Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Being forced to volunteer

Community service. Public awareness. A sense of pride in accomplishment. These are things that school administrators in Maine might be thinking about with their newly proposed graduation requirement.

An overly full work-load. Less time with friends. Being forced to be near old people, some of whom might be as old as, like, 50, or something. These are things that students in Maine might be thinking about, having heard about the proposition.

But what exactly is being considered? Forcing the students to perform 40 hours of community service to graduate. 10 hours per year. 60 minutes over a five week span. And they're already complaining that it's too much to bear.

Look, kids, we understand. We feel for you. We remember a time when we found ourselves laboring away in the class room, pressured by the volumes of homework that we had to carry. We know what it's like to put together a part-time job on top of a full load of schoolwork. How else do you think we ended up blogging?

But here's the thing. You're being asked to give up twelve minutes per week. You know how you can gain that twelve free minutes? Why, just record everything you watch on television with a DVR. Cut out the commercials from one hour-long program, and you're left with at least 16 minutes, on average. So, after you're done watching "Gossip Girl", you can go, do some quick community service, and still have 4 minutes to spare before you start obsessing over "American Idol".

And, while we're thinking outside of the box, let's work to expand the notion of community service. Sure, there are things such as adopting portions of highway and visiting the elderly in nursing homes. Those are classics, and they'll always work. But what if you're a musically inclined kid with a bad back and an aversion to liver spots? Maybe your community service should be helping to educate the masses of your hometown on the finer points of the Coachella Music Festival. And, if you're a gamer, just think about how you could use your Wii skills helping the injured with their physical therapy (all up to the point where you devastate them. After all, if they're in therapy, there's no way that they can move as quickly as you, so exploit their weakness).

Now, if you don't mind, the commercial break for "Last Comic Standing" is almost over.

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