Kindergarten in the time of corona | Stay Weird, Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Kindergarten in the time of corona

One family's journey into the dark web

Kindergarten in the time of corona
Screenshot of Jack Hartmann's YouTube
Jack Hartmann doing whatever the hell Jack Hartmann does.
My son is 6 years old, in kindergarten, and is currently sentenced to a lifetime of hard labor the likes of which are typically reserved for North Korean dissidents. Or so he would have you believe if he were to describe the 10 to 20 minutes of online learning he is asked to do Monday through Thursday.

If you are doing the math at home, that's anywhere from 40 to 80 minutes a week. (The duration fluctuates due to the discrepancies between traditional math and common core.)

In all fairness, as time has passed during this never ending game of What Do We Do Now?*, Marty — the son mentioned above — has accepted his online learning fate the same way a young Catholic accepts having to go to church on Sunday: "You have no choice! Get used to it!" 

In an attempt to make something he doesn't want to do a bit more palatable, me or Emily — the wife I have yet to mention — will sit with him and guide him through the lessons. Whether or not he sees this as a plus or minus remains to be seen.

But I've seen things. I have entered the world of kindergarten online learning. And there's no going back to life as normal. As Chaffin and Luhana tell me every morning, "These are uncertain times." And what I've seen, I can't unsee. "Come With Me." — Puff Daddy

Above is Jack Hartman. He's a guy that's as unwelcome in my house as the coronavirus itself. "Jack Hartmann’s Super Fun Learning Songs are all about making learning even more fun with the very best in children’s educational music." Doesn't sound like you're overselling it at all, Jack's about page. Hard to get into a video when its star looks like even he doesn't want to be there.

Notes on this Scandal
• You couldn't produce a different sound effect for the lowercase "S"? You'd think with over a million YouTube subscribers, you could splurge a bit more on production.
• Hat tip to the braided belt. But how does he not have a beaded necklace?
• "'S' is a letter! 'S' is a letter! 'S' is a letter!" These lyrics are on par with McCartney's "Wonderful Christsmastime."
• 00:27:00 to 00:30:00. Nuff said.
Jack is the uncle who spares no expense at your yearly visit to Olive Garden — his "treat." 

Redemption! This song is amazing. And 3D anything is cool! Everyone knows that.

Notes on this Scandal
• When that pyramid reference comes out of nowhere like a gorgeous Huey Lewis key change!
• "And an orange I have right here." We know you gave up on these lyrics. And I only respect you more for it.
• My entire family has been singing this song regularly.
• What's he "using" that block for?
These people are definitely underpaid.

Presented without comment:

*What Do We Now? is currently a spec script for the coronavirus-themed game show I'm pitching to WGN with the tagline: "Choose your activity correctly, you live. Choose incorrectly, you ... " 

The 2024 Pittsburgh Dyke March
24 images

The 2024 Pittsburgh Dyke March

By Mars Johnson