One of my favorite science fiction stories is R.A. Lafferty’s “Primary Education of the Camiroi.” I remember reading it in the Issac Asimov-edited anthology Extraterrestrials at the old Charleston Heights library in the late 1980’s. I loved how weird and silly it was–I’d never read anything quite like it.
Reading it again now on Google Books, I see it as a pretty biting satire of an American education system that even by the late 60’s, when the story was first published, was already showing cracks. I especially loved the schema for the alien curriculum near the end, which I’ve copied below. In fact, I think this story helped influence young me in my decision to become a teacher.
I really think we should consider some of the “modest proposals” in this story. I would have loved having a class in “laser religion” as a high school freshmen.
My grade for this story now, nearly 30 years after first reading it?