If I were a rich man
I would create an academy like Greece.
It would be chartered “The Order of Longfellow.”
We would teach the poor how to read,
We would educate the poor.
We would teach the poor all of the mysteries of poetry.
In this, we would issue out our Associates, Bachelors,
Masters, and Doctorates.
The degree would be free.
It would be about dialogue and discussing the meaning
Of our treasures, from Euclid to Aristotle
From Longfellow to Horus.
We would not teach esoteric interpretations.
We would teach hermeneutics to Fairyland.
We would teach math, science and arts
For no cost.
We would teach the geometry of a Quadratic Equation.
The way a Bachelor would receive their degree
Is by teaching an Associate’s class through and through, after already receiving it.
A Master would teach a Bachelor’s class through and through after already receiving it.
A Doctor would teach a Master’s class through and through after already receiving it.
Privileges would be given to good teachers, to keep a record of good rapport within the organization.
They would be given this privilege by petition
When they will be ready to do their class.
It wouldn’t be about the degree,
But the degree of knowledge one can obtain.
It wouldn’t be about mere accomplishment.
First, one would need to prove they can read and write.
Then, after so,
Two years of intense study would be needed to test for an Associates.
Four years of intense study to test for a Bachelors.
Six years of intense study to test for Masters.
Ten years of intense study to test for Doctorate.
The tests would be written exams
On the meaning of literature;
Tests on the assimilation of knowledge
Into new ideas;
Tests on the principles of math;
Reading, Writing, Arithmetic
Without fluffy organizations babying our members
Or weird sounding acronyms.
It would be difficult.
It would not patronize the poor.
It would, rather, set them free from their bondage.
The goal of the Association would be
To teach the poor.
To give a free education to the poor.
It would take a poor man,
And make him into a rich man
Of understanding and knowledge.
The rich would want our education.
Educating the poor and preserving literature would be our goal.
The classes would be discussions, not rote exams.
The students would discuss their topic for the day,
Be it a Quadratic Equation, be it a Euclidean Principle,
Be it Number Theory, Be it a Wordsworth or Longfellow Poem,
Be it a Literary Theory, be it a Scientific Construct,
Be it a Dialogue of Plato, be it a famous painting.
Those teaching the Doctorates would be graded by their superiors.
Those teaching the Masters would be graded by their superiors.
Those teaching the Bachelors would be graded by their superiors.
Those teaching the Associates would be graded by their superiors.
The teacher would not grade the students,
But the superiors would, to see if work has been done.
That is just one dream I’d have if I were a rich man.