1. I started a list of movies that I would like to see, and quickly discovered that all the titles start with the word “The!” The Guard, The Descendants, The Help, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, and The Iron Lady. There are also several others currently in theaters (which aren’t necessarily on my list), such as The Darkest Hour, The Adventures of Tin Tin, and The Devil Inside. This unlikely coincidence got me wondering, what’s up with the current use of the word “The” as the opener for movie titles? Is this common, and I just never noticed it before, or is there an insurgence of such titles? The writer of this blog wants to know, what THE??
2. Have you ever had your eyes checked? Well, I’m certain that at least once in your life, you’ve held a little plastic paddle over each eye and read a chart of letters from across the room (which they still do for kids, BTW.) But, have you ever placed your chin on a little tissue paper-covered plastic ledge, leaned forward just until your forehead touched a cold metal bar, and then proceeded to read letters through little circles of glass, while those circles are clicked backward and forward on an archaic-looking metal instrument, and you’re being asked “one better, or two better?” I did this very thing just last week, and I have to say, “What THE??” Seriously, is this still the best technology we’ve been able to muster for analysis of our eyeballs? It’s 2012 folks – why isn’t there a machine that can take a high resolution, 3D snapshot of our eyes (like those fancy new ultrasound photos) and have it calculate exactly what it is that our baby-blues (hazels, in my case) need? There’s WAY too much room for error in this “one better, or two better”, bug-eyed, archaic-looking metal instrument way of doing this! Again, this is 2012 people – our pets should be wearing corrective lenses by now!!
3. Were you in THE red reading group or THE blue reading group when you were young? Were you in THE tiger math group or THE possum math group? If you were in any “group(s)”, I bet you remember EXACTLY what they were - and what the titles REALLY meant. You may even still believe that those groups identify your ability-level and influence how you feel about yourself today. Our educational system still sorts and labels students to attempt to teach to their appropriate level of ability, and continues to plant these artificial identifiers in kids’ heads. Today I learned that in Japan, kids are not lumped by ability, but rather are taught based on their desire and dedication to “learn.” The idea is that anyone can do it if they work hard, and make the effort. In the US, you either have “it” or you don’t – and we make sure you know whether you have it or not, thus puncturing any desire, hope, motivation or confidence you may have had, before you learned you didn't have it! We send kids backwards before they've even had a chance to move forward.