King Sid the Great 87 wrote:You must be a college student if you think knowing things like the capital of Canada provides a proxy for knowledge of the world.
Don't worry, everyone who has been to college goes through it.
I don't understand why you felt the need to get all high and mighty because you're older than I am...
Still, I feel like knowing the countries around you should be basic knowledge, considering an alarmingly high number (read: more than 0) of Americans can't even place well-known American cities on a map.
Someone can know a great deal about Canada's culture, cities, foreign policy, places to go, etc... and not know the rote memorization of WHAT'S THE CAPITAL
At first I was surprised because it came so easily to me, but then I realized I know mainly due to hockey.
If you want to pass criticism, I wouldn't at the kids who said Vancouver or Toronto or even Quebec. I guess I did find it surprising that they named provinces like Alberta and Ontario. That's just looking at a map at some point in 18-19 years.
But even then, I don't care. I visited Duke when I was looking at schools. Really smart kids but I wouldn't trust any of them outside of a classroom or controlled environment. Nothing wrong with it. They're still super smart... just in what it is that they excel at.
eh, in about 20 years, most of these people will be politicians, telling us they know better than us old farts (in 20 years) about what we need. So for now.... I will enjoy their ignorance and mock away.
After reading through this thread, I don't know what's worse - that there are US college students (any students, forget Harvard) who don't know the capital of one of the 2(!!!) neighboring countries, or that there are posters who imply that it is not a big deal (kudos to EPP for heroically standing up for the side of basic education).
Truth is that my bewilderment with US educational ignorance grew near its tipping point today, when I watched the University of Minnesota School of Music production of the quintessential Czech opera "Bartered Bride" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bartered_Bride) - a comic opera set in 1860's Czech village. OK, so the director wanted to set it in the more contemporary settings - fine with me. But the result was:
- the whole opera was played under a 20ft statue of V.I. Lenin, constantly guarded by two Russian-like policemen with giant red stars on their hats. - the father of the main heroine was dressed in something that resembled 1900's Pittsburgh steelworker crossed with Chinese worker uniform. The rest of the cast had clothing that could go - depending on the cast member - anywhere from 1900s to 1990s (the main hero in a typical 1980's red shirt, wide jacket, and beige wide slacks). - monetary transactions are carried in Deutsche Marks (???!!!! ) - next to the Lenin statue was a pub owned by a guy with the most stereotypical French mustache you can imagine. - and, at the end of the opera, there is a guy who is supposed to gets tricked by circus folks into dressing like a bear. He did dress like a bear - with a face of Soviet tyrant Leonid Brezhniev...
After the play, I chatted with one of the main singer, who seriously asked me if Lenin statues were in every town or just the larger cities. When I mentioned that Lenin statues were pretty much nowhere, plus the Czech currency has never been a DM, he started contemplating that David (the director) probably saw Russians wanting US Dollars, and decided to draw a parallel. And around us, all the theater lovers were nodding about "how great genius David is"...
Ultimately, I felt like I entered a Time Macheen today :