Back TO School

Mr. Madison, what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

-Josh Mostel as Principal Max Anderson…The Movie, Billy Madison

In this 1995 comedy starring Adam Sandler as Billy Madison, Billy must pass a twenty-four-week course, from elementary through high school, in order to become the next owner of his father’s hotel chain. Well, it is back to school time again for all of us. Whether you have a wee one who will be embarking on their very first classroom experience, a child starting a new school or perhaps you are lucky enough to be sending your child off to college for the first time, this is a moment of great anticipation and excitement. Even for children who will go back to school and see old friends. Perhaps you have no children of your own, but pass through the flashing yellow lights of a school zone, or notice the back to school rush at your local market. Whatever your vantage point, you must admit it is a very magical time for a child, whatever age. It is precisely that magic that makes Principal Max Anderson’s comment to Billy Madison laugh-out-loud funny. Principal Anderson crosses a line that students everywhere secretly hope, never happens to them. It is that small mustard seed of truth that unites us on a very elementary level. In that truth sits our fear that our very existence, if it were at least futile, is less than useless. Principal Max Anderson, underscores a very fundamental human need, the need to be needed and useful to others. The need to be a dynamic element of the human race exists at all learning levels and even beyond into adulthood. It is a wonderful human element. So, as you embark on the coming school year, and are frustrated that you somehow wound up behind that yellow bus (the one that happens to be taking your exact route to work), that you, too, are part of the back to school magic! Behave accordingly and…