The Bounty of De-Schooling

“How many hours a day do you guys spend Googling, You-Tubing, Wikipedia-ing?” asks Paul, a retired psychologist and an Onc (see Immortality Club, 8-2-2018, typakmusings.com).

“Almost every waking hour,” admits Richard, a retired tax lawyer. “A sad commentary on my education, with which there is almost a complete disconnect.”

“Inevitable under pressure to specialize,” assents Bob, a retired ophthalmologist. “In college we have to choose a major and, in grad school, a field. Then as a professional you specialize. What was your major, Richard?”

“English. The disconnect between English and law school is total. All the poetry and prose I’ve read and analyzed is absolutely useless. But there is another disconnect between law school and tax law, because you have to forget just about everything you study in law school, to learn the tax laws, federal, state, local, levied on income, payroll, property, sales, capital gains, dividends, imports, estates, gifts, fees, to make sure the government collects a quarter of the GDP. Then they revise and redact every now and then just for the heck of it to keep you on your toes and leave no time for anything else.”

“Nobody has mentioned the 12 pre-college years of elementary and secondary schooling,” Paul notes, “meaning tacit acceptance of it as useful intellectual foundation for subsequent college and beyond for what it is, I presume.”

“Are you kidding?” Richard huffs. “What rubbish I had to memorize for finals and the SAT, geography, history, math, science, and literature! What a waste of intellectual energy! Actually, I agree with the Korean system, prior to the 2007 American style reform, that allows a high school graduate to sit for the bar exam (see Revise the 3 R’s to 4 R’s and Make America the First All-Lawyer Nation to Root Out Violence, 11-22-2018, typakmusings.com).”

“Ditto for medicine,” Bob adds. “You don’t need to fool around with 4 years of premed. A high school grad can go directly into the regular medical course.”

“Actually, in Korea before 2007 all professional schooling began at college level,” I weigh in, “College of law, engineering, medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, agriculture, music, fine art, liberal arts, divinity, or what have you.”

“But, Richard, didn’t you say one didn’t have to graduate from law college to take the bar?” asks Bill, a retired captain and graduate of the Merchant Marine Academy. “Why, then, bother to go to law college if it is not required to take the bar?”

“For the cachet of LL.B. or BA in Law,” I say. “Many took the bar while in law college, the passage rate naturally higher than high school graduates. On the other hand, some law graduates couldn’t pass year after year.”

“That is enlightening, Ty!” exclaims Bob. “If Korean high school graduates could pass the bar, then our American kids can do the same and pass other professional exams, too, especially given the increasing sophistication of educational and professional YouTube videos, if they are allowed to watch them instead of wasting 4 years, trudging back and forth to high school classes, jumping through hoops.”

“Granted we eliminate high school, grades 9 through 12, for independent study,” posits Paul, “do we leave alone pre-high school grades 1 – 8, elementary and middle, to provide the 3 R’s necessary for them to read and understand the subjects, law, engineering, medicine, and so forth?”

“Scrapping elementary and middle school is a cinch, given the abundance of state of the art online resources to teach the 3 R’s,” I assert. “But even the traditional 3 R’s are largely wasteful, cramming the young minds with useless names, dates, places, which should be replaced by a curriculum on rules or law (see Revise the 3 R’s to 4 R’s), so that by the time they graduate from high school they’ll all be lawyers.”

“But that means the demise of my profession?” Richard moans.

“No, not everybody can be a good advocate even for their own cause and would rather hire those with greater aptitude for it who advertise themselves as Attorney at Law, Barrister, Lawyer, Esquire,” I explain. “It’s only for law that I call for this, because law is one of the 4 R’s and the entire population beyond the 12th grade should be able to access the courts as lawyers to prevent blood feuds and vendettas. The other professions, founded on the 4 R’s, are certified by some national agency to ensure the practitioners’ qualifications.”

I stop to take a breath and resume.

“That proposal, however, was on the assumption that high school existed and enforced some form of certification like a GED test on the 4R’s. Since this is no longer the case and no school exists including high school, it’s not 4 R’s any more but are open to all the professions or fields of knowledge to explore. Spared the waste and drudgery of going to elementary and middle school day in and day out for 8 years, children, not particularly precocious, can go on to prepare not only for the bar exam but for medical board exam, engineering exam, or even merchant marine test Bill had to pass at, how old were you?”

“24, but I see your point,” Bill nods. “We now do most of our navigational training virtually and I can imagine a teenager or even a preteen getting the hang of it just as well as a 24-year-old, provided he learns all the other stuff.”

“So you make them start working that young?” Richard asks, astounded.

“Certainly,” I reassure him. “I envision the average professional working age to be 15, which, combined with the retirement age of 90 (see 90 (=85+5), the New Retirement Age, Incorporating the Mortality Constant, 11-16-2018, typakmusings.com), will multiply the working population, stanching Social Security hemorrhage.”

“I have just one concern,” Paul interjects. “What about cutting-edge scientists, writers, thinkers, typically ensconced in the ivory tower of academia?”

“They’ll find their niches in industries, the majority of them small, one-person outfits of self-employment and, unencumbered by academia, civilization will take off like a rocket.”

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