I loved two of Barbara Seaborn's recent columns, "On the witness stand" and "History's trivia pursuit"!
There must have been something wrong with me since I just loved history from the time I was a kid. I never found it a chore and somewhere along the line I vaguely remember a quote that went something like this: "Those who forget history are bound to relive it.
All levity aside, the saddest thing about the quotations you cite is that they were by college "students." No doubt they were there on sports scholarships! All of this taken together with the "currant" state of education right in our own backyard should give everyone pause.
Did I read correctly - "12 unexcused absences" are allowed per student, per year? Plus excused ones? Until my Dad cleaned house before he died, there were, in my old dresser in the attic, certificates for perfect attendance for my last six years of grade school (1927-1933). In grades one and two, I had pneumonia for Halloween, whooping cough for Christmas and scarlet fever the following spring. After that, I suppose I was happy to go to school because I never missed another day all the way through high school.
And I was not alone. Very few kids in our school were ever absent or late and, except for those who lived out on Coon Ridge some miles away, we all walked to school. I lived within a quarter of a mile of the school but, yes, many of us did walk a mile or more - and back - every day!
Schools in those days were good! Except for some courses taken at various Army posts I never had any college education. However, right after the end of World War II, with no preparation, I passed a battery of tests (in the 99th percentile) which gave me the equivalent of two years of college.
Anything Seaborn can do to keep the spotlight on this and other educational fiascos will be appreciated!
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