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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Common Core Nursery Stories

As states across the country implement broad changes in curriculum from kindergarten through high school, English teachers worry that they will have to replace the dog-eared novels they love with historical documents and nonfiction texts. The Common Core State Standards in English, which have been adopted in 46 states and the District, call for public schools to ramp up nonfiction so that by 12th grade students will be reading mostly “informational text” instead of fictional literature.  - Lyndsey Layton, Washington Post
... and the Third Little Pig, who built his house of BRICKS, said, "The TENSILE STRENGTH of STRAW is surprisingly high, at around 380, but the Izod Impact Test reveals a laughably low IMPACT STRENGTH, and that STRAW is especially prone to BUCKLING, FOULING, CREEPING, and FATIGUE.  TWIGS yield somewhat better results across the spectrum of strength tests, but they are uniquely prone to FRACTURE and STRESS-CORROSION CRACKING. Mortared BRICK has shown itself superior in all strength tests with the additional benefit of being flame-resistant, allowing me to have a fire place."
... and Little Red Ridinghood opened the door and said, "You are not my grandmother at all, but a some manner of quadruped.  You are mammalian, but the similarity ends there.  For instance, my grandmother was - for I begin to guess that she is already dead - a female, whereas you, judging by the rudimentary development of your teats, are clearly male.  Your large sharp teeth - the better to tear meat with - indicate you are a carnivore, a surmise confirmed by the placement your forward-facing eyes - the better to see your prey.  Judging by these facts in conjunction with your large ears - the better to hear with - and your elongated muzzle, I see you are a wolf!"  And she ran out the door.
"... if you kiss me," the frog promised, "I will turn into a handsome prince and marry you."  "That seems hardly likely," the princess retorted.  "I am aware that frogs begin life as fish-like tadpoles, breathing through internal or external gills, and as they develop into mature frogs, acquire legs and lungs, and live partly on land.  But the process stops there, and in any case, no frog could turn into a mammal any more than a butterfly could become a parakeet."  "But I am no ordinary frog," the frog explained, "I'm an emblematic frog for the prepubescent aversion towards the exchange of bodily fluids, and a transitional device illustrating the interpersonal and societal rewards awaiting females who successfully overcome their initial revulsion."  "In that case, you are merely a metaphor," the princess exclaimed, "and a Freudian metaphor at that, and - as I well know - Freud has been thoroughly debunked by cognitive psychology."  And she smashed him with a heavy rock, not a metaphorical Freudian rock, but an actual rock made of actual granite, and that was the end of that.

1 comment:

  1. I shudder to think about Snow White. Come to think of it, I blogged on that a while back.