Our school will soon be launching a new performing arts academy. Today I learned that the students who will join this academy will satisfy their foreign language requirement by taking French. No choice, just French. After I learned all the other details about this program, the principal asked us to throw questions at her, tough ones, like the ones she was going to get at the parent meeting this evening. I decided to throw out the first pitch.
"Why French?" I asked.
"Because it's the language of The Arts," was her obviously-rehearsed reply. You could have heard a pin drop at that point. Then . . .
"Shakespeare wrote in English," I offered. Responses from other staff members included "Operas are in Italian," and "Some of the first plays were in Greek."
"Okay, but the people we've conferred with about this have suggested that French is the best language for students in this academy."
"Then say that," I replied. "But don't tell people that French is the language of The Arts, because it isn't."
I don't know how well the whole acad-- . . . you know what? Nevermind. I think that pretty much says it all.