So I saw a movie last night…it was a particularly slow and snowy day, the first one of the winter here in Bucks County . I enjoyed the movie, though at times a bit slow…I lay on the couch with my “hunnie” by the beautiful fire he built which made our space cozy and warm.
There were many things I liked about this movie, though one in particular rocked me and brought me to thinking about life, my life, my philosophies and my thoughts.
The movie, which didn’t have rave reviews, basically 52 by Rotten Tomatoes, https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/the_tender_bar), is titled, “The Tender Bar.” I completely disagree with rotten tomatoes!! This is a coming of age story about a young boy from a poor and broken family, who spends a lot of his youth in the local bar run by his academically uneducated uncle, played by Ben Affleck, who by the way, did a fantastic job!
What got me about this movie rings true to my life. Uncle Charlie, Ben’s character is this brilliant self educated man who has a closet full of books, which early on he tells young J.R. (JR really didn’t like the periods, but his job at the NYT’s told him he needed them) that he needs to read all the books in there, if he wants to get anywhere in life.
The thing I really love about this is that it recognizes we don’t need a piece of paper from a college to tell us that we are smart, knowing, educated, aware, interesting, whatever. Intellect comes in many forms often which may not be from people placed in positions of power the front of a classroom educating you in a way that they think is appropriate with a curriculum decided by a group of people known as curriculum specialists. I really wonder about all of those specialists and how they were educated and how many books in a closet have they read? Please don’t take this the wrong way, as a three degreed person I whole heartedly believe in education, I just don’t believe that it is what really gives us the ability to make our way in this world with both common sense and intelligence. I am pretty sure it was Howard Gardner who said something like there is a brilliance in every uneducated five year old, that is before the educational norms are the guidelines given to them and relates what they are “supposed to know,” pushing aside all of their natural intellect!
Do you remember getting points off for a correct answer on a problem when it wasn’t shown exactly as taught? Throw your own natural abilities to work things through out the window because it wasn’t done the way you were supposed to do it!
“In this book I contend that even when school appears to be successful, even when it elicits the performances for which it has apparently been designed, it typically fails to achieve its most important missions. Evidence for this startling claim comes from a by now overwhelming body of educational research that has been assembled over the last decades. These investigations document that even students who have been well trained and who exhibit all the overt signs of success—faithful attendance at good schools, high grades and high test scores, accolades from their teachers—typically do not display an adequate understanding of the materials and concepts with which they have been working.”