I’m sick of a couple of things right now: Public pronouncements by 17-year-olds, and job interviews of would-be school principals.
Let’s talk about the second one first.
The Manhattan school district has by coincidence had openings at principals’ jobs at Manhattan High, Bergman Elementary, Marlatt Elementary and Theodore Roosevelt Elementary. The school district has held sessions in recent weeks for the applicants to meet the public, and Mercury reporters have appropriately attended and diligently reported.
No problem there. But, holy smokes, I’d rather eat ground glass than read one more account of such-and-such candidate saying she wants first to get to know the students and staff before making any big decisions.
I would be spring out of my seat and applaud if any of them said they hated kids and really just wanted a fat raise and a cushy job where they didn’t have to get chalk on their hands.
Hire that guy on the spot!
It’s kind of like the race every four years for the county register of deeds. We interview the candidates, and ... what? What are they really going to say? “Yep, I sure will register those deeds!”
But it’s our job to make sure you know what the people running your public institutions want to do and so ... there you go.
Now, about the 17-year-olds. I made the fatal mistake of starting to look at Twitter, mostly because my teenage kids forced me.
One thing led to another, and so now I get these daily Twitter announcements, usually worded as follows: “Beyond blessed and humbled to announce that I’ve been offered by Fort Hays State University.”
What this means is that the kid has received an offer of a scholarship to play a sport at that institution of higher learning. Or at least it means that the kid wants people to think that he’s received such an offer. I’m not entirely clear.
The next step is when the kid announces something like this: “So excited and blessed to announce my commitment to continue my education and softball career at BGSU!!!”
The key noun (actually a noun-ified verb) is “commitment,” meaning a verbal commitment to eventually sign a binding scholarship agreement. In truth, the “commitment” doesn’t mean diddly-squat.
What matters is when the kid actually signs, which actually binds the university and the kid to a deal, at least for a year, but that doesn’t happen for several months. The verbal “commitment” just means the kid announces publicly that that’s where she intends to go.
It’s all really meaningless, since offers and commitments can shift whenever the kid catches a cold.
This is all an outgrowth of the rat-race driven by parents seeking vicarious validation, and by the gusher of money in college athletics. The kid’s announcement of an offer or a commitment is treated as some sort of coronation.
Tip of the cap here to Manhattan’s own Max Lansdowne, the soccer star, who announced on Twitter a year ago that he was blessed and excited to announce that he had decided to continue his athletic and academic career at Manhattan High School.
At least somebody has a sense of perspective.
Seaton is publisher and editor in chief. The Curmudgeon appears occasionally.