“Education is wonderful – it helps you worry about things all over the world.”

Today is damp and cloudy. Maybe rain, even a v, is in the forecast. The whole weekend has been the same. I don’t think we had as many tourists for the weekend as usual. The forecast was spot on.

In kids’ parlance today is not Labor Day. It is the day before school starts. The buses roll tomorrow morning. My neighborhood has kids now, little kids, and four of them are headed to elementary school together: two to kindergarten, one to first grade and the oldest to second grade. They’re outside riding bikes now. I suspect their heads are not filled with images of new clothes, buses and the first day of school. They still have the look of summer about them.

The red spawn of Satan got the hose treatment again this morning. A short time later it was back but ran as soon as I walked on the deck. It didn’t take long for the hose and me to have an impact.

If I were to go back in time, to my elementary school days, I’d choose the fifth grade. We got bused for a while to the next town while the new school was finished. It was an adventure which also shortened the school day. We had the same hours as the rest of the school so we were on the bus for a part of the morning and a part of the afternoon. We always got back just as school was letting out for the day. In the spring we moved into the new school. My room was on the first floor. The nun I had that year was a jovial sort. She used to hand out pieces of candy as prizes. Seldom did she leave her desk chair to walk around the room so she’d toss the candy to the prize winner. She periodically had contests like who could list the most homonyms, now called homophones. I remember that contest because I won, and this was before computers. My prize was a miniature book with Bible verses. I was intrigued by the size of the book and not so much by the verses. I don’t remember what I learned that year, but I figure it was pretty the same as all the other years. Nouns and the other parts of speech never seemed to disappear and once we hit decimals and fractions they followed us everywhere. Columbia and coffee are forever linked. There was only so much geography. As for history, I have no idea what we studied in the fifth unless it was the Pilgrims, but in those days history sort of hopscotched all over the place.

We were still young in the fifth grade. We jumped rope during recess and giggled about boys. Fifth grade was when I punched the boy who constantly teased my friend and wouldn’t stop when asked, even nicely asked. That is probably my favorite memory of that year. I learned to stand up for friends and I learned I had a strong right.

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17 Comments on ““Education is wonderful – it helps you worry about things all over the world.””

  1. Morpfy Says:

    Happy Labor Day to all who are still working

  2. Hedley Says:

    Somewhere deep in Sangster, between the Harley Davidson Jamaica store and the Tiki Bar, I am entertaining myself by pre ordering the Super Deluxe edition of Tommy by the Who which will offer up a 5.1, a live show and a remaster in a repackaging similar to Quad last year. I don’t know how many times I have bought this thing and I’m not sure that I really like it. Another Red Stripe, GarΓ§on.

    • katry Says:

      My Dear Hedley,
      I’m so happy that you’re having such a wonderful time in Jamaica!! I’m also glad to learn that you continue to stimulate the economy of the music industry!!

      Enjoy that Red Stripe!!

      (notice how pleasant I was!)

  3. olof1 Says:

    Sunny and beautiful here today and quite windy too. If it wasn’t for the sun going down rather early it still would feel like summer and of course more and more trees are changing colors now.

    We had lots of geaography in school and it was my best subject. I think we first learned where all the major cities were placed and then came all the big lakes and rivers followed by what reagions they are in. After that we moved to Europe (especially Scandinavia since a big part of it had been Swedish πŸ™‚ ) in the same pattern. We actually learned all the states in the US and I think I still remember almost all.

    Asia, Africa and Australia wasn’t that important though, we learned the capitals and rivers and perhaps a few mountains but that was it πŸ™‚

    History was also very important, at least our own and some of the Scandinavian. Our history is more or less theirs too since we always were at war with each other. We learned lots of British history and of course much of the French during their revolution and Napoleon. Lots of the two world wars too of course, even if we didn’t participate in any of them.

    I remember many hours about the American Revolution and the civil war as well. Thankfully I had history teachers that were great in telling us those stories so lots of what I learned got stuck in my head πŸ™‚

    Have a great day!
    Christer.

    • katry Says:

      Christer,
      It is so humid and uncomfortable here I’ve kept Gracie inside. She tends to pant heavily in this sort of weather so I’m forcing her to stay quiet.

      We learned what each country exported and what each was like, weather mountains or plains. One of my great thrills was seeing in real life what I remember on the pages of my geography book.

      I learned more of history in high school, and I loved it. I too had really great teachers there.

      Enjoy your evening and your sunny day!!

