8/28/09 11:09 AMSchooling versus ParentingPage 2 of 3http://home.comcast.net/~erozycki/ThirdRock.html
entertainment rating than Professional Wrestling ( a televised pastime in which hypertrophied Earthlingsengage in mock combat to induce other normally quiescent Earthlings to exercise their respiratory apparatusby vigorous contraction of the diaphragm, accompanied by gluteal fibrillation).
Players and Optimal Roles: brief directions for fitting in
The roles characterized below are given the depiction, hardly the only one, that ensures the agent's fitting inwithout arousing suspicion. It is important to recognize that other variations may draw attention to theindividual agent and thus undermine the mission.
Role 1: Public School Parent --
This type is distinguished by occasional expressions of concern for"fairness" and "equity" or "equal opportunity." (Private school parents seek "escape," or "specialconsideration" or "values" and are given to ejaculate, "Life is not fair.") However, despite ideologicalarticulations concerning equity, the parental role requires one to recognize that some children -- one's ownchild -- are to be treated more "fairly" than others. Discipline is best served on the children of others;whereas special considerations are justifiable only when they fall on one's own. Parents need recognize norequest of the school requiring parent-child interaction that is less than pleasurable or entertaining. If specialconsiderations -- e.g., freedom from suspension or from receiving failing grades or detentions -- can besecured for one's child, then they must be, even at the severe expense of the rest of the children in theschool. However, upon receiving such considerations, one must repeatedly proclaim that one does not wishone's one offspring to be considered as somehow "different" from any other child. Finally, always persist inthe idea that one's children were conceived to become clones of oneself, struggling against any expressionson the offspring's part of independence of thought or attitude from the convictions the parent has beenconditioned into.
Role 2: Public School Teacher
-- Because it flatters your superiors, be optimistic. Competence, intelligence,and thoughtfulness are a distant second to this: do not display such qualities unless you let it be known firstthat you are working on an administrative certificate. Never ask whether the goals you pursue are providedadequate resources. Cross your fingers and repeat ten times daily, "The classroom teacher controls thecritical variables that affect the learning of children." Like parents, you must talk about fairness, but refrainfrom insisting that bullying, assault, or obscene behavior in the classroom be stopped if it has been officiallydesignated "a manifestation of a disability."
Role 3: Building Administrator
-- This is a difficult one. You will be confronted by Earthling teachers whowill believe that a modicum of student discipline and intellectual development is desirable. Parents will takeyou to task for not being authoritative enough -- thus sparing them the need to discipline their youngsters --while at the same time not "cutting their kid a break" when you actually try to deal with the child's behavior.Your bosses will expect you to "keep the lid on," garner good publicity, give them credit for your goodideas, and do more with less, year after year. Appear to be optimistic. (You can drop the pretense privatelynow that you are no longer a teacher.) Look around hard for another job. Look for easy problems to solve.Solve them with much fanfare. Delegate really hard ones to committee -- thus showing your commitment tosite-based management approaches. Listen. Listen. Listen. People equate this with patience and concern. Dolittle or nothing. Time takes care of many problems. Other jobs open up.
Role 4: Board Member or State Officer
-- You have most likely never been a Public School Parent (Seeabove). Run the schools the way most Earthlings misconceive that their business organizations are run, e.g.,bottom-line focused, highly concerned with efficiency, rewarding only those who produce. Talk up thismythology. Develop a repertoire of ready slogans you will repeat on any occasion when trapped into making