Yesterday and now with the children | News, Sports, Jobs
With all the (mostly bad) news about getting kids back to class, reminds elders what school was like half a century ago. No kidding – things change very slowly, but you only have to take a look at, say, computer web pages to find out how rigid the courses were, how Readin ‘, Writen’ and ‘Rithmatic – these famous Three Rs – were taught with a severity that makes our primary schools today look like a fantasy world. And, above all, when rules were needed, how to use them.
Preparations for school were largely mum’s responsibility: new clothes, money for textbooks, dressing the children and cleaning them perfectly, while dad would pay the bills and, if necessary, drive the children to the first classes in the only car most families could use. the means – or the need.
Can you imagine what it was like back in the day when a teacher would ask, say, his fifth-grade class to tell a true story with a moral, with something like the following results:
Kathy first raised her hand and said: “We live on a farm with chickens that lay eggs for the market. One time we were taking a basket of eggs from the front seat of the van and hit a big bump in the road, the eggs were flying and breaking all over the place. “
“And what was the moral?
“Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
The professor thanked her, then turned to Tammy, who raised her hand to say: “We also live on a farm, but we raise chickens for the meat market. We had a dozen eggs once, but when they hatched we only had ten live chickens. And the moral of this story is not to count your chickens until they are hatched.
The professor thanked her then turned to Frankie, who raised a hand and waved it enthusiastically. “Do you have a moral story too, Frankie?” “ she asked.
“Yes ma’am. My dad told me that my Aunt Karen was a flight engineer during the war and her plane was hit. She had to jump into enemy territory and all she had was a bottle of whiskey, machine gun and machete. (It’s a big knife.) Well, she drank the whiskey on the way down so it wouldn’t shatter, then she landed right in the middle of a hundred enemy soldiers. She killed almost all of them before she ran out of bullets, then killed the rest with the machete before the blade broke, then she killed the last ten with her bare hands.
“God’s goodness,” said the terrified professor. “What did your father tell you was the moral of this terrible story?” “
“Stay away from Aunt Karen when she’s been drinking.” “
Awkwardly and with some confusion, the teacher at the time readily changed the subject. “All right, kids, I know you all believe and pray to God. (OK, OK, that was then; it is now with religion a forbidden subject for fear of offending someone – anyone). Whether you can,” the teacher suggested, “Can you write down what you would like to say to him?” “
The following are samples taken from actual articles from decades ago, when public freedom of expression was widely open to all issues, when the Three Rs were seriously focused on, when the rules – a lot of between them and they were all designed to lift us up to properly face the world and – let’s face it – when innocent people actually existed.
After 10 minutes of scribbling pencils and an occasional eraser scratching, here are some of the results:
“My God, I didn’t think orange went with purple until I saw the sunset you did last night.”
“My God, I was at the zoo and saw a giraffe. Did you want it to look like this or was it an accident? “
“My God, instead of letting people die and having to make new ones, why don’t you just fix the ones you have now?”
“Dear God, thank you for my little brother, but what I prayed for was a puppy.”
“My God, I want to be like my dad when I grow up, but not bald on top and with so much hair all over the rest.”
“My God, I think of you sometimes, even when I’m not praying.”
“Dear God, it must be difficult for you to love all the people in the world; there are only four in our family and I will never be able to do that.
“My God, we read in school that Thomas Edison made the light, but in Sunday school we heard that you did. So I bet he stole the idea from you.
“My God, maybe Cain and Abel wouldn’t try to kill each other if they had their own room. I know it works with my brother.
“Dear God, watch over me at church on Sunday and I’ll show you my new shoes.”
… And not a single word on digital things, while waiting for the death of a global virus, the wearing of masks, climate change, the worry of buying expensive and ultimately unnecessary things while being ready to make good judgment to the wind and to follow with rare selfishness on one disastrous path after another.
Meanwhile, there are the best of us missing out on what it was like to be raised by dedicated teachers who followed rules to generate an educated and selfless society – with a governing family – a mother and a father, each fulfilling their family duties – for a time when people rarely spat hatred against someone they weren’t, nor lived beyond their normal means with unnecessary luxuries that spew disaster in our limited atmosphere, as we pour out ignorant prejudices leading to more hatred leading to inevitable violence and then, adding to it all, collecting misguided stories of politicians who have much to gain from blind followers – when sensitivity could prevail over ignorance and misinformation through sane parents and teachers with honest motives. Ah, it could be the days.
Of course, we’ve always had our problems, but we once lived in such wonderful innocence, when we were really kids, and with the right advice from the right parents and teachers, we generally managed to grow up quite well.
Granted, we tend to look back through rose-colored glasses, but the difference between today’s emphasis on selfishness, material things, and a world with no particular focus for the most part – well, the contrast is still very obvious.
Perhaps one day in the future we can again seek guidance from a Supreme Being of our choosing. And at the same time, we will discover through our teachers and parents that it is true knowledge from the right sources that creates friends, not objects, with the right motives that bring us the most comfort and security.
I don’t know – Does that make sense?