Prep School Quandary: No One Knows What to “Prepare” Students For

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The School of Soft Rings Hits the World of Hard Knocks

June 19, 20101

For over a hundred years, Preparatory Schools across the Northeastern Region of the United States have prepared students for the rigors of college and the business world, by investing in a student’s knowledge, by building character, and by teaching students the convoluted task of looping a tie into place; two minutes before dinner. However, now that New England’s manufacturing sector has rusted out, the country’s financial sector has descended into a branch of disorganized crime, and changing technology obliterates entire professions and paychecks in micro-seconds; prep schools admit that they no longer know what to “prep”,— or prepare, —students for.

Headmaster Harvey Coxfield acknowledged that New Hampshire Pre-Prosperous Academy was restructuring its curriculum to meet the confusion of the unpredictable world economy. Addressing an alumni gathering inside the Academy’s stone and yellowed stained glass church, Mr. Coxfield made the following announcement:

“After a four hour faculty discussion, which we documented in five languages, three still spoken by living people today, the curriculum committee voted to eliminate the Academy’s ‘Roman Aqueduct’ lecture series.  However, ‘interested’ students can still take four semesters of ‘Latin’ and our ‘Agricultural Water Wheels Course’, and use the academy’s study hall period to reconstruct the ‘Roman Aqueduct’ lecture notes”.

Other preparatory schools are scrambling to adapt to the new world economy in a variety of ways.

For example, New Hampshire’s Cushing Academy announced that it was eliminating “books” and replacing them with Kindles and educational downloads.

Nearby New Tuliford academy quickly followed suit and announced it would eliminate “schedules”.

Tuliford officials said that clock-bound class schedules and fixed dinner hours restrict the development of a student’s “flexibility” skills. Officials noted that such skills are increasingly needed to survive, and bend over backwards to be nice to clients, in today’ global business world.  

Officials also said that Tuliford students will be taught to pursue their academic interests “whenever an intellectual surge” hits.

Academy officials insist that surge-based studying will prepare students for the ebbs and flows of today’s wired and google-connected world; where a crisis or cell phone call can erupt from anywhere on the globe, as well as from satellites in space.

In contrast, Walden Preparatory Institute declared that Walden would continue the tradition of requiring students to take two years of Greek; as a prerequisite for entering Latin class and for receiving permission to consume food on,—-or within a ten mile radius of,—– campus.

Walden alumni took the occasion, as they do each year, to deride the outsourcing of New England’s agricultural production to the rich soils of Midwest which “has allowed the American farmer to participate in the gluttony of rock free plowing”, which, in turn, threatens to “debase the character, and government subsidy, of the American farmer and household head”.

Headmasters  Express Their View

As Preparatory Schools struggled to find the right balance between the proper level of education and unemployment of future graduates, the admissions office at Dartmouth College released its survey of one hundred headmasters of the top Preparatory Schools.

According to the Dartmouth website, when Preparatory School headmasters were asked what was the best way to prepare students for the economy of the future:

—-70 Preparatory School headmasters answered: “provide a six semester course in lifetime debt management”

—22 prep school headmasters answered: “offer two courses in organic agriculture and reduce hockey season to one game of foosball”


— 8 prep school headmasters answered: “better train students to think in classical Greek, debate in ancient Latin, and pray in formal Babylonian.”

According to the Dartmouth website, when Preparatory School headmasters were asked to provide ways their graduates could improve the world:

—60 Preparatory School head masters answered: “they could send Haiti’s farmers New England’s annual surplus of unraked leaves”

—22 prep school head masters answered: “they could help us enroll more high tuition paying Asian students”


—18 prep school head masters answered: “they could come here and teach a course in Greek debt management.”

According to the Dartmouth website when Preparatory School headmasters were asked to predict the area of work the bulk of their students would be doing in ten years time:

—60 Preparatory School headmasters said: teaching in public schools.

— 25 prep school head masters said: teaching in private prep-schools.


—15 prep school headmasters said: ”designing, selling, or manufacturing poorly looped neck ties”.

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One Response to “Prep School Quandary: No One Knows What to “Prepare” Students For”

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