How I Replaced Shakespeare

And why our kids may never read a poem as lovely as a tree

Illustration by Tomasz Walenta for TIME

I was not worried about the American education system until after I started writing a column, because that's when I found out there are English teachers who assign my column as reading material. I regularly get e-mails from students asking about my use of anastrophe, metonymy, thesis statements and other things I've never heard of. To which I respond, "Transfer high schools immediately! To one that teaches Shakespeare and Homer instead of the insightful commentary of a first-rate, unconventionally handsome modern wit! Also, don't do drugs!"

I can expect to be sending more of these e-mails thanks to the Common Core...

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