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August 19, 2009

Don’t get me wrong – Lincoln, Washington, Jackson, Hamilton, Roosevelt, and Jefferson are awesome. I am no expert on pedagogy, but I think high school students suffer for not having enough exposure to their letters and to their own practical and theoretical work on the development of the United States.

Kind of like how high school biology could benefit from de-emphasizing the pseudo-surgical exploration of frog spleens, a bottom-up approach toward understanding biodiversity, in service of a curriculum equipped to use evolution as a top-down framework for seeing how all life goes.

If America wants Americans to really dig America, they should consider placing our best and brightest in our wallets, piggy banks, stamps, and elsewhere. There’s a bigger picture to be understood than the frog spleen/presidents with whom we’ve always contented ourselves.* Below is a partial list of people I’d recommend.

Starting with the wheat guy, and moving right: Norman Borlaug, Mark Twain, Harper Lee, Harry Houdini, John Cage, Albert Einstein, Tom Waits, Charles Ives, Elliott Carter, Carl Sagan, Bob Dylan, George Marshall, Richard Feynman

* I know Benjamin Franklin wasn’t a president. Go write a history book, you fucking pedant.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. Kari permalink
    August 19, 2009 9:53 am

    How about some non-white person? Cesear Chavez maybe? MLK?

    • Barry permalink*
      August 19, 2009 9:56 am

      Sounds good. Langston Hughes and Thurgood Marshall definitely fit, too.

      • Barry permalink*
        August 19, 2009 10:10 am

        Miles Davis, too!

      • Ian permalink*
        August 19, 2009 11:35 am

        let’s put together a list of the 150 million most important Americans!

    • Barry permalink*
      August 19, 2009 11:52 am

      Of all time?

  2. Kris permalink
    August 19, 2009 11:51 am

    Vince Lombardi

  3. Aaron permalink
    August 19, 2009 12:17 pm

    Harriet Tubman, Robert Kennedy, George Melville, Sitting Bull, MLK, Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, Annie Sullivan, Louis Armstrong, Hank Williams, Henry David Thoreau, Howard Garnder, Jacoby Ellsbury

  4. David permalink
    August 20, 2009 1:38 pm

    Michael Jordan.

    John Elway (in South Park at least).

    James Gandolfini.

    Tom Hanks.

    Bill Murray.

  5. David permalink
    August 20, 2009 3:49 pm

    Jerry Seinfeld.

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