Today is the last day of the CSFF Blog Tour of The Sword Review and I finally have an opportunity to post! :)
The Sword Review is an online magazine of Christian speculative fiction, poetry, and essays. They have some really good reading material there. The site also includes a forum where readers can discuss what they've read. I've been browsing The Sword Review in preparation for the CSFF Blog Tour, and the piece that I enjoyed the most was a Science Fiction short story called "ME Control" by G.K. Werner. The description the magazine provides for "ME Control" is: "Today, the politically incorrect claim students are responsible for learning—teachers for teaching. But what if tomorrow’s educational technology equipped schools with complete behavior-control? What excuse would teachers have for not being 100% accountable?"
In "ME Control," teachers have the ability to control everything their students do. The students cannot raise their hands without their teacher allowing it. They can't even move their heads. The only thing the students are left in control of are their eyes. The teacher plants the answers in the students' minds and then allows them to speak the answer.
"ME Control" explores the issues of responsibility, power, and public schools. It's an interesting picture of where our world could be heading someday if we don't change our thinking. Students are responsible for how they behave and how much they learn. And if the teacher simply implants the answers into their minds, are they really learning? Learning, to me, is the journey, not just knowing the answering.
The author of this story, G.K. Werner, does a good job of portraying things from the perspective of a teacher involved in this futuristic classroom. You feel his pleasure in the control he has over his students and what they learn, his nervousness as he is being evaluated, and his fear of what the students might do if given too much freedom. Good job, G.K. Werner! Excellent work!
"ME Control" also brings up this scary idea: if the teacher is in total control of the students, and the government is in total control of the teacher, then the students will learn, or basically be brainwashed into believing, whatever the government wants them to learn. It's a clear warning to us about the path our educational system may be heading down.
Overall, "ME Control" is a well-written, thought-provoking piece. In fact, you should go check it out! You'll find it on the main page of The Sword Review, along with many other great stories, poems, and essays, such as: "Modesty," "While the Wyverns Watch," and "Polar Daughter."
And while you're at it, why don't you go exploring and discover others' opinions on The Sword Review and its contents! Here are the links you can find them at:
CSFF Blog Tour
D. G. D. Davidson
Kameron M. Franklin
Heather R. Hunt
Lost Genre Guild
Kevin Lucia and The Bookshelf Reviews 2.0 - The Compendium
Rebecca LuElla Miller
John W. Otte
Daniel I. Weaver
Have fun exploring!