Rob Murphy

August 05, 2020

Recent EntriesHomeJoin Fast Running Blog Community!PredictorHealthy RecipesRob Murphy's RacesFind BlogsMileage BoardTop Ten Excuses for Missing a RunTop Ten Training MistakesDiscussion ForumRace Reports Send A Private MessageWeek ViewMonth ViewYear View
15% off for Fast Running Blog members at St. George Running Center!


Salt Lake City,Ut,

Member Since:

Feb 11, 2010



Goal Type:


Running Accomplishments:

I had some success in high school and college. Winner 1985 Rod Dixon Run 

Had a fair amount of success as a Masters runner for most of my 40s. 

Short-Term Running Goals:

Have fun, not get fat, stay fit.

Long-Term Running Goals:

 Keep running in some fashion.


I teach AP European History and other courses at Alta High School. I coached the track and cross country teams at Alta for 16 years.

Married, two kids - Abby and Andy

My Twitter  @murphy_rob

Miles:This week: 17.30 Month: 25.55 Year: 1531.99
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Rant coming later...

STEM has become all the rage in the American high school. If it's not science, technology, engineering, or math, it doesn't matter. I don't think I've attended a faculty meeting in the last couple years where the importance of stressing the STEM courses is not mentioned.

I get it. This is the 21st century and we live in a tech driven world in many ways. I also know that the majority of the high paying jobs of the present and future will be in the STEM fields. So to not prepare students for this reality would be negligent.


I asked my students today if any of them had ever been told by a guidance councellor that they needed to take more psychology, sociology, anthropology, or history courses. None of them had, yet they all tell stories of being encouraged to take more rigorous math and science courses. 

Last week we had our "Hour of Code" here at Alta where all of us teachers, even us history teachers, were expected to teach the importance of being able to program computers. Needless to say, we've never had an "Hour of History" or an hour of anything social  studies related.

I think we are under emphasizing the social studies. We are always reading about how this is the age of globalism and reading Thomas Friedman books like The World is Flat  which stress the idea of international markets and the ability to compete on a global scale. 

If this is the case, isn't it just as important to have citizens who understand history and other cultures as it is to have people who can write lines of code? 

It's probably true that a hundred years ago, what happened in Pakistan had no effect on what happened in the United States. These days that is clearly not the case. I was thinking about the 145 dead teachers and kids in Pakistan today and about the fact that I'm at a loss for answers. Sadly, I feel like these sorts of atrocities are going to happen more frequently in the future. I think it is going to be vital for the U.S. to have people who understand and think about this. 

No engineering course is going to help you understand radical Islam or any other form of extremism. Students whose interests run towards history and the social sciences need to be made to feel like their abilities will be just as valuable to the well being of our country and planet as students who prefer math and science.

Sadly, the mega-billionaires who are pumping money into so-called education reform these days are people like Bill Gates and the Walton Foundation (Wal-Mart). I think if their vision of what comprises a good education succeeds, we will have a nation filled with people that don't really understand people. 

PM: 1.25 mile warm-up, stretching, 9.25 miles in 60 minutes.


Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00Weight: 0.00Calories: 0.00
From Amiee on Tue, Dec 16, 2014 at 12:55:21 from

Hope it's a good one!

From MarkS on Tue, Dec 16, 2014 at 12:56:45 from

Thanks for the warning!

From steve ash on Tue, Dec 16, 2014 at 13:04:31 from

Clue as to the subject matter perhaps?

From jtshad on Tue, Dec 16, 2014 at 13:10:06 from

More work issues?

From dugco on Tue, Dec 16, 2014 at 13:18:11 from

Well, rain is better than snow I suppose.

Oh - rant - nevermind.

From Rob Murphy on Tue, Dec 16, 2014 at 13:58:07 from

It'll concern the current over-emphasis on STEM courses in the American high school.

I know, exciting!

From Holt on Tue, Dec 16, 2014 at 14:11:44 from

I am excited... Down here there are taking away our practice field (the only place we have to run our XC repeats as we are in the busiest area of St. George for traffic, and heaven forbid the city actually make an actual park that isn't a softball field or golf course) to build a new building just for these CTE classes!

From Holt on Tue, Dec 16, 2014 at 14:13:11 from

Yikes... I had better delete that last comment. Because if the higher-ups see it, I will be threatened with my job for insubordination.

From Amiee on Tue, Dec 16, 2014 at 14:20:02 from

If it is anything like STEM cells, I'll bet there is a lot to rant about!

From Jake K on Tue, Dec 16, 2014 at 14:50:30 from

Social skills and creativeness are some nice tools to have in your utility belt, if you want to actually put that STEM knowledge to good use.

From steve ash on Tue, Dec 16, 2014 at 15:47:59 from

Sad, but true. The lack of a well rounded education does not only rob students of a more enriching experience, it takes away their ability to filter what is real and what is propaganda in the world. Having one contributes in my opinion to the development of overall critical thinking skills.

By the way World History was a favorite subject of mine in high school.

From Vis on Tue, Dec 16, 2014 at 18:23:48 from

We over in the Language Arts support Mr. Murphy and his platform if he so chooses to run for Educational office.

On another note, I sure hope Holt didn't type those comments on a district-supplied computer.

From Rob Murphy on Tue, Dec 16, 2014 at 20:43:06 from


I typed mine on my district supplied Macbook. During class time too I might add - while my kids were slaving away on the nifty and gruesome Civil War medicine assignment I put together yesterday.

From Josh E on Wed, Dec 17, 2014 at 11:43:35 from

Right on Rob. It used to be that a solid foundation in the classics was essential to getting along in the world. Those people were responsible for elightenment and the scientific revolution. We are their spoiled benefactors. If I were to do it all over again, it would have been history and literature. There is always time to learn a useful career thereafter. The titans of tech didn't learned it in school.

From Bob on Thu, Dec 18, 2014 at 17:03:58 from

I'm mixed on this issue. You are providing a valuable service and I understand your concern, but we've fallen behind in the ability to work with numbers and a basic understanding of the hard sciences. Now playing catch up and emphasis winds have shifted. On a related note, I've been concerned about shrinking art programs for years. One thing to de-emphasize and another to outright remove.

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."- Santayana

"History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme." - Twain

Add Your Comment.
  • Keep it family-safe. No vulgar or profane language. To discourage anonymous comments of cowardly nature, your IP address will be logged and posted next to your comment.
  • Do not respond to another person's comment out of context. If he made the original comment on another page/blog entry, go to that entry and respond there.
  • If all you want to do is contact the blogger and your comment is not connected with this entry and has no relevance to others, send a private message instead.
Only registered users with public blogs are allowed to post comments. Log in with your username and password or create an account and set up a blog.
Debt Reduction Calculator

Featured Announcements
New Kids on the Blog
(need a welcome):
Lone Faithfuls
(need a comment):