6-Year-Old Stares Down Bottomless Abyss Of Formal Schooling

From The Onion.


First-grader Connor Bolduc does not have the capacity to imagine the scope of the hell he is in for.

CARPENTERSVILLE, IL—Local first-grader Connor Bolduc, 6, experienced the first inkling of a coming lifetime of existential dread Monday upon recognizing his cruel destiny to participate in compulsory education for the better part of the next two decades, sources reported.

“I don’t want to go to school,” Bolduc told his parents, the crushing reality of his situation having yet to fully dawn on his naïve consciousness. “I want to play outside with my friends.”

While Bolduc stood waiting for the bus to pick him up on his first day of elementary school, his parents reportedly were able to “see the wheels turning in his little brain” as the child, for the first time in his life, began to understand how dire and hopeless his situation had actually become.

Basic math—which the child has blissfully yet to learn—clearly demonstrates that the number of years before he will be released from the horrifying prison of formal schooling, is more than twice the length of time he has yet existed. According to a conservative estimate of six hours of school five days a week for nine months of the year, Bolduc faces an estimated 14,400 hours trapped in an endless succession of nearly identical, suffocating classrooms.

This nightmarish but undeniably real scenario does not take into account additional time spent on homework, extracurricular responsibilities, or college, sources said.

“I can’t wait until school is over,” said the 3-foot-tall tragic figure, who would not have been able, if asked, to contemplate the amount of time between now and summer, let alone the years and years of tedium to follow.

The concept of wasting a majority of daylight hours sitting still in a classroom when he could be riding his bicycle, playing in his tree fort, or lying in the grass looking at bugs—especially considering that he had already wasted two years of his life attending preschool and kindergarten—seemed impossibly unfair to Bolduc. Moreover, sources said, he had no idea how much worse the inescapable truth will turn out to be.

Shortly after his mommy, homemaker Ellen Bolduc, 31, assured him that he would be able to resume playtime “when school lets out,” Connor’s innocent brain only then began to work out the implication of that sentence to its inevitable, soul-crushing conclusion.

When pressed for more detail on the exact timing of that event, Mrs. Bolduc would only reply “soon.” At that point, the normally energetic child grew quiet before asking a follow-up question, “After [younger sister] Maddy’s birthday?” thereby setting the stage for the first of thousands of rushing realizations he will be forced to come to grips with over the course of his subsequent existence.

Madison Ellen Bolduc was born on Sept. 28.

After learning that the first grade will continue for eight excruciating months beyond that date, it was only a matter of time before Bolduc inquired into what grade comes after first grade, and, when told, would probe further into how many grades he will have to complete before allowed to play with his friends.

The answer to that fatal question—12, a number too large for Bolduc to count on the fingers of both hands—will be enough to nearly shatter the boy’s still-forming psyche, said child psychology expert Eli Wasserbaum.

“When you consider that it doesn’t include another four years of secondary education, plus five more years of medical school, if he wants to follow his previously stated goal to grow up to be a doctor like his daddy, this will come as an interminably deep chasm of drudgery and imprisonment to [Connor],” said Wasserbaum. “It’s difficult to know the effect on his psychological well-being when he grasps the full truth: that his education will be followed by approximately four decades of work, bills, and taxes, during which he will also rear his own children to face the same fate, all of which will, of course, be followed by a brief, almost inconsequential retirement, and his inevitable death.”

“Even a 50-year-old adult would have trouble processing such a monstrous notion,” Wasserbaum added. “Oh my God, I’m 50 years old.”

The first of Bolduc’s remaining 2,299 days of school will resume at 8 a.m. tomorrow. On the next 624 Sundays, he will also be forced to attend church.

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  1. Regarding public education: one issue to tackle is that in many working class and even middle class households it is financially necessary for both parents to work. What to do with the kids while mommy and daddy work? Why, send them to public school, it’s free!

    Being a father of a household with one working parent (me,) I think I’ve identified the culprits here: household debt and the design of our communities, both of which are connected.

    50% of average household expenditures go toward transportation and housing. I suspect that a lot of that has been going toward consumer debt on automobiles and housing (at bubble prices until recently!) Then, of course there’s other consumer debt. Much of this debt is subsidized one way or another through the tax code (tax breaks on interest paid on mortgages and education loans) or simply through the functions of fractional reserve banking. So you have a working class family living it large, but barely able to keep up with the bills.

    Both parents are consequently locked into wage slavery with employers that don’t allow them to be parents while on the clock. How does the design of our communities contribute to this? Consider a traditional village in any part of the world. You likely have a close knit community of extended family living nearby, sometimes even sharing housing which is outright owned. No mortgage payment, no rent, and child care is built into the living arrangement with older children, aunts, uncles, and grandparents within a stones throw or maybe even in the same household. Also, this village (or even city, if you are looking at places like Vienna, old parts of Shanghai, London, Cuzco, etc.) is entirely walkable. You don’t need a personal automobile to live in these kind of places.

    Average household expenditures in 2009 were nearly $50K. Ask those families if they can afford to have one parent stay at home to take care of the children. They can’t. Not without losing their house and both cars. They’d likely then have to move into a crappy apartment complex behind a Wal Mart and take the bus, which is incredibly inefficient in a suburban city design.

    We’ve built communities that literally don’t allow families to go without at least one car payment (probably two) and a huge mortgage or rent payment. We’ve encouraged them to over leverage themselves. And we’ve compensated them by providing public schooling so they can barely keep afloat while neglecting their children. This should be seen as massive social engineering on the scale of a 1984 style dystopia. Yet everyone in this country sees it as entirely normal, as if there *is no other way to live.*

    I’ll likely expand this into a ATS/TDA article.

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