Doug's Standardized Test

9835038 – cartoon image of a boy in school taking a test.

Many of the secondary schools are adding to their curriculum, classes that would make graduates in tune with the real world. Things like filling out a tax return, writing a resume, balancing a checkbook, applying for a home loan. I can’t argue with that. These are things that a student should learn in school.

        But as usual, these don’t go far enough. That is why I am writing a standardized test for people who want to live in the real world. The school’s idea is to teach the students how to think, but the real common sense stuff that they really need to know how is to cope in the real world. That is why I have written a standardized test for common sense stuff that schools leave out of their curriculum.    

        I am going to give you a sample. I am sure that after reading the small sample you will see that the government should immediately send me money equal to a couple of nuclear aircraft carriers in the form of a tax free grant to complete my test.

        Question No. 1. (Math) Assume that you start on a five hundred mile family trip with a fifteen-gallon tank of gas and a car that gets 26.4 MPG. If you are bucking a 30 MPH headwind and your tires are inflated to 29.2 psi, how far will you have to travel before someone has to go to the bathroom?

        The answer here is obvious. Someone who is lost in the world of Mathematics will immediately waste her/his time in complex equations in search of a mathematical answer when the real answer is easy if you have ever lived in the real world! Someone will always have to go to the bathroom two minutes after you have left the house or passed the first rest stop.

        Do you see how MY test cuts right to the real issue?

        Question No. 2 (Algebra) If Moe can paint a house in 10 hours and Larry can paint the same house in 12 hours, how many hours will it take them to complete the job working together? (A: 22 hours;  B: 11 hours;  C: Pie; D: 5.29563067895 hours but only if Curly brings cold beer.)

        Answer: HA! Trick question. Those people are stooges! They never finish a job and you should never hire them for any job. Now, how many of you wasted your time trying out silly Algebra formulas when the real answer was obvious to a common-sense real-world person.

        Question No. 3 (English)  Complete the Phrase:  “Who knows for whom the bell tolls;  it tolls for __________.”  (A: thee, B: me  C: hours and hours without end,  D: None of the above.)

        Answer:  Well now, English teachers would say the correct answer is “A” and that this is a famous line from the literary giant Tennessee “Papa” Shakespeare, who wrote nearly everything that you will read in English class. However this brings up a more important issue. Are English teachers real people? I say a toll is something you pay to travel on certains highways. Bells do not travel on highways. This is another example of how English teachers are not in tune with the real world.

        Question No. 4. (Health) It is important to start each day by: (A: eating a balanced breakfast,  B:  a regimen of moderate exercise,  C: reading the morning newspaper,  D: scatching, belching, and spitting.)

        Answer:  Yes, gentle readers, I know what you have been told. But experience and observation tell you the real answer, doesn’t it? Think real world. This is a no-brainer.

        Question No. 5  (History) The greatest invention in the history of the world is:  (A: Fire  B: The wheel, C:  The lever,  D:  Beer)

Answer:  Again, another no-brainer. By now you should all know me. Enough said.

        Question No. 6  (Manners and Etiquette.)  You are at a very fancy restaurant with your boss and some important clients when you notice, to your horror, that your boss something disgusting hanging from one of his nostrils. You should: (A: Vigorously wave and then point to your own nose to give this cretin a clue,  B:  Make a sudden reach for the butter, deftly passing your own sleeve under his nose and wiping away the offender “klinker.”  C:  Whisper the problem discreetly to the waiter who will, just as discreetly, whisper the message into your boss’s ear, thus saving him the embarrassment.  D.  Point and in your loudest voice, yell “Booger alert,  Booger alert!” )

        Answer:   Many of you would opt for the kinder, gentler approach. If so, you do not understand the dog eat dog world of business. If you answered “D,” you would soon have your boss retiring in shame or asking for a transfer to Left overshoe, Alaska. And that my friends reduces competition.

        Question No. 7  (Politeness and Fairness)   You are working an entry-level job at a restaurant waiting tables and have been assigned to a table of five whose names you have discovered are: Winnifred, Heathcliff, Cora, Malcolm, and Vito “the Razor” Dimiglio. You should: (A: greet each one with equal politeness,  B:  Search them all for hidden weapons,  C:  Send over a complimentary bottle of wine,  D:  Put all of your efforts into Vito. (And ignore the others.)

        Answer:  I am sorry, but with names like Malcolm, Heathcliff, Cora and Winnifred, these are all English teachers who are likely in town attending the annual dangling participle festival or the unveiling of the new textbook: “English are us.”  They can do nothing to advance your career.  Vito “the Razor” is obviously a “family” man who can do a lot to advance your career and eliminate the competition. Place your efforts on Vito.

        Question No. 8  Science.   TRUE of FALSE  We should make an effort to wipe out H2O from the earth.

        Answer:  Again people, your obvious knee jerk reaction is to say False. But then you are obviously forgetting some of the things that H2O is responsible for. It turns things rusty, it runs over river banks and causes damage, and it comes down from the mountains to cause flash floods, and let’s not forget, it solely responsible for the sinking of the Titanic and the death of Leonardo Di Capprio. Besides that, have you ever looked all the disgusting things that live there? Ugly things. Slimy things. Things that attack man. They swim around in this stuff, mate in it, have their babies in it, pass gas in it . . .  I say we can get along fine without H2O.

        Well, there you have it. Would you rather have someone know the things that are in my test and prepare them for life in the real world or would you rather have them waste their time learning the dates of old dead guys and that you need a lot of pies to figure confidences and radiums.

        Write your congressman, I need all the support I can get.

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