Thursday, September 20, 2007

Civil Literacy Test

I found this over at Vox's, and thought it was pretty interesting. I'm posting it here because I know my friends and family members usually do not read Vox, but would probably enjoy taking this test.

Take the test. Come on, you know you want to!

Take it!

It's pretty sad that I only answered 44 out of 60 correct - a dismal 73.33%. Of course, what's even worse is that I beat the average score of Harvard seniors, 69.56%. Worst of all, Harvard seniors ranked highest out of the 50 colleges that were tested! Nice to know these are our future business leaders, lawyers and politicians, eh?


America’s Founders were convinced American freedom could survive only if each generation understood its founding principles and the sacrifices made to maintain it. (emphasis mine)

In fall 2005, researchers at the University of Connecticut’s Department of Public Policy (UConnDPP), commissioned by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute’s (ISI) National Civic Literacy Board, conducted a survey of some 14,000 freshmen and seniors at 50 colleges and universities. Students were asked 60 multiple-choice questions to measure their knowledge in four subject areas: America’s history, government, international relations, and market economy. The disappointing results were published by ISI in fall 2006 in The Coming Crisis in Citizenship: Higher Education’s Failure to Teach America’s History and Institutions. Seniors, on average, failed all four subjects, and their overall average score was 53.2%.

This report follows up on The Coming Crisis in Citizenship. It is based on an analysis of the results of a second survey of some 14,000 freshmen and seniors at 50 colleges conducted by the research team at UConn in the fall of 2006. The results of this second survey corroborate and extend the results of the first. Seniors once again failed all four subjects.

From Brainiac6: "You know I passed both of my American History classes with A's last semester and I only got a 60 something on this. Many of the questions I got wrong were things we've never covered in classes."

Exactly. The only reason I managed a score of 73% was because my American history teacher would not tell us which parts of each chapter she would be choosing from for the multiple choice questions on her exams - thus, I read each chapter at least twice and some of it managed to stick! I believe that my history textbook failed to cover a few of the questions that were on the exam, though.

The school system is so focused on teaching about racism, sexism, socialism and the slaughter of the Noble Savage that they cannot be bothered to teach about what white men accomplished. After all, who needs to know anything about what a lot of fusty old white men did and thought?

Monday, September 17, 2007

Hmmm says I'm a Cool Non-Nerd.  What are you?  Click here!

I think that may just be a kind way of saying that I'm an ignorant moron.

First noticed on Pebble Chaser

Monday, September 10, 2007

Lines composed while having my mouth stuffed full of popcorn by my toddler

Sorry, I've been having my head forcibly stuffed with Romantic-era poetry.

Despite not being overly fond of said poetry, my British lit class has provided for mild intellectual musing.

My reason for disliking, or being bored by, a lot of poetry from that era is that it is often overly emotional, narcissistic and obtuse. I prefer poetry that either beautifully describes scenes from nature:

A great storm from the ocean goes
shouting o'er the hill,
And there is glory in it and terror on
the wind,
But the haunted air of twilight is
very strange and still,
And the little winds of twilight are
dearer to my mind.

Excerpt from "The Little Waves of Breffny" by Eva Gore-Booth

Or that tells a recognizable story (for example, see Erik's selections of manly poetry, located in his sidebar), or that simply has a lovely way of expressing scenes through words:

Pulling the dead sun's weight
through County Meath

We cycled through the knotted glass
of afternoon

Aware of the bright fog in the nar-
row slot of breath

And the cycles' rhyming, coughing

Robert Greacen "Cycling to Dublin"

Judging by the myriad inanities spewed forth by many of my fellow students, they have even less appreciation (or understanding) of poetry than I do. It was a little painful at times. One woman said Wordsworth's poem I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud made her picture Wordsworth dancing, standing on his tippy-toes and feeling the breeze on his face. THAT was hilarious!

William "dancing on my tippy-toes" Wordsworth

Monday, September 03, 2007


At age 20, I measured 34-26-36. Now, at age 26, I measure 35-30-39. I gain four inches around the waist, three around my hips, and only ONE around my bust? What a gyp! I suppose this will give me some incentive to start exercising and eating healthier, though. I know my figure will never be what it was pre-childbirth, but I could certainly by much trimmer and toned than I am right now!

Ugh, exercise. ><