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The K-Files


Welcome to this latest edition of The K-Files. As I mentioned in the last edition, I chose to take a break from the high-stakes world of esoterica in order to focus on my new semester of college. Thankfully everything went alright, and my schedule has settled down to the point of relative comfort. That said, it's time to get back to my weekly paranormal commentary.

For those that missed it, George Noory's Monday night interview with author Alexandra Robbins was quality radio. Coming on to publicize her new book about overachieving students, the episode covered everything from problems with the public school system to a few of George's own educational hi-jinks. Fitting in well with my own back to school woes, Robbins discussed many topics near to my heart--for as many of you may not know,  I too am an overachiever.

You'd better get ready, 'cause here come The K-Files...

:: Special Report ::

For those of you that follow my weekly musings, you may have noticed a definite lack of new content as of late. I'm afraid the carefree days of summer break are officially over, and it's time for Khyron to hit the books for another semester of college fun. Fortunately my schedule contains mostly evening classes, so my late-night Coast to Coast listening shouldn't be affected--but for these first couple of hectic weeks, I've had to take a break from the world of esoterica.

With things starting to settle down, the first episode of Coast I was really able to sink my teeth into was Gorge Noory's Monday, August 28th interview with author Alexandra Robbins. Boy am I glad I was able to listen to this one, as it really struck a chord with me. With Noory in top form, Robbins proved once again to be a quality guest--keeping me glued to my radio for the entire 3 hour interview. The topic on overachieving students and the pressure to succeed was certainly a timely one for me, and brought up a lot of excellent points regarding the state of campuses today.

The first time Robbins appeared on Coast was under very different circumstances. Publicizing her Skull and Bones tell-all, Secrets of the Tomb, the episode took on a rather dark theme. But although Noory took a brief pause to allow Robbins to update us on the latest in Skull and Bones conspiracy, this latest episode was noticeably un-Coasty. But I say that in the most complimentary way. Although the backbone of Coast is stuff like ghosts, aliens, conspiracy, and the like, I thoroughly enjoy these 'real' topic episodes. It's nice to be able to listen to a guest without having to wade through all the crap they usually spew. Not to sound too cynical, but I like to keep my salt grains in the cupboard from time to time.

The bulk of the interview focused on Robbins' new book, The Overachievers. Following the high school careers of 9 different archetypical students, it certainly sounds like an interesting read. Especially with high school still fresh in my memories, I could relate to a lot of what Robbins discovered in her investigation. I found that I could match a comparable person in my own life to each of the 9 students in the book--my self included. I  feel ashamed to admit this now, but I was indeed an overachiever in school. Not to brag, but I graduated high school with highest honors--my above 4.0 grade point average putting me in the top 25 of my graduating class. I wasn't anywhere near to the dedication of "AP Frank" (who took some ungodly amount of advanced placement courses), but I did pride myself on my performance in school. With little athletic ability and no interest in student clubs, my academic performance became my defining quality. To put it another way, I was the guy people would come to first when they forgot to do their homework.

So having lived this overachieving lifestyle firsthand, I must say that Alexandra Robbins hit it dead on. What jumped out at me the most was her comment about school being a sort of race or competition. I remember quite vividly a world history class in my junior year in which I found myself in direct competition with another overachiever. She was smart, no doubt about it, but I was determined to one-up her. I found myself keeping track of each individual point I earned in the class, tallying them to calculate a day to day grade update. And, to make the matter even more cut-throat, the teacher would post a grade sheet each week so you could see your class standing. I started out strong, getting a perfect score on the first 2 tests, however soon took second place after an rather nasty flu kept me out of school for a week. I never was able to catch back up to her.

At the time, my friends thought I was nuts. They would have a good laugh at the prospect of me competing with someone who 1) didn't know we were competing; and 2) I never even talked to once during the class. None of that mattered to me, though. All I wanted to do was get as close to a perfect score as possible. And although I passed the class with over 100% of the points (I did the extra credit, of course), I don't remember a single thing that I learned. As Robbins pointed out, the emphasis in schools nowadays isn't on learning the material, but instead learning how to more effectively take tests. I've found that this mindset has really hurt my success in my college days.

In high school, the classes I took were mostly required. Except for a few electives, most of what I studied had nothing to do with my chosen career goals at the time. However, now when I'm taking career-essential training courses, I find that I have to take certain care to not revert to my poor habits instilled by the public school system. Whereas my instinct is to cram as much as I can before tests, focusing on short term memory, I find that I must now move at a slower pace, remembering what I learn and applying it to real-world situations. With all the college preparation my high school teachers gave me, they missed the biggest skill entirely. Focusing on strict deadlines, study guides, and test-taking skills, they failed to give me any instructions on actually learning anything.

Which reminds me of an algebra class I had. The teacher got vocally angry at the class for not remembering concepts from previous math courses. It seemed each year, the first half of the semester had to be dedicated to re-teaching the material from the previous year, as everyone basically pushed it out of their minds after taking the final tests.

The other big point Alexandra made was this frenzy to get into name brand colleges with the shunning of vocational schools. I can relate to this one, as well. Despite my successful high school performance, it came as a shock to many that I chose the community college path. Honestly, I could care less about the name of my college, so long as the teachers are competent. So far, I have been presently surprised with my experience. And with the real-world knowledge I'm getting, I will be able to enter the workforce doing something that both challenges and excites me...you know, just in case my writing gig falls short...

For me, this interview was a definite eye-opener. No doubt about it in my mind, the public school systems in America are in serious trouble. I've never purchased a book being publicized on Coast before, but I think this time may be my first. I think Noory did an excellent job on this interview, raising the bar of quality for recent episodes. Alexandra Robbins is now firmly on my favorite guests list, and I will definitely consider this episode when the Coastie's come around again.

:: Dead End ::


Well, that's all for this week. I trust you enjoyed your trip into this shadowy nether-realm known only as the K-Files.

For the latest updates on the world of Khyron, bookmark http://www.khyron.net/. With content updated regularly, you're sure to find your fix for all things entertaining and paranormal. As always, feel free to send any questions/comments/suggestions to KFiles@khyron.net.

Keep your eyes peeled for the next  K-Files, arriving sometime next week. Later.

~Khyron, 2006.


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