Monday, August 17, 2009

1001 Ways To Tune Up The World, Number Twelve

Once you get started, it's kind of addictive, this "making the world a better place through my ideas..."

12. Abolish gym class; instead, teach kids to play musical instruments.

This will go against the grain of the whole kids-are-fat-so-make-them-exercise regime, but it just so happens that I'm right, for a couple of reasons.

First, forcing kids to exercise makes them hate it, and I have proof: we used to make our kids bike, or jog, or exercise, and they fought against it every step of the way. Once we gave up, they exercised on their own. Even Oldest, who isn't especially fond of movement, jogs.

Second, what's gained by forcing kids to play games and/or learn the rules of sports? What good is that? How will knowing the rules of volleyball ever help me in life? Kids who want to play games will play them, and they'll learn the rules the way we learned the rules for the World Series Of Whiffle Ball: make them up. When they get serious about sports, they'll learn the rules from coaches. Kids who don't like sports won't gain from being forced to do them, and it may harm them, as other kids pick on them for not being good at sports. Or it'll make them forever remember being picked last. (I'm looking at me, here.)

You may ask: Why force kids to learn music, if forcing them to learn sports is so bad? I'm glad you did ask that, person in my imagination. The answer is: we force kids to learn all kinds of stuff that they don't want to do... if it's good for them. And music, unlike sports, is both good for kids and something they wouldn't, or couldn't, learn on their own. Music, unlike sports, encourages the kind of thinking and brain development that we want to foster in people. A love of music spills over into an appreciation and understanding of other areas, from poetry to math. And music, unlike sports, is something that requires instruction and guidance. Kids on their own will throw a ball or chase each other or play "Horse." Kids on their own can't learn to read sheet music or play a clarinet.

I hope by the time Mr F and Mr Bunches hit grade school, they come home telling me they got picked first for marching band, and they never mention gym class.

Prior entries:

11. Change copyright laws to allow anyone to use anyone else's creative work provided that the copier pay 60% of the profit to the originator and that the copier not cast the original work in a negative light.

10. Have more sidewalk cafes and outdoor seating.

9. When you have to give someone a gift, ask them what they want, and then get that thing for them.

8. Never interrupt or finish someone's jokes.

7. Periodically, give up something you like for at least a month.

6. Switch to "E-money."

5. Have each person assigned one phone number, and then add an extension for the various phones and faxes that person might be reached at.

4. Abolish Mondays and Tuesdays.

3. Don't listen to interviews with athletes or comedians.

2. Have "personal cashiers" at the grocery store.

Don't earn more than $200,000 per year.


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