I always am interested in the casual references to what public schools are like and what they do that appear when writers are really focused on another subject. From the 3-star letter in today's Tennessean:
We clip their wings by placing them in an educational system that stifles academic achievement by slowing fast track and less-able learners with a rigid, socially based grade system.
Hmmm. Do I hear a meme aborning? See "Best Way to Close the Gap? Hold the Top Back!"
UPDATE: Not on the topic of holding the high-achievers back (although the "hopeless geek" reference does relate to the feelings of some of the high-achievers) see this from today's Instapundit (key section in bold):
THE XXIVth LEGION is defending America. This is my favorite bit. Yes, I am a hopeless geek.
How hopeless a geek am I? Hopeless enough that in high school two friends and I made complete Roman legionary kits (including hand-riveted "lorica segmentata" armor of the type you see in the photos above) for the Latin Convention. The equipment was pretty authentic, though our swords -- bootlegged via a shop at Oak Ridge National Lab -- were laser-cut series 440 stainless steel, making them the only part of our outfit that was clearly superior to the real thing. I don't know what happened to mine, but it was quite a piece of metal. Thanks to reader Paul Music for sending these.
UPDATE: Hey, some people are making this stuff pay! This looks better than the stuff we made, but then for $500 it ought to.
ANOTHER UPDATE: This looks pretty cool. I'm pretty sure it's the book I read in Junior High that got me interested in the subject.
YET ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Clyde Spicer emails: "I guess that post tells us how much times have changed. Today, if you tried to take a replica sword to a high school, you'd likely be expelled under the 'zero tolerance' rules that many districts have implemented." Yeah. Jeez.
Zero tolerance was a high-level policy approach to a problem with discipline and safety that other policies had created in schools. Taking judgment and the need to improve school cultures out of play is rarely, if ever, a good idea.