Last week during a writing class every student was given a different writing prompt, asked to respond to the answer during our time allotted, after which we would share our work. The first student had a question of beauty vs. brains, if he could only have one which would it be. I was happy that he, and the rest of the students agreed that intelligence would trump looks should they have to decide, but it was some of his reasoning that made me shudder.
Intelligence is more important so that we can study, get a good score on the exam, go to a good University and get a good job. Then we will make a lot of money and if we are not beautiful we can have surgery to be more beautiful.There is truth to this argument, but I was slightly disappointed that this was the only track "intelligence" can take. There was little to no consideration for the value of intelligence on a more human level, the only value was seen in achiving the dream of a good job and more money.
We moved on to our second student, presented with the question of "If you could have any skill what would it be and why?" This boy has been an all star since joining our school only a few weeks ago so I had high hopes for his response.
I would want to have super intelligence because then I could study quickly and be very smart. I would go to a good university and get a good job, to be a good son to my parents. Finally, I would become rich by investing in the stock market, then I could donate to poor people.Although the trend of money strung throughout his answer I was pleased that he didn't look only to the monetary gains, and when he did acknowledged an ability or desire to share this with others, notably his parents and the poor.
The third student was asked if he could become invisible what would he do? I was sure given the prompt we had moved on from the 'money and success' type of answers, but apparently I was wrong.
If I was invisible I would go to school and change all the students grades to bad grades and my grades higher. Then I would be the best in the class and smartest student. I would go to a good University and get a good job so I would have lots of money.While there were a few other details in his answer this is all that stuck out to me. Three different writing prompts and three different students, and yet all of their answers followed the same structural response.