Fred: Onward into the Night – Or Uganda, Anyway

If you think a man of Fred’s caliber hasn’t already provided measurable support for the lot of our sorry asses, you’re one of the damn Animal Farm barnyard animals he’s describing. His recollections, though accurate, relate the perspective of a genius unchallenged by the curriculum he describes. By the time I’d stumbled through the same curriculum in a stupendously ignorant southern school district, the high school math teachers had succeeded in convincing the school board to dispense with the instruction of algebra in eighth grade (Junior High) since none of the students arrived prepared for the second year of its study by the ninth grade (High School). The underlying problem, I have since discovered, was not the competence of the eighth grade instructors, but of the instructors purportedly teaching fractions, among other mathematical concepts, to the young students in grades Kindergarten through seven. It’s simply no use teaching algebra to a mind ill-prepared by parentage and previous schooling. Yet none of this warrants empathy for Fred. His lineage alone damns him: grandfather a doctor, father a mathematician, and himself a rake who admittedly married thoughtlessly to a woman who deserved better. One wonders how his daughters got so purportedly amazing, since he makes no claim of influence. Therein, friends, lies the rub. The baby-boom generation appears sufficiently lacking in self-reflection to recognize its failures amidst its successes. I am fortunate my parents took the time to educate me, whilst sorely lacking the resources and opportunities afforded Fred and his ilk, and I’ve done my best to push my own children another rung up the ladder of mental capacity and out of this muck one might kindly call the writhing masses of humanity. The gentleman writing to us from south of the border, proudly boasting of his seniorita cum seniora, ought think more regarding his contribution to the resulting disaster which is modern K-12 education in this nation north of the one in which he resides before waxing eloquent regarding its better years.

Don't bother.

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