Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Kesler Communicates

Did you know that I have another blog-for my business. It's over on wordpress (to where I'll be moving this blog eventually) and I talk about graphic design and web 2.0 for non profit organizations and small businesses. Check it out or pass it along to someone who might like it. Thanks!


Sunday, February 28, 2010

A Mandatory Year of Service: Thoughts on "Class Dismissed" by Walter Kirn, NYT

I hated high school. With a passion. So, by sophomore year I'd worked the system in such a way that I could leave campus every day before lunch. I spent the afternoons working at a hair salon (earning work-study credits) and nights taking classes at the community college. But it wasn't enough. I wanted OUT so I doubled up on classes, took summer courses, weekend intensive workshops and managed to graduate a semester early.

Finally free of high school I hopped on a plane and moved across the country to New York City. I was seventeen.

In his article "Class Dismissed," Walter Kirn posits that we should do away with the 12th grade entirely because it's become a "year of licensed irresponsibility." Is it true? I wasn't really there... Perhaps it would be best to offer students a choice the summer before senior year. Or ...

Could we possibly require a mandatory year of service before entry to college? Imagine hoards of 17-year-olds volunteering at elementary school, hospitals, farms (see "Plow Shares" - same issue NY Times Magazine), convalescent homes, and appropriate non profit organizations around the country. Can you imagine entering college after spending a year discovering how your actions help a person, community or even the world? Would this experience have changed the directions taken in university? Would NOT going to college become a viable option leading to long term, valuable, working posts? Would apprenticeships come back into vogue?

I kind of love the idea. What do you think?