Another failed exercise in treating kids like fragile flowers…
Look across the North Sea and you find Scandanavian countries doing well, economically, socially, artistically and in many other ways. They are riding out the economic storm much better than we. They also have excellent free-health care, maternity and paternity benefits, free university education, free schooling, and so on. Every child gets the same spent on its education in Sweden - you can’t buy your kid a leg-up through private schooling. Finland has a fully comprehensive school system (no selection before age 16) which produces some of the best-educated children in the world. These countries have high rates of social mobility as a result (very much higher, ironically, than the “land of opportunity” USA, which should perhaps now be relabelled “land of least opportunity”).
But [and there’s always a “but” — ed. ] Scandinavian taxes are very high.
Good read on how the frame has shifted away from society as a shared experience and toward a tiered society, with rampant inequality.
This poem — not the struck out bits — was recited at kindergarten/first grade lunch today by a staff member.
One bright morning in the middle of the night,
Two dead boys got up to fight.
Back-to-back they faced one another,
Drew their swords and shot each other.
One was blind and the other couldn’t see,
So they chose a dummy for a referee.
A blind man went to see fair play,
A dumb man went to shout “hooray!”
A deaf policeman heard the noise,
And came and killed those two dead boys.
A paralyzed donkey walking by,
Kicked the copper in the eye,
Sent him through a nine inch wall,
Into a dry ditch and drowned them all.
(If you don’t believe this lie is true,
Ask the blind man — he saw it too!)
A parent in the room said it was “completely inappropriate.” They never said why, but during the next seating, the kids told their own jokes and the first three were about shooting animals. Not a word of protest or disapproval was uttered.
I’m at a loss as to what was inappropriate: the thing is so absurd on its face, it makes the Roadrunner/Coyote cartoons look like Shakespeare. The article at Wikipedia has other examples of nonsense verse that challenge the listener on the meanings of what they hear. Is that not a good thing to teach kids, that language can be intentionally meaningless?
A pretty good list there: I wonder if the humorless drudge has ever let her kids read Dr Seuss?