Tag Archives: teachers

Khan Academy: The (Near) Future Of Education?

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In talking about education, I’ve highlighted issues that give me fever dreams about my experience in high school and those that give me hope for future students. While I know it’s not a very sexy topic, it does matter a great deal.  A society full of idiots is only good for creating embarrassing YouTube videos and Chuck Lorre sitcoms, but not much else.

Our current method for education people in the western world has a lot of room for improvement. Some, like South Korea and Japan, do it better than others. Others, like the state of Texas, are easy punchlines in jokes about stupidity and I’m not just talking about their laughable record on sexual education.

Let’s not lie to ourselves. Education is hard. Every human being is wired different. Kids are especially tricky. Between puberty and sugar, it’s hard to help them learn, especially if they don’t want to learn. Our brains weren’t wired for assembly line style education that requires memorization, lectures, and standardized tests. They were wired for survival, reproduction, and avoiding hungry bears.

At some point in the future, we may be able to tweak that old wiring to make education easier. Companies like Neuralink are already working on that. However, that kind of brain building is years off. While it is promising, there are many who may lament that they or their children won’t get to benefit from this kind of innovation. They’re stuck using textbooks and number two pencils.

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Well, for once, I’m not going to fantasize about an advancement that’s way off in the future, like smart blood or sex robots. There are some amazing advancements in this field and they don’t require a brain implant. They don’t even require a private tutor from South Korea. Big changes to education aren’t just some far-off future fantasy. They’re actually happening.

That brings me to Khan Academy. I’ve mentioned them before, albeit not in great detail. I kind of feel bad about that because it’s doing some amazing work in the field of education. It is, very much, a game-changer to the way we think about education. It has the potential to educate people all over the world at a cost that’s almost negligible.

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What is Khan Academy, though? Well, that’s not an unreasonable question because it’s one of those things that is known in some crowds, but not others. It’s also fairly new. Khan Academy started only ten years ago and it started by accident, which happens a lot more than you think.

The story of how it came to be is actually pretty remarkable. The man who created, Salman Khan, didn’t intend to make it into one of the biggest innovations to hit education since the invention of pocket calculators. It just played out that way. Several years ago, 60 Minutes did a story about it and it reveals some pretty amazing insights.

However it came to be, Khan Academy’s mission is as bold as it is important. It seeks, in their own words, “to provide a free, world-class education to anyone, anywhere.” At a time when the cost of education is rising frustratingly fast, Khan Academy dares to be bolder.

It doesn’t require big, fancy schools. It doesn’t require an army of trained teachers, some of which may or may not be qualified for their job. It doesn’t even require students to leave the house. It only requires someone with a computer, an internet connection, and an ability to access a website. These days, those are skills that most kids learn to do right out of the womb.

That’s not to say it’s better in every way. There are some things that you can’t just learn by doing exercises online. You wouldn’t want a mechanic, plumber, or gynecologist only learning their trade through online videos. You’d want them to have some kind of training.

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Even so, the value of having a cheap, effective way of educating young children cannot be understated. Beyond simply knowing how much to tip at a restaurant, education helps children think and reason for themselves. It helps them make sense of a world where the Kardashians are celebrities and Johnny Depp still makes movies.

We, as a species, need societies of kids and adults who can think. Until we perfect neural implants, education is still going to be a challenge. That’s why innovations like Khan Academy are so valuable.

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Love And Age Disparity: Why It Matters

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A few years ago, Bill Maher, one of my favorite comedians, did a little routine on the titillating phenomenon of hot female teachers hook up with their male students. Being the brilliant mind he is, he summed it and the controversy surrounding it quite nicely.

“When an older male teacher sleeps with a younger female student, that is a crime. When an older female teacher sleeps with a younger male student, it’s a crime we didn’t get it on tape.”

It’s a funny, but fairly accurate observation. Whenever a story comes out about a hot female teacher sleeping with a male student, the knee-jerk reaction in many men, and even a few women, is pretty telling. We may act like we’re appalled in polite conversation, but in private, we’re thinking, “What a lucky kid! I wish I had teachers like that when I was a kid.”

