Looking Back – Again

The weirdest things formerly taught in schools

Part Two:

Pluto is a planet

Kids used to be taught that our solar system has nine planets, and that Pluto was the ninth.

They were taught wrong. On August 24, 2006, the icy ball 7.5 billion kilometers away had its status downgraded to “dwarf planet,” courtesy of the International Astronomical Union.

It didn’t have enough gravity to clear its orbit of debris, which is one of the characteristics required to be considered a planet,” says Mary Colson, an eighth-grade teacher.

Darkroom skills

While some schools may for retro reasons offer photography darkroom courses, digital technology has largely killed the need to go into dark rooms and develop film in baths of toxic chemicals. Besides the dangerous chemicals, equipment and supplies for the outdated developing processes are hard to find.

Diagramming sentences

In the days of old, elementary students were taught to diagram sentences, to understand their underlying structure. These parts might include a subject, a verb, an object, adjectives, adverbs and so on. But the system developed by Reed and Kellogg fell out of favor as educators moved away from such regimented methods of analysis to freer forms of expression.

Using blackboards

The old blackboards and chalk first got downgraded by the introduction of computers and now are increasingly replaced by more versatile whiteboards, which can accommodate eye-catching marker colors and even serve as projection screens. Kids no longer have to clap together two chalk erasers to clean them, sending up clouds of particulate.

“Chalk really isn’t good for anything. It gets all over your hands and your clothes,” agrees a fifth-grade teacher in New Haven.

Note-taking

Before there were smartphones to photograph teacher presentations or record their lectures, students had to take notes—that is, on paper with pen. While technology may be more convenient, research shows that students have to pay more attention to what is being said or shown when they take notes, so they learn better.

Civics

Up to the 1960s, it was common to have separate high school civics courses, designed to teach students about community service and the government. But these courses have been slashed with school budgets, leaving the majority of schools civics-free. Some education experts believe that civics courses develop young people’s critical-thinking skills, making them more engaged in public debates and more likely to participate in elections.

Spelling

Apparently some students might have trouble spelling ABC as schools move away from explicit instruction in spelling, perhaps driven by computers and their easy spell-checks.

Writes a literary expert J. Richard Gentry in Psychology Today: “America has moved to a toxic system for delivering spelling instruction in spite of an extensive and evolving body of research showing that direct and explicit spelling instruction is required for students to master the Mechanics of reading and writing.”

Sewing

Teaching sewing skills to girls has become passé, as gender roles have become less strictly defined.  Still, with six in 10 adults unable to sew well or at all, there might be a rationae for both sexes learning to mend tears, and sew on buttons.

“We have shifted away from the anachronistic view that girls should sew as an acquired life skill. Now we would say that boys or girls who want to go into textiles [need to learn certain skills] and we would try not to be gender specific,” says Julie Nugent, chief executive of the Design and Technology Association.

Math drills

Again, calculators, smartphones and personal computers are making serious math drills less common in schools. But many educators push against the idea of always letting machines do the thinking for us, and losing the chance to exercise our mental chops. The benefits of math drills just add up.

Tough gym classes

Chances are, kids’ memories of gym class today are much different than their parents’. In the 1960s there was a push towards high-intensity fitness regimens. Today kids are more likely to be given choices that let them avoid team sports and sweaty workouts. However, with childhood obesity and sedentary lifestyles at an early age becoming an issue, a return to gym-class tough love might be in order.

Institute Of Higher Learning

My home-town of Southampton, Ontario, rises up from the shore of Lake Huron.  Even 50 feet above the lake, at the top of the hill, where my 1850 birth-home still sits, the water table is not far beneath the ground.  It, and many other residences and commercial buildings are landscaped upwards, and still have shallow basements.  Ours would have fit Frodo Baggins.

What is now a wing of the Bruce County Historical Museum, was once my six-room, brick, elementary school.  It perches on the bank of a pond behind it, twenty feet above the water, but its feet are still wet.  To enter the front door required a climb up ten concrete steps to a small landing, then another step up, into a tiny atrium, and yet another step up, onto the main floor.

This upward architecture was not chosen to allow sunlight in through basement windows.  There were none.  Boys played on one side, girls on the other.  There were three steps up to get in either side door, and you still entered on the landing of the basement stairway.

