Thursday, January 1, 2009

In answer to an issue raised upon a net board……….
What was the question?
The simplicities of education?
Upon the subject of learning I suspect a great many clever kids are (were) irresponsibly pushed through the education system as I was. I had a terrible time with some of my schooling. My first schooling started in a very citified rural school at the corner of 13 Mile Rd and John R, east-northeast Royal Oak, Mi. north of Detroit.
My very first years in school was a gorilla learning undertaking for me. I was accused of disrupting the class because I just didn’t get it, or accused of monkeying around. I new Lamphere School’s halls well walking them to the office and the office instructing me to sit the punishment bench (oak) in the hall. I was guilty by disassociating upon my part the letters symbols with their sounds. I plainly was unable to make head nor tails of the letters. I was totally unable to tell a number of letters front from back. Examples: (the equals sign means any particular letter looked like one or more of others in the alphabet) b = p = q = g = q, an o = q, m & w & n & u, all looked alike to me, ph often looked like an f, some letters even had more than one reading all depending whether they were used in upper and lower case writing. I had a HELL of a time figuring out the black board, not to mention ciphering “Dick and Jane playing with an even smarter dog.”
Math was a snap. I had no problems with numbers. Grammar school numbers were a snap as was high school later. More on HS later……
I must have been 11 years old when my folks went back to the farm. In farm life I was enrolled in a two room country school. Now there was a real house of learning. Four classes in my room I had pressed upon me an opportunity to listen to last year’s learning all over again; but, I also listened to next year’s learning as well, next year’s whatever was previewed I got a head’s up head start on preparation. Of course there was this year’s learning to contend with.
Two trying conditions involved my teacher and I. I struggled with my reading and writing. My teacher, her hands full four grades, she was to busy for any special helping me extra attention. Both of us lucking out I found two books in the schools limited library “Freddy the Pig” a story, the barnyard animals given speech in this story, as well written in subsequent books. I was reading delighting the teacher. For writing I had to write a more lengthy book report than the norm. Then we’d go over it together now and then as I read more Freddy’s adventures.
Having to study science I found a book covering animal husbandry. All sorts of critters on the farm this was for me. Another book covering horticulture I managed to get into with my teachers blessings. We were both happy my taking up interests what covered what she had supposed to teach us. And again I had more writing Chapter by Chapter book reports.
Country school was where I learned the best, the most, and caught up grammar school for High School.
So it was all the way from first grade until HS numbers didn’t lie. 2 was 2 and two 2’s put together you had 4. Now when it came to fractions, I never got it right in my mind what a numerator or denominator was. I couldn’t understand where or why one always had to be on top the other. Just put the top and bottom lines on the paper with line between them I figure them without some silly worded rules. Even when I had more math years way ahead of me, I breezed through Algebra (hardest part substituting words for A‘s and B‘s), Geometry (was a wiz a body knowing where he was doing this). Of course advance Geometry and Trig were merely more games. I could miss math class for days and come back to school ahead of the class in my book and written home work. What classes required reading and writing I worked three options: History comics and arguing current events (current events saved me), for English I managed my way out of High school handcrafting projects upon the subjects we studied (Mac Beth‘s castle was an enormous winner).
Reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmetic plus Social studies. I liked geography regardless being so ridiculously boring. Having to totally devote all my time on require subjects I managed woodshop, art class for lesser subject requirements. To satisfy extra circular activities I participated in the class play every year. Fun place to have started licking my shyness around girls. Okay I had a Mom only she was Mom, not a girl.

My parents were my most devoted teachers. Mom all-ways had another approach. Dad was a repetitive instructor. No escaping them I learned more from them than I did my struggling thru the inept schools, the first one being the absolute worst. I was so short changed and my not knowing any better so were my sons. Now what pisses me off is our beloved Washington, DC governor elect who’s been playing president mandated “The no child be left behind” concept then turned around and cut federal funding for schools plus not making any financial arrangement to support such programs.
My fondest activity had always been making or fixing something from nothing. I’ve learned more, made my living, and loved my wife with my big course hands earning our keep.

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