We have an entirely different knee-jerk reaction when the genders are reversed. While it doesn’t make the news quite as often, it does happen. Most of the time, however, the knee-jerk reaction is entirely different. Most are appalled and disgusted, both in public and in private. We think and we say, “That man is a monster and a predator! How dare he sleep with one of his students? He should be hung from the highest tree!”

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There’s no way around it. This is a double standard, something I’ve talked about many times before. It’s probably the most stark double standard there is between genders because it’s one of the few both sides agree on. A female teacher sleeping with a male student is kind of fun and titillating. A male teacher sleeping with a female student is a disgusting crime.

Now I’m not going to make the claim that this disparity is wrong. I’m not going to take the position of Men’s Rights Advocates and claim we should make the stigma between male and female teachers seducing students an equal phenomenon. It’s not. There are many reasons why it’s not and I’ll save those reasons for another blog post.

For this post, I want to focus more on the less obvious aspect of the teacher/student affair phenomenon. It’s one that actually manifests in many ways outside the classroom. It involves the age disparity between the couple.

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A couple with a large age disparity is a bit less controversial, but it will still get people from both genders arguing about it. However, it’s still plenty titillating for both genders so I’ll try to focus on that component. Yes, there is a unique sexiness component to age disparity. Yes, I’m going to talk about it. If that makes you feel a bit uncomfortable, you might want to read my posts about sex robots instead.

Age disparity is one of those understated, but obvious issues that has always been part of our sexual culture. Men seeking younger women isn’t just an old, common tradition. It’s downright practical.

Even feminists and hippie types concede that for most of human history, it made sense for older men to seek younger women. That’s because for most of human history, women died at far greater rates due to complications during childbirth or pregnancy. A woman who survived two or three pregnancies was considered extremely lucky. A woman who lived long enough to seek the intimate company of younger men was downright rare.

This cold pragmatism has ensured that men seeking younger women is an inescapable component of our sexual culture. To this day, older men seeking younger women isn’t really taboo. When a rich man seeks the company of a beautiful young woman, it’s just shrugged off as one of those things rich people do because they can.

That’s why the idea of older women seeking younger men still generates this awkward reaction. It’s not so much that it’s taboo. It’s just new in the sense that it was an impractical practice until very recently.

Now, the concept of a “cougar” is a real phenomenon, so much so that MILF (mom I love to fuck) porn is big business. The idea of older women seducing young men may not disgust us, but it does get us thinking awkward thoughts.

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Awkward or not, age disparity in romance is one of those things that occupies a nebulous region of our sexual culture. We understand why it happens. We’ve even conditioned ourselves to accept it in some instances, as the life of Anna Nichole Smith can attest. It’s just not something we think about and maybe that’s the problem.

Pragmatism aside, there are some legitimate reasons why younger women would seek the company of older men. Not all of those reasons have to do with wanting to inherit his money. Granted, that can be part of it, but that’s not always the case.

In an older man, a young woman can see someone who is experienced, established, and mature. As a man, I can’t help but concede on the maturity part. Having been a young man and having survived high school, I freely admit that young men can be immature little shits who don’t know the first thing about loving a woman. For that, on behalf of young men, I apologize.

Beyond the maturity aspect, an older man might actually know what the hell he’s doing when he gets a woman into his bed. Unlike a young man, who may know next to nothing about female anatomy, especially if he got his sex education in Texas, an older man has more experience in satisfying a woman. That experience goes a long way.

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When the genders flip, some of those reasons still apply. It’s true. Men will seek the company of older women for that extra experience. True, an older woman is less likely to have the perky features of a younger woman, but perky body parts only go so far.

As a man, I can offer a bit more insight into this. I can’t say I prefer older women, but I can totally understand why men would be attracted to them. Younger women, especially those who are extra perky, tend to be more demanding. I’m not just talking about expensive shopping trips either. Youth in both genders tends to breed arrogance and arrogance can be a huge turn-off to a man, no matter how attractive a woman is.

