Learning Less for Fun and Profit

Illustration by Cierra Pedro

Illustration by Cierra Pedro

Our kids are learning too damn much.

When was the last time you woke up to polynomials, rummaged through the tragic debris of the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, lunched with Huck Finn, then jumped into a volcano to explore the center of the earth?

Exhausting, right? And just try adding kickball! In Spanish.

If la pelota were in my court, I’ll tell you what I’d do: I’d teach Advanced Tweeting and Intermediate Kickstarter Campaigning. If you can create a compelling tweet and get people interested in your Kickstarter campaign, you’ve opened yourself up to millions. Or at least thousands. Perhaps tens. Especially if you can create a compelling potato salad—compelling tweets about compelling potato salads get the job done.

The question is this: How quickly can you monetize your child’s education? If this is your question, I have your answers:

• Does your child like to text her friends all day long? Encourage her, for an appropriate fee, to text other people’s friends on their behalf! For initial clients, canvas your workplace. Your boss, for instance, has no idea that the emoji is the new emoticon. Your kid can help. No more weird semicolon winks!

• Ever heard of Uber? Your preteen and his Schwinn can do it one better, with a fraction of the greenhouse gas. Let the wind blow back your hair: Ride to work on my handlebars. #BicycleBuiltForTwo. Kids can easily be taught to ferry adults to work in this manner, or on the back of a banana seat.

• Is your child passionate about beautifying the city? Well, there is one redeeming quality to reading Huck Finn: You learn how to paint a fence. Wasn’t that in Huck Finn? For this alone, I am grateful to Shakespeare, who also wrote so eloquently about the travails of Romeo at King Arthur’s Court.breaking_stuff_and_making_stuff_badge2

What the Bard of the Mississippi failed to understand, as do the teachers who assign such lengthy posts as Ophelia Karenina, is the power of brevity. Shakespeare, like his peers at USA Today, liked to go on and on, long after we had clicked on the link about antique fencing swords at Gold & Silver Pawn. The sad thing is, he had real skills, but squandered them. If Twelfth Nike had been a Vine video, he would have been famous. But at least he had the opportunity to direct Kenneth Branagh in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. I love the dark arts: Rembrandt is a favorite of mine. Since I’ve been using it, I’ve been able to switch back from vapes to the real thing.

Have I digressed? Let me return to my point, which will save both our education system and our economy: There are so many good ways to make a living these days, and not one of them has a thing to do with the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire. I’m told that some of them have to do with polynomials, but who has the time? There are easier ways. Like house-flipping: You buy a house, you remove the urine stains on the bathroom floorboards, you sell it for a lot more. It’s not only profitable; it’s a public service. Thanks to the efforts of house-flippers everywhere, we now have far fewer urine stains on the bathroom floorboards of foreclosed homes.

Another area in which we need to train our kids is event planning. I myself would like to plan an event for our future house-flippers, luring them to the Embassy Suites ballroom with free compilation DVDs of Rembrandt’s funniest lines from Harry Potter and the Whitewashed Fence. Then I would teach them how to flip houses by painting fences.

You can tweet about that, Tolstoy. Synergy, baby.

Former Vegas Seven editor Greg Blake Miller is the director of Olympian Creative Coaching & Consulting—personal training for the creative mind. Visit OlympianCreative.com.

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