Stairs, stairs, stairs – and more stairs.  😯  The ceilings were 12 feet high.  There were no elevators or escalators.  There was no accommodation for handicapped students.  You had to be physically fit to attend school.  When the student body at this school got high…. It wasn’t at 4:20, because weed was what you pulled out of your mother’s gardens.   😉

Great Comedy – No Lie

The school called today to tell me that my son has been telling lies.
I told them to congratulate him on how well he tells them.  I don’t have a son.

***

Dear Lord, all I want is a chance to prove that winning the lottery won’t make me a bad person.

***

“While walking along the edge of a pond just outside my house in Florida, discussing a property settlement with my soon-to-be ex-wife, and other divorce issues, we were surprised by a huge 12-ft alligator which suddenly emerged from the murky water.    It began charging us with its large jaws wide open.   She must have been protecting her nest because she was extremely aggressive.

“If I had not had my little Ruger .22 caliber pistol with me, I would not be here today.  Just one shot to my estranged wife’s knee cap was all it took.  The alligator got her easily, and I was able to escape by just walking away at a brisk pace.  The amount I saved in lawyer’s fees was truly incredible and her life insurance was also a big bonus.”

***

The new vicar at a city centre church was delighted when he received a large anonymous cash gift. When he told the church council about it, he proposed it should be used to buy a new chandelier for the body of the church.

However, it was put to a vote and the vicar was disappointed when his proposal was narrowly defeated. The vicar noted that the church council secretary had voted against the proposal and when the meeting was over, he asked the secretary why he had not supported it.

The secretary said he had three reasons: “First, I have to write the minutes of the meeting and I can’t spell the word; second, there is sure to be an argument over who should play it; and finally, if we are going to spend money in the Church what we really need is some good lighting.”

***

The cashier at Wal-Mart said, “Strip down in front of me.” so I did as she told me.
When the hysteria died down, I found that she was instructing me on how to use the credit card reader.

***

My High School was so poor, that they taught sex education and driver’s-ed in the same car.

***

I tried to donate blood today.  Never again!  Too damned many questions!
Whose blood is it?  Where did you get it?  Why is it in a bucket??

***

A police officer pulled over a driver and informed him that, because he was wearing a seatbelt, he had won $1000 in a safety contest.  “What are you going to do with the prize money?” the officer asked.  The man responded, “Well, I guess I’ll go to driving school and get my driver’s licence.”  At that point, the man’s wife chimed in, “Officer, don’t listen to him.  He’s a smart-ass when he’s drunk.”

This woke up the guy in the back seat who, when he saw the cop, blurted, “I told you we wouldn’t get very far in this stolen car.”  Just then there was a knocking from the trunk, and a voice asked, “Are we across the border yet?”

Small Town Reality

Small Town

A recent humor post about small towns elicited some comments, questions, and not-necessarily-good memories. For those with curiosity, or defective nostalgia, here’s the real low, down.

Baskin-Robbins only has three ice cream flavors.

Corporate America has still not reached my little Canadian town. There used to be a couple of independent, Mom-and-Pop convenience stores that hand-dipped ice cream, before pre-packaged treats became available. Now they subsist by selling lottery tickets to folks dreaming about having enough money to get out.

You had to step out of the village limits in order to change your mind.

That’s a trick question. Nobody in my town changes their mind.

The nickname for the city jail is amoeba because it only has one cell.

Hah! Our town jail has two cells. One for drunken white men, and another for drunken Indians from the adjoining reservation.

McDonalds only has one Golden Arch and the nearest one is 15 miles away.

The nearest one is in the next town, 5 miles closer to the nuclear reactor, and the only source of employment left in the area.

Instead of a 7-11 they have a 3.5 – 5.5.

See ‘no corporate America’ above. 3.5 X 5.5 refers to metres – 20 by 30 feet sized convenience stores.

The New Year’s baby was born in April.

With all the screwing that’s going on, some of it even by people who are married – to each other – you’d think this would happen earlier in the year. All praise free birth-control information on the internet.

The “Welcome To” and “Thanks for Visiting “signs are front and back of the same sign.

