Mr. Melnichenko’s Yacht “A” and Life-Long-Learning.
He’s 36 years old. That makes him an adult. He is super rich, having a personal fortune estimated at more than $4 billion.
If ever there were an opportunity to freely set out on the path of life-long learning that educators, from ancient times right on up until the present, have talked about, this would be it.
However, this is not the path that Mr. Melnichenko, a Belarus-born math whiz who founded MDM Bank, one of Russia’s largest, has chosen for himself. Instead of immersing himself in the Great Books, he has ordered a 390 foot yacht from Philippe Starck, the superstar French designer of lemon squeezers and luxury hotels.
Instead of props within the boat to encourage a life of learning, perhaps a lecture hall, theater, music room, collections of the great works of art, science, literature and philosophy, the boat will resemble a floating pleasure palace. One thinks of Pinochio on Pleasure Island.
Mr. Melnichenko’s own oversized bed, perched at the top of the boat’s tower, will rotate on a giant turntable (with built-in entertainment systems) to give him better views from his bed out through the tower’s panoramic windows.
There will be similar pleasure suites furnished with stainless steel whirlpool gaths for his guests. There’ll be 100 audio speakers positioned throughout the boat, and more than a dozen plasma TV screens, all linked to a centralized DVD library of more than 2,000 titles. At the back there’ll be a 480-square-yard disco along with a bar of Baccarat crystal and a water-resistant karaoke platform
There’ll be swimming pools, in the front and back of the vessel, a helipad, a hovercraft, a garage for the owner’s car, a crew of 35.
Mr. Melnichenko’s yacht is named A, taken from the first letter of his own name, Andrey, and that of his young wife, Aleksandra, a former supermodel who sang with a Yugoslavian pop group called Models and whom he married during the boat’s construction.
We didn’t really need to read about Mr Melnichendo to know that the super rich, probably even the affluent in general, have always chosen yachts and the accompanying pleasures over life-long-learning.
Now, is there any doubt in anyone’s mind that the children in our schools are more responsive to images of Mr. Melnichenko’s yacht, and the life that it represents, than to the notion of life-long-learning?
I’m sure there isn’t, yet we continue to labor under the delusion that things are not as they are, that children need only our support and encouragement to become life-long learners themselves. And of course they don’t and they won’t.Explore posts in the same categories: Uncategorized