Sir: It has come to my attention, and in a manner so forceful as to compel a response, that our current system of education is a cesspit of appalling futility. Young Americans of the most impressionable age are being seduced, at the public expense, into the most pernicious habits imaginable, merely (as far as I can tell) to flatter the vanity of some incompetent fool with an education degree who desires the whole world to be as foolish as he is.
The matter came up when I was attempting to hire a few workers to staff my small but growing chain of Bob’s Burger Yurt regional fast-food restaurants. I interrogated each candidate closely with respect to his or her education, and I discovered that, with dismaying uniformity, they had all wasted ten or more years of their lives learning absolutely useless trivia.
It seems that, if the schools had their way (and I include private and religious schools here as well as public schools), our children would all be raised to be novel-reading geometers and historians. Of what earthly use is it to read books that are avowedly false? In what way will knowing the area of a right triangle speed the frying process? Does knowing the date of the Battle of Bull Run get the customer his bacon cheeseburger any faster? Lists—lists are what children should study. They should read lists and study them until they are able to glance at a list and name each item in order. Then they should be released from the drudgery of unnecessary schoolwork and move on to a lifetime of productive employment serving customers and getting their orders right.
I call for—nay, I demand—a thorough overhaul of our educational system along strictly practical lines. In first grade, let children study and memorize lists, over and over, until they can recite them with confidence, with all the items in their correct order. In second grade, let the children apply those lists to practical endeavors. The third grade and beyond may be abandoned as useless, and children may be assigned directly to shifts at convenient Bob’s Burger Yurt locations.
Now, I already hear some whining daydreamer complaining that I would deprive children of their childhood. Nothing could be further from the truth! On the contrary, I would have them assigned to tasks that require small and nimble fingers, so that, far from being deprived of their childhood, they would be given an opportunity to turn their childhood to some account.
This is all I can write at present; it is nearly three in the afternoon, and I must take my station on the porch to make sure no sniveling brat gets away with taking a shortcut across the corner of my yard on his way home from school. But I urge our school boards and professional “educators” to consider their positions before dismissing my suggestions.
——Sincerely, Zangrulf Canker, Owner, Bob’s Burger Yurt.