Today is a big day because we’re getting new screens on the house. The old screens are in shreds. Some don’t even exist. When we open our windows, bugs fly in, and birds fly in after the bugs, and cats come in after the birds, then dogs come after the cats, which are followed by officers from the county animal control department, and then come the salesmen. It’s all very unsettling.

Ironically, we have put off getting new screens because we value our privacy. Putting up new screens means someone will be looking in through our windows. But we have finally decided that an hour’s loss of privacy is better than a having a houseful of creatures. Oh — I just had an idea: why not scare the screen installers by putting fake cadavers in all the beds, and in chairs facing the windows? No, that’s crazy. Where can you get fake cadavers on such short notice? Most of them are working in schools. No, wait. Those are real cadavers.

Not that I have any opinions on the current state of education, now much improved by the president’s visionary “No Child Left with a Mind.” Thanks to him, the future looks bright indeed. And then, here in Oregon, we have the CIM. CIM stands for Certificate of Initial Mastery. To earn a CIM, high school students must meet certain basic requirements and take a bunch of tests to prove they can read, write, add, and subtract, all at the eighth-grade level. This progressive “idea” ensures that students will be “better prepared to live and work in the twenty-first century.” Of course, students know all along that the CIM is meaningless. Employers don’t care about it, colleges find it amusing. The CIM program was launched several years ago to much fanfare. Now they are talking about ditching the effort and the paperwork expense that goes with it, along with the CAM. What is CAM? CAM stands for Certificate of Advanced Mastery. The handful of students who earn a CAM are so smart that they can do algebra and write in complete sentences. In other words, they pose a threat to our security, because they are less likely to fall prey to the military recruiters who periodically invade our high schools and dare kids to be “an army of one.”

Now, as I write these words, my shoe is being chewed on by a raccoon that came in through one of our screenless windows, and several blue jays are squawking at me from atop my computer monitor. Even worse, the squirrels somehow managed to open our son’s desk drawer, and are burying his CIM in the backyard. So much for his future.

Also by William Michaelian

Winter Poems

ISBN: 978-0-9796599-0-4
52 pages. Paper.
Another Song I Know
ISBN: 978-0-9796599-1-1
80 pages. Paper.
Cosmopsis Books
San Francisco

Signed copies available

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