Social Engineering

For once I had a kid listening to me. Cool! Then came my second proclamation “If you know math. I mean really know it. You can pin an employer on the ground and pull money out of their hands. And they’ll thank you for it.” The kid nodded. “You can do this when half of your peers are washing dishes and aspiring to become a Wal-Mart greeter.” The kid was drifting but I yammered on like the old fart that I am. She dozed the next few seconds and came to as I was finishing my monologue “…drive your enemies before you. That is what is good.”

The kid, sensing an opportunity, shoved another homework assignment my way. What’s this? It wasn’t algebra at all. I glanced around for an escape. There was none. I skimmed the paper.

“This,” I began, “is not math. It is social engineering.”

“Um…” The kid looked uncertain. “I don’t think they call it that.”

“Of course they don’t!” I groused. “They don’t call it bullshit either. Yet that’s what it is.”

“Er… What’s ‘social engineering’?” The kid asked.

“Social engineering is when an unqualified worker in the employment of the State takes it upon themselves to manipulate children as they see fit.” I sipped more coffee. “An activity formerly reserved for people deemed more appropriate, such as clergy or respected elders.” I reflected further “or sometimes cult leaders and gangs. Maybe Mafia leaders. You know what I’m saying?”

The kid looked at the paper. She did not know what I was saying.

“But I’ll help you. It’s time to see if your teacher has a sense of humor.”

From The Adaptive Curmudgeon’s Blog.

Read Part I and Part II.

I want him to teach my grandkids algebra.

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