So, should Monroe County schoolkids continue to use all those icky, old fashioned, fuddy-duddy books fer learnin’ anymore?
Or should they leap ahead light years into the future [yeah, yeah, I know, light years aren’t time spans, just roll with me here] and feed their brains through the use of Kindles and iPads and other tomorrow-y devices?
That’s what the bosses at the Monroe County Community Schools Corporation are pondering this summer. And as they ponder, school librarians throughout the county are chewing their fingernails, unsure that their jobs will even be there for them next fall or sometime in the too-near future.
See, school library budgets have been suspended as the sachems mull the issue. In an era of promiscuous budget cuts and a general unwillingness to spend dough on silly things like culture, arts, and education, school librarians have to be wondering if the spigot has been turned off permanently.
The MCCSC leadership just may pop for electronic readers for area students, the idea being, hey, all we have to do is lay out some cash for an e-book copy and then let every student in the system have it.
The New Librarian
Oops! Not so fast, administration-beings. Do you think the savvy titans of the e-publishing industry would let organizations like schools get away with paying for one item and and duping it countless times? Uh uh.
Listen, the only e-publishing dope around here is me (read my serial e-novel, “Black Comedy,” right here, for free, every Monday and Thursday — and now, back to our show). By all rights I would be living in a luxury fortress on top of a hill had I the business smarts to monetize my literary brilliance. Needless to say, big outfits that service community school corporations know how to squeeze every penny out of them.
Now, what if the MCCSC deep thinkers decide, aw hell, everybody’s got a smart phone, a laptop, an electronic notebook, et and cetera, so let’s just spring for several thou copies of the needed e-books and be done with it all.
Again, not so fast. Not everybody has a device. Those who don’t most likely can’t afford one, so once again, the poor get screwed.
Meanwhile, school librarians still worry about their continued employment.
And Now For Today’s Lesson
Here are a few things we know if we judge our holy land by what goes on in our 21st Century schools:
- Kids should shut up and behave
- Discussions of solutions to real world problems like teen pregnancy do not belong in the classroom
- Skills like learning to balance a checkbook, reading a contract, making an informed decision about a candidate for office, or even setting up a household budget have little or no value
- Books aren’t terribly important
- If a boy can score a touchdown or dunk a basketball, he is a superior human being
- If a girl isn’t “sexy” in some weird Miley Cyrus/Barbie Doll way, she doesn’t exist
- If she somehow acts in accordance with that “sexiness,” she is a slut
- No matter how young you are, don’t do anything that can be construed by the most puritanical potential future employer as inappropriate
- A person only has worth if he or she is buying lots of stuff
Be ready for a standardized test tomorrow.
The Book I Read
From the landmark first album by the Talking Heads.
When my youngest was in third grade, it was about this time of year and I talked to his principal because he was having trouble with spelling. I was told don’t worry, kids don’t really have to spell these days all word processing programs have spell check, but if you want we have some outdated spelling books I could give you. Okay since when does a spelling book outdate? Maybe a geography book, but as far as I know we still spell words the same as I did in grade school over forty years ago.