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Editorials

“When I grow up, I want to be an astronaut assistant” — Part 15 of Stop Stealing Dreams (What is School For?)

by Seth Godin

If you missed Part 14, click HERE.

15. “When I grow up, I want to be an astronaut assistant”

Jake Halpern did a rigorous study of high school students. The most disturbing result was this:

“When you grow up, which of the following jobs would you most like to have?”

The chief of a major company like General Motors

A Navy SEAL

A United States Senator

The president of a great university like Harvard or Yale

The personal assistant to a very famous singer or movie star

The results:

Among girls, the results were as follows: 9.5 percent chose “the chief of a major company like General Motors”; 9.8 percent chose “a Navy SEAL”; 13.6 percent chose “a United States Senator”; 23.7 percent chose “the president of a great university like Harvard or Yale”; and 43.4 percent chose “the personal assistant to a very famous singer or movie star.”

Notice that these kids were okay with not actually being famous—they were happy to be the assistant of someone who lived that fairy tale lifestyle.

Is this the best we can do? Have we created a trillion-dollar, multimillion-student, sixteen-year schooling cycle to take our best and our brightest and snuff out their dreams—sometimes when they’re so nascent that they haven’t even been articulated? Is the product of our massive schooling industry an endless legion of assistants?

The century of dream-snuffing has to end. We’re facing a significant emergency, one that’s not just economic but cultural as well. The time to act is right now, and the person to do it is you.

To be continued …

Or — if you want to read the rest of Godin’s manifesto now — click here: http://tinyurl.com/6n5dz9o

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About jwmartinez

JoLynne is a journalist and educator. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Kansas and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Park University and is certified to teach high school journalism and English. Former employment includes work for Cable News Network and the University of Missouri-Kansas City in addition to freelancing for clients such as the Kansas City Star and The Pitch.

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