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Our Modest Proposal
Our Modest Proposal to the Board of Education Concerning Depression in High School and the Effects on Individual and National Performance
Day after day, more teenagers in the United States are being claimed by death due to depression and suicide. Depression rates are higher than ever; teenagers are spending more time worrying about their schoolwork than they are being productive in their studies. With college looming over all young minds, teenagers often turn to alternate options for release rather than dealing with the problem at hand. The demands of school work lead teenagers to become depressed and this disables them from obtaining their highest levels of success. The United States is falling behind other countries in the education field. Currently, the insufficient levels of depression among teenagers inhibits their growth in learning and leads the United States to be weak in education. For instance, 55% of students in China are considered to be top world performers, while only 9% of American students are top world performers (Ryan 2). This notable issue is one of the major reasons why the United States is incapable of keeping up with other top nations, yet again, leading to more depression in the younger generations who are competing with citizens of foreign countries for jobs and opportunities in the world.
With this in mind, we have developed a new system to help relieve school-related stress and depression and contribute to national success. There is a fine line between stress being an inhibitor and stress being a motivational tool. The United States is unable to comprehend this concept and continues to allow stress to lead to teenage depression and failure. Our research shows that stress can lead to “increased brainpower” (Macmillan 1). Therefore, students in the United States should be given an even more rigorous curriculum, and those who cannot reach the desired level of achievement should either be put into unskilled labor services or be publicly executed.
After this system is implemented, we predict that 60-70% of United States’ students, the elite, will be classified as top world performers and will be capable of the highest levels of innovation and the ability to compete with the minds of other nations around the world. The other 30-40% of the students, the defectives, will be allowed to choose between execution and the unskilled workforce. These defectives will be in charge of the work that needs to be done around cities, upkeeping and maintaining the United States so that the country remains a pleasant place for the elite to work, live, and thrive.
Some have said that this system is too harsh, and not a logical or realistic solution to the problem of teenage depression. While a common belief is that stress has been proven to cause depression and decrease success, our studies have proven that stress can actually increase the amount of success that both individuals and teams achieve. With that being said, this proposed system will allow the United States to reach all levels of achievement that the world has never seen before, and will never see again.
First off, the most obvious benefit of this system is the decrease of useless people who are not contributing to the United States in any way. This system will make all people (even the brainless defectives) useful to the nation, whether this be elite standing, defective standing, or execution. Our national success rate will rise, increasing the happiness of everyone in the nation.
Secondly, mediocrity will be eliminated. Not one single person will just be a face in the crowd, everyone will contribute to national success, whether through their minds or their labor. Everyone will be forced into a role that contributes to national success, whether they are willing or unwilling to participate in the program; everything will be for the good of the nation.
Thirdly, those who want to work and succeed in the innovative world will thrive and persevere. They will not be held back by defectives who cannot begin to comprehend their advanced level of understanding. Our system allows for students who are truly motivated and determined enough to become an elite to succeed and compete with other powerhouses in the world.
Fourthly, the weekly public executions will be used as motivation to the other students who may be lacking in finding their purpose in the renewal of the United States. Those students who are “on the fence” with their grades and may be near failing, will find a renewal of energy, motivation, and determination after witnessing the tragedy that could befall them if they do not find their place. These students will be forced to study because their life depends on it.
Fifthly, by being exposed to the maximum amount of work and stress, the elite who persevere will be immune to the symptoms of stress and the effects that stress has on the mind and on the body. The elite will be able to solely focus on their task and not be weighed down by the current meaningless and selfish causes of stress such as a social life or relationships. Therefore, the mind will be clearer and work will get done faster and more efficiently.
Lastly, this system will enable the most advanced and innovative minds to take control of the United States. With this, complex subjects and global problems, such as math and science, health related problems such as cancer, and technological advancements and space exploration, will be advanced and hopefully led by America’s elite (the defectives, since they are unable contribute to this innovation, will not receive the benefits of advanced technology, they are lucky the system allowed them to be spared).
We have presented our system to a second-grader within our education system and he agrees that our system would help the issue of depression in high school students (Dorhauer). Some objectors may believe that this system is too drastic, but in fact, it appears to be the most practical solution for today’s world. The actual drastic ideas are those such as a push for advancement of knowledge, a better understanding of stress and how it leads to depression, programs in schools for students to talk about and deal with their problems in life, an emphasis on the importance of quality teaching, and teaching teenagers the value of self-worth and individualism (Board 1). Since the government does not acknowledge depression as a problem, these otherwise logical plans cannot work. Perhaps if leaders were willing to change their viewpoints and make an effort to combat depression in teenagers, these ideas would seem more rational. Ultimately, the government’s blindness leads to our system being the simplest and most realistic solution to relieve depression. By implementing our logic instead of those other nonsensical ideas, students will be more likely to feel happier and contribute more to national success. However, both of us have already been accepted into college with excellent grades and have experienced relatively non-stressful lives, so this system would not have benefitted us.
Board, The Editorial. “Why Other Countries Teach Better.” The New York Times, The New
York Times, 17 Dec. 2013.
This article discusses the many diverse reasons of why many other countries around the world are more successful in their education systems compared to the one that the United States uses. The article discusses Finland and how there is a higher emphasis on the importance of teaching and the effect that it has on the success levels in students. The article continues on to discuss how there is a high demand for teachers in many of the countries around the world. Both Canada and China are hard at work attempting to equalize the schools and the resources that the schools. The article explains that if the schools are equal, all children will be exposed to the same curriculum and all the students will be learning at the same level; therefore, producing more successful students in the long run. This article was used to provide reasons and backup information about the suggested solutions that should be put into action.
Dorhauer, Charles Alexander. “Expert Research.” 19 Oct. 2017.
Mr. Dorhauer stated that he agreed with our system to help decrease high school stress and help contribute to national success. However, Mr. Dorhauer is only in the second grade. We used Mr. Dorhauer as our expert because his statements help to disprove our satirical solution. By using a second-grader who has no experience with high school stress, we have created poor credibility, helping us satirize our solution. This source helped us create a further element of satire by declaring someone who has no knowledge of our subject as an expert.
Ryan, Julia. “American Schools vs. the World: Expensive, Unequal, Bad at Math.” The Atlantic,
Atlantic Media Company, 3 Dec. 2013,
This article discusses the actual problem of the education system in America. The article pulls information from the international rankings of the OECD countries from 2013. The article uses these statistics to show how America places seventeenth out of thirty-four of the most advanced nations around the globe. It also discusses the percentage of top performers in America and compares this to the amount of top performers in other countries such as China. This article was used to gather facts about the problems with America’s education system and how the student performance compares to that of the other powerful and advanced nations.
MacMillan, Amanda. “5 Weird Ways stress Can Actually Be Good for You.” Health.com, 18
In this electronic source, we researched the different ways that stress can help contribute to success and achievement. Research has shown that a healthy level of stress can in fact help motivate people to succeed and boost brain power. We used many of these ideas in our Proposal, but we manipulated them found for persuasive purposes, as this article was mainly addressing short-term anxiety and not chronic stress that leads to depression. While short-term everyday stress, such as running late for school, has been proven to increase brainpower and resilience, chronic stress does not have these positive effects. This article was extremely helpful in helping us build logos with scientific research and proven facts, although the facts may have been twisted for a persuasive effect.