Immigration, Assimilation, Ethnicity and All That Jazz

Black-Focused Schools in Toronto – Hmmm maybe I’ll start my own school!

Posted by chinesecanuck on June 18, 2008

Racialicious has a post on the black-focused school that will open in Toronto in 2009. The school is going to be sharing premises with an existing elementary school. The kids in the black-focused program will be sharing everything (including the library, lunch room, gym, etc) with the kids in the mainstream program, but will have a slightly different curriculum. The media have neglected to mention that part. They have also neglected to mention that it isn’t a segregated program, and instead, focusing on the supposed segregation and how it would be bad if the kids aren’t exposed to other cultures (wrong again). This has got me thinking: What if I started my own school that brought back good manners in today’s kids? Sort of a co-ed finishing school mixed with an Ontario curriculum? The kids will be required to learn proper table manners of all cultures, be required to write thank you notes (as an art project, the kids can even design their own social/personalized stationary!), conversation and good grooming habits will be taught too. The lady and gentleman has all but disappeared with today’s young. We are either bad girls/boys or “regular” girl/boy next door types. Being proper in an Emily Post sort of way is seen by so many as being old fashioned (my boyfriend gets upset at me whenever I mention table manners…he doesn’t think they’re necessary in this day and age. To him, as long as you don’t chew with your mouth open and that food isn’t dripping out of your mouth, you’re fine. No need to hold a fork and knife or chopsticks properly and you can eat with your left hand in some middle eastern/African restaurants!!!!! After all, you’ve washed it, right?)

Why do I want to start a program like this?  Too many well-educated, but sloppy looking kids.  And even when they’re not sloppy looking, they don’t really “act” the part.  This includes non-kids…people who are M AGE (approaching 30….some even in their EARLY 30s…basically anyone born after the mid 70s)…just because you look like you work in finance because you war that designer suit and carry that leather brief case, one can tell that you aren’t properly groomed if you have awful table manners, are constantly late, don’t write thank you notes, etc…

Of course, this kind of program will likely be widely criticized. Why? Because it’s probably a little classist and yes, to some, even too Eurocentric. After all, it’s mostly going to be focused on western manners (the media will definitely over look the fact that eastern manners are taught too) and these “western” manners are going to be European-focused rather than North American (to my understanding, most etiquette programs teach European table manners, not North American….Europeans don’t switch their fork between their left and right hands. I was told that when eating western style, the European way is ALWAYS RIGHT, while the North American way is only right in North America. I tend to eat North American style unless I’m at a very high end restaurant or formal dinner). Oh, and of course, those free-thinking parents who feel that their kids should be able to do whatever they want would not like this hypothetical program either.

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One Response to “Black-Focused Schools in Toronto – Hmmm maybe I’ll start my own school!”

  1. […] C of the Chinese Canuck blog clarifies some more about the proposed school: Racialicious has a post on the black-focused […]

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