Friday, 01 December, 2000

Marine Military Academy

I came to Harlingen, Texas to visit the Marine Military Academy, where I went to school.  I had agreed to address the students who are taking Computer Science classes.  I related some of my experiences in the industry, showed some of the games I worked on, and mentioned how the values I was taught at the school helped to prepare me for college and later life.  The cadets (students) seemed to be interested (especially in the games), and the teacher was pleased and asked me to come back next year.

No matter how often I visit the school, I can't help but be impressed with how the cadets carry themselves, how they address adults ("yes, sir," "thank you," "may I?", etc).   Even in informal settings they are very respectful.  They're sincere, too, unless they think you're being phony.  I wonder why this kind of thing only happens at private (mostly military) schools.  Couldn't teachers and administrators in public schools insist on such behavior?

Too many people insist on the "right" of public schooling for their children without considering the responsibilities that they and their children incur when they take advantage of that "right."  Shouldn't teachers and administrators have rights, too?  Kids who continually disrupt class, don't pay attention or do their homework, or physically assault others should simply be dismissed from school.  School is a place to learn, not a day care center or detention camp.  Kids who refuse to follow the rules shouldn't be allowed to ruin the experience for those who are actually interested in learning.