The letter sent shock waves through the parent body of Harley Avenue Primary School. It read, in part:
The reason for eliminating the Kindergarten show is simple. We are responsible for preparing children for college and career with valuable lifelong skills and know that we can best do that by having them become strong readers, writers, coworkers and problem solvers.
In brief: no time for the two-day kindergarten show. That’s time that could be better spent preparing these children for college and the workplace! Can’t lose a minute! These skills simply are not relevant to life. Never, at any point, in the workplace will Jacob be required to stand behind a clump of 5-year-olds and pretend to be a sunflower. If he is ever called on to do this, this will be a sign that his professional life is not be going as we hoped. That goes for Kelsey too. As you move through life, the ability to sing songs about recycling while accompanying each word with sign language gestures slips farther down the priority list.
The Compost also managed to get its hands on some other notices that are surely due to arrive in the mailboxes of the parents of kindergarteners everywhere. Perhaps they already have.
Dear Kindergarten Parents and Guardians,
In keeping with the responsibility for “preparing children for college and career with valuable lifelong skills” we mentioned earlier, in addition to the Kindergarten Show, the following have also been cancelled.
Story Time: This will now be replaced with Résumé Building Time. Exactly the same number of opportunities for kids to stretch their imaginations, but fewer Big Red Dogs and many more professional applications.
Recess: Instead of getting outside to play for half an hour, kids will now take coffee breaks with their favorite coworkers.
Show and Tell: This has been replaced with “Show, Don’t Tell” for the kids on our advanced writing track and with “TED Talks for Beginners” for everyone else.
Blowing Bubbles: This is now “Filling In Bubbles.”
Finger Painting: In real life, this kind of sloppy, slapdash work is only rewarded once you reach management levels. We are replacing it with finger-pointing for most kids (“I never felt that Gary was giving his all to this project.”).
Tag: Tag is now “Untag.”
Learning to Share: This has been replaced with Learning to Overshare.
Counting: This remains the same, but we have renamed it “pre-pre-pre-calculus” so it looks better on your transcript.
The Alphabet: We will now be learning the important acronyms only — AP, SAT, IPO, FF, RBI.
Time Out: From now on, anyone who causes a disturbance in class by throwing an embarrassing tantrum will be rewarded with a contract for a reality show.
Group Projects: This is now “Forming A Start-Up” but the process remains about the same, including the part where Bobby starts speaking in meaningless jargon, takes off his shoes and won’t share.
Snack Time: To prepare the students better for the college experience, the cups of apple juice have been replaced with Red Bull and the animal crackers are being subbed out for ramen that your roommate managed to prepare using only a coffee maker.
Nap Time: Nap Time has been canceled. It is unfair to create the expectation that in real life you will be allowed to take naps.