In older women, men see someone who is a bit more measured and self-assured. They see someone who knows how to be independent. She doesn’t demand that they make her the center of their world. An older woman can take care of herself. She knows how to handle herself without whining for someone else to do it. A woman who can do that at any age will intrigue a man to some degree.

Between the sheets, the intrigue only grows. While younger women may make men horny, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll make them feel satisfied. Young women who lack in sexual experience may not know how a man likes to be touched, teased, and pleasured. I admit that male anatomy isn’t quite as complicated, but make no mistake, ladies. Experience does make a difference.

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Whether you’re a man or a woman, age will play a factor in your sex life in some form or another. It may not always be direct, but it will still be a factor. At the end of the day, though, does it matter?

If an older man falls in love with a much younger woman or if an older woman falls in love with a much younger man, is their love any less genuine? Is the intimacy they enjoy any less meaningful? Granted, it isn’t always as titillating, but it can still have meaning.

In some respects, our culture and media create an artificial taboo of sorts. So many love songs, TV shows, and movies paint this ideal picture of love. It almost always involves two people who are relatively close in age. Add a little sex appeal and that’s basically the standard by which we measure sex and romance.

While that standard has its merits, it doesn’t work for everyone. Everyone’s tastes in sex and romance are unique. Some people are going to be attractive to different kinds of people for different reasons. In the end, so long as the feelings are genuine and not associated with Anna Nichole Smith, I think it’s still every bit as meaningful.

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An Ode To Hot Teachers

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Being a teenager sucks. Going to high school sucks. Going through puberty sucks. Unless you’re a star athlete or a cheerleader with the body of a young Carmen Electra, chances are your adolescence in general sucked.

Mine sure sucked. As I’ve said before, I was socially inept shut-in who did little to take care of himself. On top of that, I had a horrible acne problem that eventually required medication. I wasn’t just a pain to be around. I wasn’t much to look at either. That basically guaranteed that my teenage years were going to suck, despite having great parents, great siblings, and an environment that gave me every opportunity to be less miserable.

I get the impression that my experience is not typical. Teenagers are walking cocktails of hormones, emotions, and ignorance. Everyone, from the nerds to the jocks, finds a reason to be miserable at some point. The fact anyone survives it at all is nothing short of a miracle.

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I highlight this misery because I want to establish a certain context here. Life as a teenager, going to high school and enduring the monstrous transformation that is puberty, is fraught with misery. Anything that makes it just a little bit easier is akin to giving a starving child a lifetime supply of chocolate cake.

That leads me to hot teachers. No, I’m not talking about a porno sub-genre. I’m not talking about the scandals involving teachers sleeping with their students that make the front page of Fox News’ website at least three times a year either. I’m just talking about that one teacher during that one year in your teenage life that actually made going to school less miserable.

Don’t deny it. You had a teacher like that. I’m not saying he or she was a supermodel or an Olympian, but they definitely got your attention and not with their teaching skills. Something about them just sparked that chaotic cocktail of hormones in your body in just the right ways. It made you think thoughts you didn’t quite understand, even after you discovered internet porn.

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Hot teachers are a sliver of gold in the mountain of horse shit that is adolescence. In some ways, they’re a rite of passage. You only really feel like you’re growing up when your genitals start doing strange things around a teacher you find attractive. It can be awkward, as anyone who has ever had to hide a boner in the middle of algebra class can attest. Then again, awkwardness with teenagers is par for the course.

I believe that hot teachers are a gift to the world, if not an act of mercy to all those whose adolescence was more miserable than most. They remind miserable, emotional, melodramatic teenagers that there’s still beauty in the world. It’s not all just acne, homework, and standardized tests. For teenagers of every generation, their value cannot be overstated.

As a tribute to the hot teachers of the world, I’d like to share another personal story. Unlike some of my previous stories, though, this one doesn’t involve actual nudity. It does involve thoughts of nudity though. How can it not? It involves my teenage self.