The town has a lot of long-term summer residents – rich city folks who own expensive cottages. Neither they, nor the residents, really want transient, stay-at-a-tourist-camp visitors. There is no ‘Welcome’, or ‘Thanks’ sign. It was left to the Department of Highways to identify where drivers were with a generic sign.

You have to go to the next town to find 2nd Street….

At least there’s nothing as bland as 1st, 2nd, or 3rd Street in my home-town. We have a British-type, High Street, which I was born on, as well as street names like Morpeth, Anglesia, Grosvenor, Grenville, Landsdowne, Breadlebane, and Augusta.

A “Night on the Town” only takes about ten minutes.

There are bars in two hotels on High Street, a block apart. White folks drink at one. Indians drink at the other. If you drink too long at either, your ten-minute ‘Night on the Town’ could stretch to 72 hours in the appropriate comfortably-appointed jail cell.

The Subway restaurant that serves foot-long sandwiches cannot fit within the village limits.

See ‘no corporate America’ again. There is a French-fries/hamburger/ hot-dog take-out building on the highway, behind the bank. It limps through the winter months, and produces retirement income during the summer.

You do not bother using turn signals because everyone already knows where you are going.

Laid out by British surveyors, the town has good sight-lines, and broad streets. It is one of two towns in Canada with a 100 foot-wide main street – most have 66. If you do manage to cut off a local resident, they feel free to tell you where to go.

Big social events are scheduled around when the high school gym floor is being varnished.

The local Legion is big enough to handle most ‘big’ social events. The local high school was closed in 1955, because of lack of students. The couple of dozen per year are bused five miles to the 350 student ‘District’ high school.

You call a wrong number and the person who answers can give you the correct number for the person you are trying to call..

While this was once true, the internet has become a boon, since the big Don’t-Give-A-Damn epidemic hit town.

There is no point in high-school reunions because everyone knows what everyone else is doing anyway.

This is true of those too dumb to get out. The ones who leave, just tend to disappear.
“Do you remember Bob?”
“Bob who?”
“We went to school with him.”
“You mean Rob?”
“Maybe….”
“I got no idea where he went.”

School gets canceled for Provincial sporting events.

No-one in my town was good enough at any sport to qualify for Provincial meets. Senior elementary classes are sometimes bused to District events.

It was cool to date someone from a different high-school.

It had to be from the same ‘District’ high school, but at least you could date someone from a different town – or a farm girl, who could show you alternate social uses for the hay-mow in the barn.

The golf course had only three holes.

There’s a quite-nice golf course, 2 miles out of town, where the old highway wisely bypassed this social morass, a century ago. More recently, a developer included a tournament-worthy course as a perk with his new housing subdivision, on the other side of town, right next to the Indian reservation, whose residents are wisely not allowed to be members. They are both 18-hole courses. Amusingly, just 2 miles away from my current, big-city house, is a course that the city has grown out and surrounded. It is a par-3 course.

Anyone you are looking for can be found at either the Dairy Queen or Wal-Mart, over in ‘The Big City’.

I remember when I thought that it was the cultural center of the Universe, with all of 10,000 residents.

Directions are given using the one and only stop light as a reference – after they finally installed one.

Even after they redirected the highway through the town, instead of past it, the intersection with the main street was a 4-way stop until the Department of Highways insisted on a traffic light in 1955. It’s still the only one.

Weekend excitement involves a trip to the grocery store.

1955 was a year of excitement. A Canadian-based supermarket came to town to challenge 3 little independent grocery stores. While considerable excitement can be had with bananas and cucumbers, the entire town was agog when they imported coconuts.

Your teachers remember when they taught your parents.

My Dad was a Johnny-come-lately, carpet-bagger, non-native. My Mom left in her early teens during the dirty-Thirties, and returned as an adult. None of the teachers had been inoculated, or developed a resistance to me.

The best burgers in town are at the four-lane bowling alley.

Our bowling alley had the best burgers and 8 lanes, but was an unheated summer-only, beach bowling alley, only open from the end of May, till Labor Day. The next town down had a year-round, 4-lane alley, but no lunch bar. The best burgers were next door at the owner’s A-frame, chalet diner.

Tell us about your tiny home-town…. or the unfortunate section of big city that you grew up in.

Progressively Worse

Little Red Schoolhouse

It ain’t gettin’ any better, folks!

