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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

What would you do if you won the lottery?

I've been playing the lottery a little bit lately. I know, I know, my odds of winning are one in infinity, but it got me thinking: what would I do with all that money? When people are asked this question they always give the same boring answers. They're going to pay their bills, get a new car, move to a nicer house, and on and on and on. The answer they give is almost always that they're going to spend that money on themselves, on their families and their friends.

Okay, so they've got fifty million or so after taxes and they plan to live like they think a millionaire is supposed to live. There are worse ways to spend your money, I suppose. There are some truly awful ways some people spend money. Lots of millionaires spend their money on drugs. That, never ends well. Some millionaires—George Soros—spend their money by doing everything they can to destroy America from within. Whether they send their money directly to al-Qaeda, or donate their money to politicians who pledge to make laws furthering an anti-American agenda the result is the same: America grows weaker. Abortion, drug legalization, nuclear disarmament, welfare, affirmative action, homosexuality, alternative lifestyles, alternative energy sources, public sector unions, are just a few of the misguided agendas that every day do untold and ever more unimaginable damage to America from within. A terrorist flies a plane into a skyscraper and kills a few thousand Americans. A Democrat in black robes bangs down his gavel and kills fifty-two million Americans.

So buying a bunch of possessions isn't exactly the wrong answer, but is it the right answer? Today I don't have a lot of money, so I don't have to answer that question, but if I ever do have a lot of money I think I'll owe it not only to myself, but to God and to my country, to find not just any answer, but the right answer. Even though I don't have the money, I gave it a lot of thought and I do have that answer. If I won the lottery the first thing I'd do is talk to a tax attorney to find out how to deny as much money as possible to Uncle Sam. Ideally I'd keep all of it from his greedy grasping clutches. I'd do this by setting up a non-profit Christian organization and then donating most if not all of my winnings to that non-profit.

I know that most of the hours spent in my days and years of public schooling were a complete waste of time. I regret those wasted hours and days and years, and so I'd like to help others from having to suffer through what I did, what you did, what all of us did. We suffered tedious day after day through monotone lectures on topics as dry and pointless as stale toast, and I'd like to know why? If I had to read a book it was always a boring one. Once I learned basic fundamentals of math, if I had to learn a mathematical concept, never did anyone explain to me a practical use for it. Why do I need to know the names of all the states and their capitals? And that was in the days before Google. Today there's even less reason to memorize lists of things. School has become not a place to give children an education, but a storage facility to take care of the children when their parents are at work.

I would like to create a Christian charter school where placement is awarded not through a lottery system but through academic, athletic, and social competition. I remember that the most enjoyable and rewarding times at school for me, were when the teacher encouraged classroom competition just for the fun of it or sometimes for a token prize. I also remember that free-time to do my own thing was the kind of token prize that would absolutely guarantee my full attention.

Consider this fact: it takes the average person about twenty minutes to walk a mile. So if the goal of a particular class is to walk one mile, it stands to reason that some kids will walk faster and some slower and some will want to run. If you keep the class together as a group, it will take more than twenty minutes for the entire class to walk that mile. However, if you let them go at their own pace, guess what will happen? Some will reach the finish line in half that time. Not only that, but if you tell them it's a race then all of a sudden lots of them will reach the finish line in half the time, some in less than half! A few are going to lag behind of course, because that's just the kind of person they are. They never run, not when they're allowed to dawdle. Kids like these will not be attending my charter school.

I believe the chances of academic success can be greatly improved by encouraging early specialization. In my opinion, it's a waste of time trying to teach everything to every kid. Some people are better with language, some with math, some with the various sciences, some with cultural and social studies, and for some, tools. When we're plunked down in a class where we're just not interested or intrigued by the teacher it's either because the teacher or the material is not interesting to us. To me, history was mildly interesting, but geography was the ultimate in boring. It never mattered to me that on this particular day a bunch of pissed-off colonials dumped tea into a harbor. Who cares when? Tell me instead, why?

My school would be a "learn at your own pace" computer assisted learning environment. Those who ran rather than walked would find lots of free time waiting at the finish line. Perhaps even tangible rewards, within reason of course. Learn fast and win more free time, perhaps even a seat at the captain’s table for lunch. (That's me. I'm the captain. You didn't think I'd win a fifty-million dollar lottery and not get anything out of it, did you?)

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