy to save it,” “We must all sacrifice,” “It’s for the children,” and so on.

    All the right-thinking people on television will wring their hands and say it’s the only way out. Perhaps they’ll even let a bank or two crash for good effect.

    But in the end, they aim to steal your money. Government and the big banks will continue unharmed.

    If you want to protect yourself, you need to get your wealth out of registered accounts, because that’s where they’ll grab first.

    Understand that these people have only two real choices:

    1. Reform their system, close the central banks, and give up their power.

    2. Start grabbing the only big pile of portable wealth remaining: your retirement money.

    I don’t think any of us believe they’ll take option number one.”

  11. 2014 September 5 5:20 pm
    drdog09 permalink

    8, Sure why not. Just a little modification. Paint `tanning booth` on the exterior of the thing. In Arabic of course.

  12. 2014 September 5 5:23 pm
    drdog09 permalink

    9, Ummmmmm…. Scotch….. A little early… Oh wait this is Friday…. Pour a double.

  13. 2014 September 5 5:52 pm
    bc3b permalink

    The Osteen Camp is feel good evangelism. It reminds me of the Sheryl Crow hit “If It Makes You Happy.”

  14. 2014 September 5 6:01 pm
    JustMary permalink

    #13 I have been complaining about them for years, but I still have friends who think they are not so bad. This recent “I worship God because MEEEEEEEE” stuff has caused the scales to fall from sooooooo many people’s eyes. It’s about time!!! Now if they would just wake up to Joyce Meyer and Rick Warren, I’d be stoked.

  15. 2014 September 5 6:02 pm
    JustMary permalink

    #12 Indeed. He can have some for me too, since I don’t like scotch. LOL

  16. 2014 September 5 6:03 pm
    drdog09 permalink

    Whatever happened to Warren? In the early going he was reasonable. Now, it comes across more Madison Avenue.

  17. 2014 September 5 6:24 pm
    justrand permalink

    I’ll have some for all ya’ll…it was a tough day

  18. 2014 September 5 6:24 pm
    JustMary permalink

    When pastors become all about the prosperity gospel, keeping butts in seats requires a watered down “all paths lead to heaven” preaching style. Mega churches are the very definition of a wide path. Knew it was coming because Revelation warns of the Laodicean church, but it is still hard to see.

  19. 2014 September 5 6:24 pm
    JustMary permalink

    #17 I love you, Dad.

  20. 2014 September 5 7:20 pm
    gnqanq permalink

    JM – #18 – been saying that for years. You are right in that you KNOW where the church has to be in the last days –> apostate.

    JM – you should watch some of the old movies from the 30’s and 40’s and how Christianity was presented. Whole different view. Look at how old movies presented early America with the Bible being one of the prime sources of reading material. Today’s movies excludes that all together.

    JM – By you raising your child in the ways of the Lord, he will have a solid foundation to build on.

    Proverbs 22:6
    Train up a child in the way he should go,
    Even when he is old he will not depart from it.

  21. 2014 September 5 8:00 pm
    Wylie E. Coyote permalink

    “Here we are, a century later, and the Washington-driven western hegemony that emerged from the World Wars is afflicted with the same imperialistic hubris and entangled in the same kind of “collective security” tripwires that detonated the conflagration that almost consumed Mises and Tolkien, and that didconsume Mises’s best students and Tolkien’s best colleagues. President Barack Obama has not only just relaunched the very war in Iraq that he was elected to get us out of (much as Woodrow Wilson dragged us into World War I after winning re-election with the slogan “He kept us out of war”), but, unbelievably, has embroiled us in a proxy war with nuclear Russia. Just yesterday, a member of the Ukrainian junta serving as Washington’s proxy darkly insisted that yet another “great war has arrived at our doorstep,” in which “tens of thousands” could die. And the neocons (like Victoria Nuland, who started the whole mess), “humanitarian” interventionists (like Susan Rice), and bumblers (like John Kerry) guiding Obama’s foreign policy seem to be doing everything they can to realize that unthinkable outcome: cheered on, of course, by the war drum beaters in the media.

    How much unrealized genius already lies under the rubble in Donetsk, or in other urban centers demolished by American-supplied weapons like Gaza and Aleppo? How many dancers, doctors, and dreamers will never come to be? And how many times over will that number grow if we don’t finally stand up to the warmongers and war makers before it’s too late: before world conflict once again spins completely out of control as it did a hundred years ago?”

  22. 2014 September 5 8:04 pm
    Wylie E. Coyote permalink

    ““Please note that your vehicle is equipped with devices that can record vehicle systems data . . . Daimler AG can accessthese data and submit them.”

    Italics added.

    How is the data “accessed”? Via the same technology your (hrrrmmm!) car gets real-time weather updates, stock quotes and e-mail. If your car is equipped (as almost all new cars are equipped) with send and receive data transmission capability then data about your speed, how “aggressively” you accelerate (or brake) and whether you are wearing a seat belt can also be sent and received.

    This data “is transmitted in the event of an accident”. Emphasis on “is.” Not might betransmitted. But is transmitted. Whether you agree or not. Hell, you’re not even asked.

    It’s not new, either.

    GM has been fitting cars with its OnStar system since the ’90s – decades before the gunvernment got around to issuing a fatwa that every new car will have them, period. And the data is not transmitted “in the event of an accident” only.

    Big Brother is watching – I assure you.”

  23. 2014 September 5 8:18 pm
    drdog09 permalink

    ““Please note that your vehicle is equipped with devices that can record vehicle systems data . . . Daimler AG can accessthese data and submit them.”

    WEC, I have a business plan put together that would sell that access to defense attorneys for DUI, collisions, etc. Just never have had the time to drum up the angel investors to make it go.

  24. 2014 September 5 8:43 pm


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