OK, television is/was good for something after all.
Speaking from my vast experience of a whopping five days as a substitute teacher in good old Carbon County School District No. 2, I see one glaring deficit in the way this next generation of children is being raised.
OK, generation check here. Do you know the preamble of the United States Constitution by heart, but only if you're allowed to hum it first? Does your ass shake in the chair whenever you count by fives? Are the Louisiana Purchase and the phrase "elbow room" inextricably linked in your mind?
Have you been to Conjunction Junction, and do you know its function?
(Hookin' up words and phrases and clauses)
Sure, it's a deeply weird way of knowing things, but honestly, how much worse is it than when George Orwell was made to remember the phrase "A black negress was my aunt: there's her house behind the barn" as a mnemonic device for recalling, in chronological order, the names of all of the battles in the War of the Roses?
At least our way has rhythm.
And it's freakin' easy.
And if one has a modicum of self-control, our way can be employed fairly surreptitiously, a whisper, a hiss, a hum-along in the head... Who needs to know that through one's head is running Let's go up to the mountains/OR down to the sea/You should always say thank you/OR at least say pleeeeeease
So imagine my empathetic agony as I'm filling in for the (also, mysteriously, Gen X) guy who is trying to teach a small passel of fourth graders how to do long division, and these poor kids are actually struggling to remember what three times seven is without the benefit of bell-bottomed cartoon groovesters shuckin' and jivin' and saying "21"!