And What I Didn’t
There’s a somewhat popular poster than heralds “Everything I Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.” Like all other mass-produced greeting-card-wisdom, that poster is full of enough bullshit to fertilize eight square miles of alfalfa fields.
You know what I learned in kindergarten? I learned fuck all. It was a complete waste of my time. For instance, in kindergarten I learned that there are twelve months in a year, I learned their names and I learned the seven days of the week. Neat, couldn’t have figured that out on my own, especially not with the free calendar I got at the supermarket. In kindergarten they also told me that grapes were purple, despite the fact that all the grapes I had ever seen were green, and they taught me that apples were red, despite the fact that my favorite apples were all green. I also learned that ‘a robot’ is not the appropriate response to the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
We also took the time to learn shapes. Now maybe this is important if you grow up to become an architect, but honestly, I could probably get through my whole life just fine if I had no idea what a circle or a triangle were called. Seriously, how often do triangles come up in your life? Really, even if it did become necessary at some point, you could look it up if you really had to know what to call a three sided figure.
In kindergarten I also learned to color. This is a really mindless activity. Some company has already produced a drawing and all I can do is add some color with my crayons. Not even oil pastels, crayons, just plain crayons. And what’s with this coloring nonsense anyway? It takes two or more people to be creative and make a picture? That’s not just bullshit, that’s called Communist indoctrination. “You’re not good enough!” these pictures screamed back at me “only collectively can we succeed.” Thank you Skyland Elementary of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, or should I just go ahead and call you Comrade Stalin?
Of course there are many things that I’ve wished I could’ve learned in kindergarten, but apparently there wasn’t time, what with all that important information to get across in just one year, such as “B” is for ball. Here’s what I should have been taught in kindergarten.
You know when you wake up in a strange woman’s bed after a night of drunken debauchery and all you want to do is leave, but you can’t because she’s still asleep, and if you leave while she’s still asleep you’ll feel kind of weird?
You know that situation; where you’re in a stranger’s house, sober now, and naked, in front of someone you don’t actually know, because you can’t find your underwear. Couldn’t I have been taught the best way to deal with this situation? Couldn’t this have been included in the kindergarten curriculum?
It’s similar, but different. When your co-worker is cheating on her boyfriend with you, but then you issue an ultimatum telling her that she has to choose between her boyfriend and you and she chooses her boyfriend but then he dumps her a couple days later and she blames you for wrecking her relationship and work gets really weird and uncomfortable? What are you supposed to do in that situation? Couldn’t that have been brought up somewhere between naptime and the Hokey Pokey?
Or like the time when you see a guy get gunned down in the street and you have to sit and watch him die in the street while you wait for the police to get your statement and then you go to the police station and they have you take a seat while they wait to record your testimony and then they sit the murderer right across the table from you while they’re processing his booking. Isn’t that awkward? I still have no idea of how to behave in that situation, but I do know how to stack blocks. Isn’t that useful?
See, kindergarten has failed me, and it’s probably failed you too. It didn’t prepare us for life, hell it barely prepared us for first grade. We should all find our kindergarten teachers and collectively smack them around for half an hour. After all, they wasted a year of our lives. Sure, I can paste construction paper, but what am I supposed to do when I see my dad crying? Humph. Kindergarten, what a gyp.