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Sunday, January 18, 2015

"Give a Shit," A Song for the David Colemans of the World

There's a pretty haunting, well-known quote by Common-Core-touting David Coleman, "as you grow up in this world you realize people don't give a shit about what you feel or what you think."  He makes this statement in opposition to expository writing of a personal nature.  I recognize that we don't want to encourage undeserved bloated egos, but on the flip side, neither should we deny the importance of lessons learned by analyzing personal experience through literature, or music for that matter.  Autobiographies have always been one of my favorite forms of writing.  

Moreover, we don't need to smack down a generation and brand them as failures in the name of Common Core.  Ultimately, there is nothing more important in life than one's faith in one's self.  It is more important than any formula or fact.  It propels one forward.  We are not standardized.  We have diverse talents and interests.  We need to celebrate them.  We don't need to label so many a failure by false measuring sticks.  If we do this, we do a grand disservice to students--because of someone else's bloated ego.

In that spirit, here is an answer to David Coleman, set to the tune of "Give a Damn" (1968) by Spanky and Our Gang

"Give a Shit"

If you sit in desks with me
Third floor, thru the misery
Of testing prep in morning light,
It's such a fright.
Take a window seat, put down your phone,
You can throw someone a bone,
Just meet the faces that you meet
Past the standardized test scores.

And it might begin to teach you
How to give a shit about a little kid.
And it might begin to teach you
How to give a shit about a little kid.

Or take your students' test sometime
With sasquatch in place of something fine,
With a rotten, talking pineapple
By his side,
And wonder if you'll share your head
With something else like pencil lead,
For fear may be inside you
Or it may creep down the hall.


Come and see how well despair
Is seasoned by the test-filled air,
See your school come the good old
Sizzling Common Core.
Suppose the students all became sick
Pounded down by false measuring sticks
Suppose you'd schooled there all your life,

D'you think that you would mind?
And it might begin to reach you
Why I give a shit about a little kid;
And it might begin to teach you
How to give a shit about a little kid
And it might begin to reach you
Why we give a shit

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