class who believe that authority and power are their domain.)
* One class came up with a novel solution to drug addiction. They
conceived of a "Pleasure Island." It would be a place that provided,
free of charge, all the drugs anyone wants for as long as they want
them -- the one condition being that they must remain on the island,
away from society, for as long as they continue using.
* On the subject of higher education, the overwhelming consensus
is that it is not for everyone. It is for those who seek it, in their
own way and in their own time.
* Religion always poses deep questions. These kids have learned
that it has the power to divide, as well as uplift. They have often
struggled to find common ground for their beliefs, even to the point
of blending them into one religion. It is a rare class that comes to
* Some groups have advocated doing away with political parties. An
increasing number of kids have come to equate the word "politics"
with "lying," and they understandably look to find a better way for
people to work out their differences.
* On the subject of the other ship that is due to arrive (after
their colony is established), opinions run the gamut from
incorporating (adapting to) the newcomers or, on the other end,
enslaving them. It is unsettling to most groups to contemplate new
ways after they have worked so hard to blend their differences.
Miscellaneous: Three-day weekends. This new world will relax and
play more. Honor teachers more. (They know I'm watching and will
render judgment in the end. This resolve always scores well with me.)
Diversity is good. Humanity is better. In other words, let's respect
our differences but not dwell on them. Individual land ownership and
the exchange of money are necessary. Very few groups want to meddle
with the primal forces of capitalism. Only non-lethal weapons on this
new planet. Stun guns and tasers will replace weapons that kill. (On
this subject, there is often the following exchange: "Guns don't kill
people, people kill people," and then the reply, "Tell that to the
people back on Earth.")
Rapists and child molesters who are repeat offenders will be
castrated. (The ladies are usually unanimous on this one.) One class,
wanting to enforce "eye for an eye" justice, suggested a "rape
machine" that would do to the criminal what he had done to a victim.
(Thankfully, they did not provide a diagram.)
People who learn a trade or get a degree while in jail get to
leave jail early. Less emphasis on punishment, more on
These are my words but entirely my students' ideas. It is but a
small sampling of years of youthful idealism untempered with
practical realities. In a new world, who knows, maybe it never will
be -- for the sake of their survival.
* DAN KIMBER lives in Montrose, is a product of Glendale schools
(as are his two daughters and his wife, Nadine), and has taught in
Glendale schools for more than 30 years. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.