What's With The Average American Today? | Teen Ink

What's With The Average American Today?

August 4, 2009
By Electricity PLATINUM, Bradenton, Florida
Electricity PLATINUM, Bradenton, Florida
30 articles 0 photos 271 comments

America... What comes to mind when you hear that glamorous name? Freedom, liberty, justice...? Look closer, though. Look at the schools, the average American child at age thirteen, fourteen, and fifteen. Do they appreciate music, art, and or literature? Not many of them do. I realize that I am a very lucky child, and visit France and Germany frequently. When I analyze the difference in countries, I realize one thing: kids in Europe have a cultured mind. By the age of thirteen, kids in France and Germany already speak English and or Spanish, while most American student are just learning a language in 9th grade. That is not something to be proud of. To me, not taking time to teach kids to speak a foreign language by the age of thirteen is subtly arrogant to other countries. It's almost as if saying, "I"m American, and I expect everyone else in the world to speak my language and understand me". I can see where it costs money to teach languages, but it's culture. It's important. It's life. Very few kids my age appreciate classical music. Many don't play an instrument. It's sad, because classic music is euphonious and beautiful. Music notes is the same in every country. If you put two people in a room together who speak different languages, you can play music, and they both understand it. Classic music, to me, is life. You can express anger, love, passion, joy, sadness, through a single note. Playing an instrument is part of education to me. I can't imagine not playing my piano or violin. Music is more important than people think. Music can provide appreciation to the world. Art is important to ones life. It brings color and stories into the world. Art is versatile. It can relieve pain and aggravation. It's a masterpiece, the word alone. Go into an art gallery, look at the paintings. What do you see? Feelings, phases, words. You can tell a life's story by painting or drawing. You can see when people feel melancholic, happy, confused, hurt, by the way the artist uses shapes and color. What you can never have enough of is literature. Not books inane, callow like The Clique, Gossip Girl, Privileged.... But literature, as in Lord of the Flies, Crime and Punishment, The Idiot, The Odyssey, The Count of Monte Cristo, War and Peace, Anna Korean, The Three Musketeers, The Red Violin, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.... Books that give life and meaning, that can change one's life, books that inspire. By reading, you grow opinions on the world, and can form a deeper mind. As I say, "too shallow for my deep mind". Schools need to teach languages, art, music, literature. Not just because, but it's important. Knowing how to speak with foreigner is important. Appreciating music and art is important. Literature is important. Average America seems to be missing this, and it's hurtful to me. If you look back at great writers, artists and musicians, they come from Europe, Asia, Russia. Why? Maybe it's because they consider it important? Or maybe it's because they are more educated? As the world modernizes, countries haven't lost love for language, art, music and literature. Only the average America.

The author's comments:

I'm not an American hater, I just am disappointed in the average America to have lost love for such beautiful things.

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This article has 29 comments.

on May. 16 2011 at 10:04 pm
WriterGirl95 SILVER, Kinnelon, New Jersey
9 articles 0 photos 2 comments
Honestly, your article is very narrow minded about American schools. Your true-to-live evidence is only ONE Spanish class in ONE high school. You focus on classical music and old literature as the only ways to be cultured. What about rock culture, film culture, American literature, and American history? Also, it's not true that high schools teach second languages beginning in the ninth grade. Most begin in the 6th grade or even younger. We also have chior, band, studio art, computer art, film/video classes, and other electives that broaden a student's knowledge of the world. So please, before you make these blatant articles that denounce American students as an entire nation, do your research.

