When my books are nearly done, I strive to cut 10% of the remaining words. Sometimes I end up cutting beloved passages that distract from the flow. Here's one of my favorites from The Case Against Education, building on my earliest K-12 memory.
I still remember my first day of kindergarten like it was
yesterday.Mrs. Sandefur opened the
classroom door, and stopped me when I tried to take a seat: "Oh, we don't sit
in the chairs.We sit Indian-style by
the blackboard."Amidst the
micro-management, no one explained the big picture: like Odysseus, I was
starting on a twenty-year journey, facing one obstacle after another.Some proved useful: reading, writing, and
math have served me well.Most did not:
P.E., art, music, poetry, Spanish, and general equilibrium theory were a waste
of time.But useful or not, I had to pass everything to pursue my
career.If I'd tempered my ambitions, I
could have left school at 18 or 22 instead of 26.But unless I wanted to wash dishes or clean
toilets, over a decade of school was fated on my first day of kindergarten.