Chainsaw“No more pencils, no more books. No more teacher’s dirty looks. Out for summer… out ’til fall! We might not come back at all! School’s out forever. School’s out for summer.

School’s out with fever. School’s out completely!” Lyrics excerpted from Alice Cooper’s album “School’s Out”, circa mid-1972.

At the dawn of the 21st century the dead began to rise. Not literally, but rather in the figurative form of a pop culture phenomenon. Heralding the dawn of the day of the night of the living dead.

It was the talk around the water cooler and all the rage on social media. Everyone wanted to be a survivor. Excited to kill zombies and enjoy the necro-apocalypse that ensued. Then it was over-done-with-gone, and all moved on. Did the trend die in its due time? Or could it simply not progress beyond the “after”?

Whether via natural disaster, giant monster, nuclear war, viral pandemic or zombie. When envisioning the apocalypse through media, there is a discernibly common pattern. Beginning with the prerequisite- that sets the circumstances for the event. The apex of the event itself. And concluding with the fate of eclectic strangers, who came together because of the event and their surviving of said event. Roll credits.

Except for rare exceptions, the “after” is oft overlooked, downplayed or avoided all together. Mostly because it is long, boring and, in truth, too terrifying for most to comprehend. What is this “after” of which you speak? The “after” comes when surviving the event is done and the actual surviving begins.

In a world so addicted to social media, online outlets and cellphone scrolling. It is sad to consider that with the collapse of society many would rather just not survive. Even more tragic that those who did wouldn’t know how.

When did we stop teaching and learning life’s basics? Educating so far above and beyond necessity? Becoming wholly reliant, dependent and spoiled on the conveniences allowed by technology that could fail and fall so easily? Considering this and the part it could potentially play in the continued existence of our species. Maybe it’s time to update, or rather backdate, our school curriculum.

Chainsaw’s Primal Courses Curriculum for “After:”

1. Fire: How many of you adults can make a fire? Starting with matches and working towards rubbing sticks, students will learn how to make, maintain and prevent forest fires… only you!

2. Cooking (over said fire): Students will successfully roast a weenie and make a smore. If they can’t do that correctly the course final of toasted chipmunk on a stick is out of their reach.

3. Hunting and Gathering: This will divide the class into specific skill sets. Walking around and looking for stuff to eat or walking around and looking for stuff to kill then eat. The latter backwards may result in injury or indigestion.

4. Animal Husbandry: With the population thinned out by the event, it may become necessary for some to take animals on as spouses. In this course… what… but it says Husbandry? That’s not what that means? Thank Gawd! But tending to, raising and keeping a critter alive will be on the final exam.

5. Shelter: Find it or build it. Students will be expected to live in a structure they’ve discovered or designed for a week. Bonus points awarded for proper waste management. Points deducted if you poop where you eat.

6. Tools and Weapons: The manufacture of a functioning spear, bow and arrow and hammer is required. Advanced students will need to fabricate a food processor or toaster from basic materials.

7. Basic Gardening: Successfully raising enough crops to make a salad, to accompany aforementioned chipmunk, gets you a passing grade.

8. Transportation: Walking one mile in under ten minutes. Running one mile in under six minutes when predators are released.

9. Socialization: To live together students will need to learn to work together. Mastering verbal communication without a screen between is the goal.

10. Anti-Sensitivity Training: Students will be taught not to treat every little thing like it’s the end of the world. Because it is the end of the world. They will be expected to get over themselves and contribute to survival and society.

Successful completion of all courses earns the student self-esteem, self-preservation and the ability and right to live in the after.

I welcome almost all questions, comments via through the Focus, or E-mail me at [email protected]. Hope to hear from ya, until then try and stay focused! See ya.