Josey Rae said...
on Oct. 30 2010 at 8:52 am
I totally agree with you! My private school that I go to now teaches spanish at 6th-8th level, competes in art competitions, studies Real literature, and sends us to the public school to learn how to play a musical instrument, but this is my last year there. The High School I have to go to does not have most of this. In fact, I might end up teaching myself French. The government is worrying about adding P.E. and fixing the issue of overweight people, but by doing that they are cutting down the "less important" subjects. What America needs most, is music, art, language, and literature. I hope that schools will realize this some day.

dragonfire said...
on Oct. 6 2010 at 11:50 am
I completely disagree. My school challenges us in every way, and encourages the arts. I don't know why you think that we teenagers aren't educated, and you do sound like you have a some problems with the US. Honestly, this article seemed more like a rant than anything else.

nutella15 said...
on Aug. 1 2010 at 4:26 am
I agree, I feel I'm missing out on education in school. They don't challenge the kids enough.

on May. 29 2010 at 9:24 pm
Electricity PLATINUM, Bradenton, Florida
30 articles 0 photos 271 comments
thanks for the comments guys! 

Actress-Born said...
on Mar. 5 2010 at 1:41 pm
It disagree. The only rant-like part was when s/he was naming the book list.

Clemency said...
on Mar. 1 2010 at 8:56 am
I agree with you, completely. But, I felt as if this were more a rant, and I think you could have presented the idea better, and more thoroughly. I like the title, it caught my attention, as it did with everyone else. Love your opinion!

ER_1532 said...
on Jan. 19 2010 at 3:30 pm
Hey, I just wanted to say I agree with you 100%. =D

kwoood said...
on Jan. 7 2010 at 5:05 pm
I agree completely. With everything. I like that you said "the average america", because it's speaking in a broad message, not saying just "americans", because some americans to like literature and books and art. And I agree with everyone else about the tittle, it is very catchy.

Acting_143 said...
on Jan. 5 2010 at 7:50 pm
I think I agree with everyone else on this one. It's different and I agree. But while in Europe, countries border each other, America is nearly isolated. In Europe, jump on a train and you're in another country. But, yes, it's no excuse for american kids to be the way they sometimes appear to be.

doglvr1 said...
on Jan. 1 2010 at 6:35 pm
Interesting, I agree. I like the editorial in french, also.

sm_739 said...
on Dec. 20 2009 at 1:13 pm
interesting... is this really your opinion, or did someone persuade you to write this?

999_ewohyram said...
on Dec. 19 2009 at 12:13 pm
yeah, I agree too. as well as readin' clasics i do like my fare share of silly girly books sometimes. but you're sort of right.

xXxholic said...
on Dec. 18 2009 at 4:16 pm
Funny, I agree.

BCorney said...
on Dec. 13 2009 at 6:35 pm
Very insightful... I completely agree. America has a lot of catching up to do in the accademics.

IloveTea said...
on Nov. 15 2009 at 11:39 am
I just wanted to say that I agree with you 100%... but I also agree wtih Pinks_Stem abou it being one-sided...

Pinks_Stem said...
on Nov. 8 2009 at 7:24 am
I totally agree. Great job, I love it! And what made to write this? It's kinda a one-sided opinion, but... yeah..

S_Ounten394 said...
on Nov. 7 2009 at 3:25 pm
Interesting... I never noticed that, but as I think about it, I see the difference too. I 100% agree with you, and I love the french title (it's the reason I clicked on this). But it does kinda of put america down a little.

Rachel_OB said...
on Nov. 7 2009 at 10:25 am
I do agree in some points. I agree that in France and Germany, they probably do speak a foreign language at that age, and that they can listen to classical music. But, the reason why most artists and musicians are from Europe or wherever, is because America didn't exist in that time. And, a lot of classic writers were American. Like Jane Austin and Mark Twain. I see your point.. but I agree with Tinker_Bell... If you love it there so much, then just move there and stop putting America down. America is a great country, and offers more and better things than other countries.

tinker_bell said...
on Nov. 6 2009 at 8:36 pm
America needs to branch from their comfort zone, and get educated like the rest of the world, I agree with that. My dad speaks Spanish, but he didn't learn it in school. He had to take private tutoring classes for like 5 years to speak Spanish. I don't like classical music, but I see your point. However, you're kinda being a snob for speaking about America like this. America is the land of the free, where there's justice and rights. If you love Europe so much, just move there. But, overall the way you wrote it, great piece.