Sunday, October 29, 2006

Billy Gilman, Michael Vick, and Christopher Paolini

Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. If we didn't, those stupid questions wouldn't be asked on interviews, and then we'd all get jobs. Those awkward silent moments when we try to figure that out are probably more job killers than any answer we might give... but anyway... We all have strengths, but whether or not we are successful depends on how we are allowed to develop and use those strengths.

I once taught a student (whose name I forget because the memory block on those days is very much in place, thank goodness) who never did his work, never did a single thing I told him, that anyone told him, and could have cared less if he did any school work or not. But that doesn't mean he wasn't brilliant. He could take a lawn mower apart and put it all back together again. He's gonna make more money than I ever will taking apart transmissions, that is, if he is allowed to develop those strengths. He should have been given tech courses out the wazoo so that when he leaves High school (at whatever age,) he would be able to walk into an auto repair shop and smoke them all.

On a similar note, the same thing goes for artists, sports people, writers, etc... In the real world, it is often the restrictions people have placed on each other, or on themselves, that hamper the natural progression of strengths in a person. Take Billy Gilman for instance. Most known for his song "One Voice." His recent albums, Everything and More and his self titled album, are, to me, disappointments, and a waste of a major talent. The song selections, arrangements, backup vocals, everything, were designed to cover up Billy Gilman's voice. Maybe they thought he needed it cause his voice was changing. There are tracks on Dare to Dream where Billy is given the chance to use his talents to the fullest extent. In other words, let him sing!!! He could be the greatest pop/broadway singer in many years, but he is targeted toward a country music stryle, which, in my opinion, is stunting his potential.

Same thing with Michael Vick. The guy can run!! Yet Jim Mora has consistantly tried to implement a passing game. Sure, Vick might get injured while running around, but if that's the way he is going to win games, then let him do it! It's a suppression of talent that has stunted the Falcons' seasons and kept them from reaching the Super Bowl. Maybe this is the year for them, I don't know.

On the flip side, Christoper Paolini, author of Eragon is a success story. He is the greatest arguement for home schooling in America in many years. He started writing Eragon when he was 15, and his writing style shines! It can easily be placed with major Fantasy works (Tolkien, Lewis...etc.), and he has done this because by home schooling him, his parents have encouraged the development of his strengths. I shutter to think what he would be now had he gone to public school. He would be drastically poorer, that is for sure.

As far as schools are concerned, if children are unique, then shouldn't the education they recieve be the same? Shouldn't the education system augment and develop strengths, instead of giving everyone the same, watered-down version of an education that will do nothing for most people? And why should money matter when it comes to developing an artist's strengths? If Billy Gilman would be the greatest singer in a generation, don't pigeon-hole him into country just because that's where people think he'll make the most money. And as for Vick, just let the guy run!!! And as for me, I'm gonna do what I do, no matter what anyone else thinks, including posting a blog at 3 in the morning. :)

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