One of the goals of a superb education is to ensure that the next generation — our children — are ready to compete in a global economy. Upon graduation, will they have what it takes to survive against powerhouses like the Japanese? The Germans? Those darned Swedes? In the wake of recent meteorological events, I say we shift gears a bit and refine our American educational goals. Forget reading and writing and Singapore math. Let’s just hope that everybody survives.
Fact: My 10-year-old son has missed about 20 days of school for weather-related causes. Twelve-and-a-half of those were from “superstorms” or rogue/freak/this-never-happens crazyass damage caused by wind or ice. (That half day was caused by the Halloween storm of 2011, when the elementary school opened for a costume pity-party parade in the parking lot and then sent everyone home because it was too effing cold and dark to eat candy inside the building.) He and his sister have begun to think that missing a week of school every third year is the new normal, much as one might say that navy is the new black, or that New Coke was momentarily the new Coke. Right now it’s like my offspring are professors at a prestigious university, enjoying their god-given sabbatical.
I am starting to think that my children’s memories of school will be fond because they only attended once in a while and thus looked forward to it with heightened anticipation and glee, much like Laura Ingalls Wilder did during planting season on the prairie. “We really get to go to school, Ma and Pa? For a whole week? Say it ain’t so!””
“Don’t forget your chalkboard, Half-Pint!” I’ll say, as my daughter bounds out of the house, petticoats and braids flying.
You think I’m kidding? When the power goes, there won’t be a chalkboard app on her iPad for long. She’ll have to use an actual chalkboard. And then I’ll start dressing her oddly and calling her Half-Pint for fun.
What our children need in order to save them from the hazards caused by global warming is an educational foundation grounded in this very same earth that is now imploding all around us. Continue reading here.