Friday, April 1, 2011

Ye Olde School Days

I spent twelve scarring years in Modern Orthodox yeshivot in the New York area. I could gripe about numerous aspects of our educational system, but today, I am going to pinpoint a particular area with which I am rather disgusted: the teachers themselves.

What brings on this rant nearly three years out of high school? My younger sister is on the cusp of graduating from high school and her daily anecdotes are bringing back harsh memories. Boy, will I be glad when she’s finished with that place and we never have to deal with the sheer stupidity and ignorance thrust in our faces on a daily basis ever again. But for now, I feel the need to detoxify.

During my elementary and high school years, I was forced to endure teachers who were, well, not the sharpest knives in the drawer. They were (mostly) well-meaning, but poorly chosen to teach impressionable children.

The problems were mostly in the fact that they were incredibly sheltered Bais Yaakov imports with no college education hired to teach in what was supposed to be a Modern Orthodox yeshiva, and that they all seemed to have very limited vocabularies. The word nerd in me was horrified.

Antagonistic and mighty peeved, I took full advantage of having more both more word knowledge and more worldly knowledge than my teachers.

I was asked to give definitions of words I used during class discussion, including “nonsectarian.” Apparently, nothing but Jewishness exists in their little world. Ridiculous.

One particular high school Tanach teacher of mine attempted to begin a hate-fest on different religions. She informed us of their worthlessness and called them “secular religions.”

Free speech is wonderful, ethnocentrism is not. Furthermore, “secular religions” can’t really exist unless one is worshipping Lenin as the founder of Communism or similar. XD

When I raised my hand to ask my teacher to stop bad-mouthing different religions because I come from an ethnically diverse family where many religions are celebrated, she covered my mouth with her hand. Gross.

Why 21-year-old baby-incubators from the Black Hat community would be hired in a Modern Orthodox school in the first place is beyond me. Was the administration attempting to tell us our modern ways were false and we should revert back into the days of the shtetl?

Where is the logic, people, where?


  1. "What brings on this rant nearly three years out of high school?"

    You never need an excuse to rant about high school. As far as I'm concerned, it's always apropos.

  2. Stefan, Arbitribe is honored by your presence.

    I am far from finished ranting. Scarred, so scarred.

    I still need to finish your novel about high school, btw.


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