The first thing that the Hokage thought when the first stack of textbooks was set down on his desk was: These are the pared down wartime versions. Where are the long versions?

Immediately after he'd thought this, he found himself trying to recall exactly what the Academy texts he'd been approving for the last decade or so had looked like, and about how long they had been. Considering how much of his tenure had been served in times of war, it wouldn't be all that surprising for him to have found the wartime versions of the Academy texts normal in appearance if they were sitting on his desk along with a great deal of paperwork that was clamoring for his attention. Paperwork that he had mistakenly seen as more important because it had seemed so at the time because it had been in more urgent need of attention due to its time sensitivity.

He had approved the use of the wartime version of the Academy texts for the first couple of years after the Kyuubi attack in order to bring numbers back up. That, and because, with fewer pages and less pictures, they were much cheaper to print, which had been a plus in the poor economy which had taken double hits with the post-war rebuilding and the Kyuubi attack that had followed so soon after. Come to think of it though, when had he discontinued their use? Surely, he must've done so when numbers had started approaching pre-war levels, right?

Sighing, he pulled the First Year History text towards him and started reading it first since it would be the quickest and easiest to blow through since it had been written for six and seven year-olds and was mostly pictures. Soon, he found himself grabbing a red marker and angrily correcting several passages. There was adjusting accounts of historical events to put Konoha in a favorable light, and there was this. Even events he had been present for and seen firsthand had been twisted into near unrecognizability in order to put Konoha in an unbelievably positive light.

With unbelievable crap like this in the History books, students would be disinclined to believe any other history they learned over their lifetimes. Their minds would fall back on how patently false the history they had been taught in the Academy was when anyone tried to present them with a new historical fact, and disbelieve it out of principle. This was of course very, very, bad. Ninja needed to learn from history in order to not make the mistakes of the past. And, how could they do that with the only history they learned being the "Konoha is always right" version?

About the only thing that was reasonably accurate in the book and the subsequent history books for the later years that he'd flipped through were the pictures, and several of those had been altered as well. He could understand the alteration that was made to the photo of his sensei and the Shodai Hokage's daughter considering the fact that the girl had shown clear signs of having been born to a Jinchuriki, signs that Naruto also bore. He could also understand the alteration to the close-up photo of the Yondaime that had turned Minato's eyes green, considering the fact that Naruto had still been at the Academy when the editions in front of him had come into use. But, some of the alterations he'd seen frankly didn't make any sense, such as the fact that everything but Senju Hashirama and Uchiha Madara's hands were cut out of the iconic image of the Founding of Konoha.

This was already far worse than he thought it was going to be, and he wasn't even finished with the history books yet. No wonder the crop of graduates over the last several years had been so disappointing.

He'd been wondering why the average failure rate for the final graduation exam had shot up from 50% to somewhere in the range of 66 to 75%, and why there were fewer and fewer Jounin candidates with each passing year, and now he knew. He'd been rubberstamping this crap that was sitting in front of him for years, and as a result, he got crap for ninja. Danzo was right, he had been seriously slipping, and it was long past time he handed the reins over.

Sighing, he called for his undoubtedly overworked secretary who should have gone home already but, had been sent running to the Academy for books and lesson outlines and just about everything else that pertained to the Academy he could get his hands on.

"Schedule a meeting with all of the Academy Instructors in the morning, and I mean all of them." he told the man when he made his way in with yet another pile of books. "Tell them to cancel classes for the Spring Cycle students if they have to in order to make it in."

While he couldn't do what he wanted and call in every ninja who had graduated from the Academy since the Third War for an assessment as that would start an unnecessary panic that could lower Konoha's standing in the international scene and drive away valuable customers, he could call back every student who may have even had contact with Mizuki, assess them, and give them remedial training if necessary. Even the students who had previously failed would be amongst this number, as their failure may not have entirely been their fault.

The one good thing about Mizuki's betrayal of Konoha was that it had called attention to this shitstorm before it became a shit hurricane, and provided a good excuse to correct the education of some of the more recent years' graduating classes before the village completely went down the tubes.