It’s true though. I too once had a hot teacher, one I still remember fondly to this day. She was a rare beacon of light in the never-ending torment that was high school. She actually made me less miserable in high school. That’s something that therapy, anti-depressants, and Taco Tuesday can’t boast. She’s kind of a personal hero is what I’m saying.

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Out of respect for her privacy, I won’t reveal her name. For the sake of this story, let’s just call her Ms. Diana. I had Ms. Diana for a history class in my sophomore year. At the time, I was 16. My acne problem was just starting to become a crisis. My hormones were just starting to go into overdrive as well. I remember having to hide at least one awkward boner a day. Ms. Diana didn’t help in that effort, but with her, I didn’t mind.

Ms. Diana was one of those young, energetic teachers who loved to talk fast and fill the room with energy. She wasn’t the kind of teacher who would just give presentations, pass out worksheets, and lay out lists of facts. She actually tried to keep people engaged. She tried to get people excited. She might as well have been the high school equivalent of a lion tamer.

She was also hot. I hope that goes without saying. I don’t just mean hot, in terms of personality. I mean Ms. Diana was hot in that she would’ve looked awesome in a bikini and not because she had a beauty regiment on par with Gwenth Paltrow, complete with jade egg for a healthy vagina.

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No, Ms. Diana’s beauty was a natural beauty. She didn’t need makeup. She didn’t need designer clothes. She came into class wearing something she probably bought on sale and she still made it look sexy. That’s a special kind of beauty, even by teenage standards.

That beauty definitely resonated with my teenage self. I can’t remember a class where I paid more attention and felt more engaged. I can’t say that about a lot of the teachers or classes I’ve taken. I also can’t say those classes got me thinking and feeling things that I didn’t feel without an internet connection. It was a strange, but beautiful thing.

Now I never went out of my way to tell Ms. Diana that I found her very attractive. That’s not because I wanted to avoid a scandal that would end with one of us being interviewed by Wolf Blitzer though. I didn’t tell her because it wasn’t necessary. It wasn’t necessary because I wasn’t the only hormonal teenage boy in that class and some of those boys did not have filters between their brains and their mouths.

It was very much an open secret in the school. The boys thought Ms. Diana was hot. Nobody really argued about it. Nobody denied it either. I get the sense she knew that. I don’t think she would’ve agreed to teach teenagers if she didn’t to some extent. Maybe she knew she could keep her students’ attention by being hot. I’m not saying it’s a little coy, but you can’t argue with results.

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This eventually culminated in an incident I still laugh about today. It happened one day after lunch. We were filing into class. I was there a few minutes early and so were a couple of my male classmates. Then, out of nowhere, this exchange happened:

Male Student: Hey, Ms. Diana! Is your dad a terrorist?

Ms. Diana: Um…no. Why do you ask?

Male Student: Because you’re the bomb!

I laughed. We all laughed. Even Ms. Diana laughed. This after September 11th, by the way. The fact that we laughed about it should hint at just how hot Ms. Diana was and how much me and my fellow male students appreciated her.

To this day, Ms. Diana holds a special place in my heart and my memory. At a time when so many memories from that era were bleak and forgettable, she was a shining star that came along at just the right time for an awkward teenage boy. I like to think that the feelings she inspired in me helped inspire my future aspirations as an erotica/romance writer.

I doubt that’s what Ms. Diana intended to teach me. I’m pretty sure she just wanted me to pass my tests and exams. Thankfully, I did. That other inspiration was just a bonus. Maybe one day when I become a famous erotica/romance writer, I’ll thank her. She deserves as such for helping me survive high school.

Until then, I remain forever grateful to Ms. Diana. On behalf of all those who had lurid thoughts about their teachers, I thank those wonderful teachers who look good naked who helped inspire both minds and genitals. You may not think it, but you helped us in ways that went beyond teaching us. You helped make our teenage years slightly less miserable. For that, you should be proud.

With that, I leave you with the ultimate ode to hot teachers, courtesy of Van Halen.

 

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