Chicago Shady Dealer

Six Things Every Schoolchild Should Know Before We Send Them To The Mines

By Rudolf Steiner, 1907
Feb. 6, 2017

Kids these days have all sorts of fun in school, but are they really learning enough to prepare them for a life of coal? I’m Rudolf Steiner, creator of Waldorf Schools, and here are some things you’ll want to have sorted out at age seven or eight, because once you hit nine, you’re going in the mine.

1. You don’t need to know how to read.

This is an obvious one. What good will reading do when you’re hacking at a giant rock and inhaling deadly amounts of coal dust?

2. You should know how to make candles.

Rolling beeswax candles and patiently dipping a wick into a vat of hot wax is one of the most important things a child can learn. If you haven’t made hundreds and hundreds of shoddy candles, what are we going to sell at the winter holiday fair? Candles could also be used to light your way in the mines, I suppose.

3. Finger-knitting. It matters.

Knitting with needles shows a real lack of imagination. You should be able to produce at least a scarf if you string some yarn around your fingers and somehow weave get weaving get weaving. You won’t need a scarf down in the mine since, it’s really sweaty and hot down there, but this is a useful skill.

4. Don’t wear shirts with words or characters on them.

Please just wear solid colors or simple patterns and prints. Additionally, don’t bring a lunchbox with characters on it to school. Please bring a wicker basket instead. In the mines, you don’t get a lunch and you’ll wear grimy overalls.

5. Always wear a helmet. See how the canary’s doing breathing-wise. Go up for air sometimes. Make sure you have light. If you get trapped, pray. Wash off after. Accept that this is the way things are.

Common sense.

6. Puppets!

Puppets are so fun! Play with puppets, maybe put on a show! You won’t get to have this kind of fun in a year.