Lots of education happening this past week.
First, the buzz surrounding Waiting for Superman has provoked a lot of discussion among the people I read online. They divide into two camps: the fans of the film, who are convinced we’d get much better results out of our children if we ran them like a business; and the detractors, who are convinced that children are one of those industries that only local governments can run, like road maintenance and licensing subway buskers. But there’s hope! Somewhere, in a secret lab, some genius is working on an equation, where “underprivileged students” are an input and “test scores” are an output. One day, he will solve that equation. When that day comes, depending on whether or not this genius is a member of a teacher’s union, America is [doomed / saved].
Second, a Duke University student’s mock thesis on the guys she’d slept with went viral. America was shocked to discover that (1) girls enjoy sex and (2) lots of college boys are bad at it. Between this and the slowly dawning awareness that there’s a slight chance, just maybe, that driving teenagers to suicide just because they enjoy harmless consensual gay sex might be a sign of barbarism, not enlightenment, America’s sexual maturity skyrocketed this week. On average, we’re now 11 years old.
Third, driving to brunch with Sylvia this Saturday – yeah, we brunch, it’s no big deal – we passed a sign outside an elementary school:
PARENTS ALGEBRA NIGHT
“Parents’ algebra night?” Sylvia asked. “Whose idea of fun is that?”
“Aw yeah,” I said, dropping my voice an octave. “Send the kids home. It’s algebra night! Adults only!” Then I bobbed my head until Sylvia told me to stop.
(At brunch, someone pointed out that it might be a refresher course for parents so they could help their kids with math homework. I like my answer better)