“More Articles by DAVID BROOKS”
Published: July 5, 2012
Henry V is one of Shakespeare’s most appealing characters. He was rambunctious when young and courageous when older. But suppose Henry went to an American school.
Josh Haner/The New York Times
“Prince Hal of the 14th-15th centuries became the Bill Gates and Steve Jobs of the 20th-21st. … All seem to have found their ways to interesting distinction, despite refusing to be herded.”
By about the third week of nursery school, Henry’s teacher would be sending notes home saying that Henry “had another hard day today.” He was disruptive during circle time. By midyear, there’d be sly little hints dropped that maybe Henry’s parents should think about medication for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Many of the other boys are on it, and they find school much easier.
By elementary school, Henry would be lucky to get 20-minute snatches of recess. During one, he’d jump off the top of the jungle gym, and, by the time he hit the ground, the supervising teachers would be all over him for breaking the safety rules. He’d get in a serious wrestling match with his buddy Falstaff, and, by the time he got him in a headlock, there’d be suspensions all around.
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