Various things - reply to Jon
J. Hugh Sullivan (sull@MINDSPRING.COM)
Sat, 14 Feb 1998 11:57:11 -0600
I need to preface with a disclaimer: we obviously come from diffferent
generations with different ideas. It's not so much that I disagree with you,
it's more that we have different basic philosophies.
Jon Dixon <email@example.com> wrote:
>But none of these are required to be an Eagle. The project is the only
>thing which explicitly requires leadership for Eagle.
To me there is, at least, a tacit requirement for leadership from any person
who has an office - and most definitely the SPL. (I know "tacit" and
"explicit" are not the same)
>I believe the BSA continues to allow each boy to proceed at his own
>pace. That is why we have some who get Eagle at 13, some who get it at
>18, and some who never get it.
No argument here. OTOH, the subtle changes in required merit badges over the
years have been away from outdoorsy to the high school civics class. That is
a sop to urban Scouts IMO. When outdoors equals civics class, we are
>But the goal is not to outdistance the group. The goal is to lead the group,
>and help them achieve.
I disagree here. I think one must try do both. It's easier to pull someone
than to push someone. In my world, if you didn't try to outdistance the
group, you would be left behind. Is it that easy to be out front by yourself
>Yes, I view being relevant as desirable. We need not conform ourselves
>to society, but if we are irrelevant then what is the point of existing?
To improve society. About 60-70% of high school girls are no longer virgins;
should I be relevant? My testosterone says "yes" - my "upbringing" says
"no". Fortunately I'm a little more than 50 years past the point of making
that decision. 8-) Society, at this moment, indicates that it will accept a
complete lack of moral character in leadership IF you don't lie about it -
"where do you want to go today"?
>No it isn't. At least in Scouting, one reaches ranks based on having
>met a set of predetermined requirements. You are not a higher grade of
>First Class Scout if you can tie your knots a little faster. Performing
>better at work doesn't mean that you get paid more....
In the next two paragraphs I'm only trying to make a point - not inflate my ego.
But you get more palms than anyone in town; you are SPL for 2 years; you are
on the stage with the preacher on Scout Sunday. We had camporees where
patrol competition was knot tying, first aid, signalling, etc. A friend and
I were only allowed to enter 1 event our senior year because we could have
won them all. My sons would call this harassment or discrimination. Me? -
they did exactly what they should have done. We did semaphore at 75+
characters per minute in high school - error free.
I don't know where you work. I averaged 10% per year salary increase for 33
straight years because my work was outstanding (if you believe my
performance reports). Is there another person here who did that?
>I also don't see grades in school as promoting striving for an optimum
>solution. Especially amongst those students most concerned about
>grades, they promote the idea of figuring out how to get by with as
>little effort as possible to still pull the expected grade.
Those were the easiest people to outdistance. I agree that grades are overly
meaningful to employers nowadays, but you can't discount them. I hired most
of the people who reported to me. If I had to do it all over again I'd want
to do it with the same company and with the same people.
>There are some schools and classes where the
>competition for the grade is such that people will steal the course
>notes from the library to place their classmates at a disadvantage, or
>purposely mislead someone on a homework assignment so you can get a
>better grade, or illegally take Ritalin for the extra boost (as the
>Boston Globe talked about today), or any of the thousands of tricks to
>get the grade.
I have no familiarity with what you say above. Stealing, unfair play, drugs
- I didn't live in that world. I do read about it in the papers.
>(Almost) every male in the country between about 11 and 18 could earn
>Eagle. The point is that most will not, either through lack of
>opportunity or by choice.
The queen bee flies higher and higher until only one male is left in the
race to mate. If one isn't that male bee, he should be working very hard to
be the one next time.
Competitive - you bet. My younger son usually breaks 80 on championship
courses and it has been years since I beat him. I had open heart surgery
last September but I plan to beat him when we play Kapalua in HI next month.
If I don't beat him then I'll beat him when we return - or when I go back
to Dallas in the fall - or the next time he's here.
I am concerned that our exchange has departed (me more than you) from what
is permitted on this particular forum. I respect your opinion but I cannot
agree. Perhaps it might be better, since I had the first word, for you to
have the last. I don't want to be censured by the list owner.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City