A mass shooting has got the lefties screaming, yet again, for a gun ban. As someone who has lived in Ontario, and was married when you needed an Act of Parliament to get a divorce, abortion was illegal, and murderers were executed, it is so saddening to watch how progressives have destroyed yet another generation of our children.

Kids today can only print their names. They participate in games with no winners, attend schools where failure isn’t an option, and in general, are not taught to compete, for fear of losing, at any aspect of life.

Without learning to deal with any type of failure, they no longer can deal with it; yet there comes a time when they do fail, and then they are too weak to move on past it.

Our kids’ ‘progressive’ world leaves them unprepared for life, and academia convinces them that, just as in sports, the workplace should have no winners or losers, and that everyone is entitled to the same paycheck, just as they were entitled to a ‘participated’ ribbon.

In their world of ‘no consequences’, their failure to ever hear the word “NO”, a life of no discipline, and no idea how to cope, leads to more frustrated ‘shooters’ who have not been taught how to live a competitive and disciplined life.

Does anyone expect anything else from this progressive philosophy, which is financially and morally destroying the West??!   😯

 

Purls Of Wisdom

WomanDrivingKnittingS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A highway patrolman pulled alongside a speeding car on the freeway. Glancing at the car, he was astounded to see that the blonde behind the wheel was knitting!

Realizing that she was oblivious to his flashing lights and siren, the trooper cranked down his window, turned on his bullhorn and yelled, “PULL OVER!”

 

“NO,” the blonde yelled back, “IT’S A SCARF!”

 

****

Paul Mitchell, 29, was walking home from a friend’s Halloween party earlier this year when he found himself next to his neighbor’s pumpkin field.  He had always joked in his mind about how the inside of pumpkins are soft, mushy, and warm (in Texas). So he took out his knife, cut a hole in his choice pumpkin, and began fucking it.

An officer of the City Police Dept. saw Mitchell and stopped to see what was going on. “I expected Mitchell to be urinating in the field and possibly be intoxicated,” said the Officer. Mitchell didn’t hear or see the Officer as she approached, due to his newfound hobby. She shined her flashlight on Paul and said, “Sir, do you realize that you are screwing a pumpkin?”

Mitchell replied almost instantly, “Is it midnight already?”

****

The local vicar is having a bath, and he’s a little bored, so he decides to, ‘pleasure’ himself. He’s quite happily tugging away, reaches the old moment of bliss, and opens his eyes only to see, at the window, the window cleaner, jaw agape at what he’s just seen.

A couple of minutes later, the doorbell rings, it’s the window cleaner.  The vicar is understandably embarrassed, and asks the man how much he owes him.  “50 quid” comes the reply.  “50 quid ?!?” says the vicar, startled.  “Yep, fifty quid or I tell the whole parish about what I saw, you perv.”

So the vicar hands over the cash, and the cleaner gets on his way.

The following week, the bishop’s ’round for his supper and is having a wander ’round the vicar’s house, admiring his lovely home.  He says to the vicar, “Lovely clean windows you’ve got there vicar, who does them for you?”

“Oh, a guy from the village does them for me, he does a great job,” replies the vicar.

“Oh, yes. How much does he charge you, then?”

“Well,” replies the vicar, “fifty quid, actually”

“Fifty quid?!? Blimey!” says the bishop.  “He must have seen you coming!”

****

The history teacher announced that the students who could tell her the source of the following famous quotes would be allowed to go home early.

“The first quote is: ‘Four score and seven years ago…'”

Cathy raised her and answered “Abe Lincoln”.

“Very good Cathy, you may go home,” said the teacher. “The next quote is ‘Give me liberty or give me…”

Jane raised her hand and blurted out “Patrick Henry.”

“Very good Jane, you may also leave.”

Meanwhile a boy had his hand up in the back of the room the whole time and the teacher never acknowledged him, and she said that would be all for the day. She proceeded to write something on the board when the boy said “Stupid Bitches, if it weren’t for them none of this ever would’ve happened”

The teacher turned around and said, “Who said that?”

The boy blurted out “Bill Clinton, now can I go home!”

****

Did you hear about the accident at the army base?

A jeep ran over a box of popcorn & killed 2 kernels