Scowling at the rather stupid picture of a cartoon animal that was supposed to teach small children about weapon safety rather than the gruesome picture of the brat who had mishandled a kunai which had taught him the same thing in his youth, he got up, stretched, and headed home. Not to sleep, but to get his hands on his children's Academy textbooks which he'd saved and stored away in a closet. After he got his hands on those, he might go down to Supply to see if they had a stock of old Academy textbooks in a dusty corner somewhere. They should, since he'd once wandered through one of their older storage facilities once and found a crate that contained several spare sets of the sort of armor that he used to wear back in the day before the vests that his sensei had designed before he died became all the rage.

When he reached the door, he found Danzo on the other side blocking the exit.

"Ah, I was hoping to catch you before you left." Danzo said, giving him that smile that could mean anything from "Hello old friend" to "Why don't you die and give me the hat already, you bastard?" depending on what mood the man was actually in.

"Can you be brief?" he asked, not really in the mood to deal with his old friend. "I'm going to be very busy for the foreseeable future, and I was hoping to get a few hours of sleep in before I met with the Academy Instructors in the morning."

"Is there any particular reason why?" Danzo asked, eying the massive piles of textbooks that were on his desk as well as another massive pile of Academy Instructor guidelines.

"I'm revamping the Academy curriculum." he replied as he edged around his friend who had moved out of the way a bit.

"Going to make it more kid friendly are you?" Danzo asked sourly, probably imagining the sort of ninja that would be created if the books were more "kid friendly" than the First Year texts he'd nearly barfed over while reading them already were. The current First Year texts were saccharine enough to give one cavities, and he had absolutely no desire to see how they could be made worse.

"Nope, I'm going to be chucking out all of that crap over there, pulling out the texts from before the last war, and updating them." he replied as he made his way down the hall.

"So, no more of that kittens and butterflies crap you've been promoting for the last decade?" Danzo called after him, sounding almost hopeful.

"Kittens and butterflies?!" he exclaimed, wondering exactly how bad the books he'd never had the inclination to do more than skim through in under five minutes really were. "As soon as I find the bastard who keeps putting the Academy texts on my desk when I've got three feet of paperwork that needed to be seen to yesterday waiting for me, I'm going to strangle him."


Sakura sighed slightly as she drifted off to sleep, sore and exhausted, but barely paying attention to that because there was something else stuck in her mind as she slipped into unconsciousness.

Today had been an interesting day to say the least. She'd been woken up early in the morning for an assessment of her skills which had taken most of the day as it had been exceedingly thorough, more difficult that the Academy Graduation Exam which had been spaced out over the course of a week had been, and covered things she hadn't even heard of in the Academy. After an afternoon's rest while her and Sasuke's scores were being tabulated and she was once again found wanting, Kakashi had taken her aside to teach her one of the Medical Ninjutsu that he'd picked up over the years. Rather than have her practice on a dummy or something like she'd half expected him to do, he had her practice the Chakra Scalpel technique on a fish.

While she was practicing, working her hardest to get the Jutsu right, Tetsuo-sensei had wandered over to check on her progress. Rather than scowling in disappointment over her lack of skill, the man had actually smiled at her and gave her a small nod.

He, the man who'd previously had nothing but scorn for her, had actually smiled at her!

After days and days of harsh words and even harsher looks as she repeatedly failed to meet his expectations, that smile had been...indescribable. It made her feel that maybe Naruto was right, and that her sensei didn't hate her because she resembled someone who'd inadvertently caused the death of one of his friends, and that if she just worked at it, she could get some more of the smiles that the man had previously only reserved for Naruto. On one level, it hurt that she had to work so hard to earn even one smile from the man, but on another, it gave her hope that things would improve, and that they wouldn't remain as hellish as they currently were.

As she went to sleep, she clung to that hope as hard as she could. It was the only thing that was keeping her from running away right now. If she could just tough it out for a little while longer, things would get better, and her family would be proud of her when she returned home, rather than ashamed.

Edited 10-5-12