September means it’s back to school for millions of students including those enrolled in Washington’s P. S. 1600 located on Pennsylvania Avenue. Those entering their sixth year of schooling can look forward to the following classes:
For first time students, this course will serve as a helpful introduction to the history of different interesting areas of the world. This year, special attention will be given to Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq to illustrate how regional wars can be avoided. The midterm test will include essay questions on Iran and the Middle East. Students who fail to complete this course will be condemned to repeat it.
This year students will study elementary finance and budgeting. They’ll explore the concepts of surpluses and deficits and discover how the former can quickly lead to the latter through the creative use of tax cuts, excess military spending and untendered contracts. Students will learn the magic of negative numbers as in 300 billion minus 800 billion equals minus 500 billion.
Health and Science
Students will explore the basics of life including the utility of embryonic stem cell research on samples that would otherwise be discarded. The Health section of the course will center on individual hygiene and how to obtain basic medical coverage. Examples include Medicare, Medicaid and membership in one of the three branches of the federal government.
Grammatical structure will be the centerpiece of this year’s course. Special emphasis will be placed on clear communication and avoidance of vague and misleading phrases (e.g. - the war on terror, compassionate conservatism, weapons of mass destruction). Students who want to get a head start on this year’s reading list can begin with "The Stranger" by Albert Camus. Advanced students may wish to try "Catch-22" by Joseph Heller or "Heart of Darkness" by Joseph Conrad.
Course not offered 2001-2009.
This course offers an introduction to various Washington-based physical education pursuits including everything from jogging to brush clearing. If time permits, the syllabus will also include recreational cycling. However, given security concerns, some students may have to pursue their studies on a stationary bicycle where they will exert the same amount of energy without actually experiencing any forward progress.
This is a course offered to those students looking towards an eventual career in the political arts. Under the tutelage of one of P. S. 1600's favorite teachers, Mr. Rove, students will learn the skills needed to demonize any political opponent. The course employs the case study method including "John McCain’s illegitimate child" and "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth."