“Fortune and Glory …”

Over the years, we have heard of the effects of pop culture on higher education pursuits.  In the 1980s, the data shows a spike in law school enrollments, credited to the “L.A. Law” effect.  Young legal minds seeking to be the next Arnie Becker or Victor Sifuentez.  In the 1990s, it was the ‘ER” effect, with increases in law school admissions as young doctors-to-be sought to gain a residency slot at County General.  And in recent years, it has been the “CSI” effect, as aspiring criminologists sought to collect prints in Vegas or Miami

This weekend, Eduflack had one of those rare instances where he was able to slip out to a movie.  (Having a two-year-old in the house means this was the first newly released moving in six months I and Eduwife have been able to see.)  Without giving it a second thought, we jumped in the Edumobile and headed out to an early morning show of “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.”

Two hours later, I was certain I needed to quit all of this ed reform stuff, go back to school, and become an archaeologist.  If it weren’t for my inability to gain competency in any foreign languages (Indy seems to speak dozens, including the dead-for-a-thousand-year-ones), I’d be fitting myself for a fedora, mastering the bullwhip, and heading out to the jungles, deserts, and mountains when antiquities, fortune, and glory can be found.  I wouldn’t even mind teaching those quaint little undergraduate classes on the civilizations and legends of the past.

Of course, I know this isn’t what archeology is really like.  But it is enough to get the juices and the mind flowing, while inspiring us to pursue new ideas.  We also knew that going to law school didn’t mean a high-powered barrister life in the City of Angels, nor did the forensic sciences afford us a life of glamour, power, and intrigue.  But these pop culture moments inspire others to pursue education.  They see something on TV or at the movies, and have an “a ha” moment.  A career possibility to be explored.  An academic pursuit recently discovered. Doors of knowledge opening for the first time.

Areas like archeology and ancient history are in need of such “a ha” moments.  College majors where many don’t see true fortune and glory are passed over for business or pre-law or economics.  But much value can be found in these subjects and others like them.  Sure, none of us are going to become the next Indiana Jones, but that doesn’t mean we use these moments to educate and to inspire.  To teach and learn.  It is a similar philosophy that has us putting a lense of relevance, interest, and passion around the STEM subjects.

But sometimes we have cold water thrown on our dreams of leather jackets, arks, and temples.  Just check out the piece in today’s Washington Post from Neil Asher Silberman.  http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/05/23/AR2008052302453.html  He paints the job much differently, of excavating by centimeters and analyzing plant remains.  With the stroke of a pen, he took all of the excitement and passion out of a career path that needs passionate and committed scholars.  Unintentionally, Silberman took away a great teaching moment to inspire students to study history, science, and the humanities all rolled into one.

Oh well, I guess that archaeologist-adventurer job will have to be left to my dreams.  Back to ed reform.

3 thoughts on ““Fortune and Glory …”

  1. Eduwife and the edumobile?? And you picked Indiana Jones?!? That was funny. I still watch Broadcast News over and over and over again….

  2. I can understand the preference of Broadcast News.  I have a friend who writes for the WSJ who must have worn out multiple copies of All the President’s Men.  For me, I’m feeling that way about Thank You For Smoking these days.  The perfect movie for the flacks of the world.

  3. Jackets are readily available in many stores but the best Jackets with quality oriented can be found in Eastern Stores. Eastern Toys is the big store where several costumes are available at reasonable prices.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s