  4. Bob Says:

    This morning I awoke to a nice steady rain. It’s the first real precipitation we have had since that freak rain in July. Today the high temperature will only be 96 but the humidity will be sky high.

    Here school has been in secession for an entire week. I am a big advocate of year round school. We have spent a fortune air-conditioning the schools and they just sit empty for half of the year wasting our tax dollars while our kids academic standing the world declines.

    I can’t remember much of the fifth grade except that I was glad to be going into the sixth πŸ™‚

    I was always very good at history and geography and always managed to squeak by in language arts and math. I never figured out the purpose for knowing how to diagram sentences. It has no practical application in the real world. It’s a skill that only an elementary school English teacher can love or even care about. And, who dreamed up the phrase, language arts anyway? Isn’t the word English a better description? I guess it makes English teachers feel more important. Why not call it language science, that’s even more impressive.

    Unfortunately, Labor Day has lost it’s meaning because workers rights and wages have been declining while many good paying jobs have been moved to third world countries. Unions are being decimated by so called “right to work laws” even in the industrial mid western states. The disparity of wages between the few at the economic top and the rest of the work force is a disgrace. This is the first time in our history when our children may not be able to raise their standard of living above their parents. What’s to celebrate on Labor Day if we become a banana republic? It’s now just another day off from work for some.

    • katry Says:

      Bob,
      I’m glad you have rain. You’ve had far too many dry days especially with those horrific temperatures.

      Our schools are not air-conditioned which makes going in the summer really uncomfortable. Luckily it doesn’t get hot until late June so kids survive until school gets out for the summer.

      I was always good at everything but I had to struggle to get good marks when I got to algebra and geometry. I loved learning.

      I just read an article which talked about the number of companies which have moved factories back to the US. The lower wages in other countries were no longer enough to keep the overseas factories. Maybe that trend will continue.

  5. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    Fifth grade was Monsieur Parent. He could speak two kinds of French as well as his native English. We had French lessons on TV from Madam Slack of the 21″Classroom. It used to be on WGBH before that channel became part of the national public television network. After Madam Slack was through with us and the TV was turned off, M. Parent would proclaim that no one could talk in class for the next half hour unless it was in French. It was a very quiet half hour.
    We also had Social Studies in 5th grade. Social Studies then consisted of learning the population of the area in question, the capital city, the main exports and imports and maybe some interesting factoids about local customs. Nowadays, Social Studies is something completely different.

    There was a hugely loud BLAM of thunder a while back. Rocky levitated out of a sound sleep on the couch right onto the floor in stunned surprise. I almost did, too, and I was awake.
    But nothing developed from the single BLAM.

    Enjoy the rest of this lovely day.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      Wow! I’m impressed you studies French in fifth grade. Your social studies sounds like my geography. We learned all those things country to country. Social studies was history for us.

      No thunder and no rain here today at all. The day has been humid and ugly.

      I’m going out for seafood tonight. I’m leaning toward shrimp!

  6. Birgit Says:

    Enjoy the holiday!
    Slowly our election campaign had started, we’ll vote September 22. It’s not comparable to your election campaigns, we just have some trivial posters with smiling faces, occasional TV spots showing happy families and a TV debate yesterday (2 main parties) and today (3 minor parties). These times could be an opportunity to discuss topics that really matter, but no, only empty phrases and dullness. No real choice either. If you don’t hear any news from my home country again, the whole nation is dead asleep.

    • katry Says:

      Thanks, Birgit
      I just came back from going out to eat. Usually today is a big barbecue day, but no one was around so I met my friend at a restaurant and had shrimp!

      We have the same trivial debates here not just for President but also for senate. I got bored easily watching them. When there is an election, the TV is filled with political ads, far, far too many of them.

      I got a laugh from your last sentence!!

    • im6 Says:

      Oh how nice it must be to have political campaigns that last less than a month. Here, in all honesty, they never end. The next election is ALWAYS foremost in every politician’s mind. Oh, there may not be commercials until a little later, but only a little later. Our last national election for president seemed endless. And politicians are already jockeying for position in their hopes of replacing Obama — even though that election isn’t until late in 2015. It truly numbs a nation that I sometimes think doesn’t have the sense of a 5th grader. (How’s THAT for tying things up in a neat little bow?!)

      • katry Says:

        im6,
        The pre-election campaigning for president is endless then come the ads for state elections. Mayor Menino is not running for re-election after 20 years as Boston’s mayor. I can’t begin to imagine the numbers of ads I’ll have to see even though I don’t vote in Boston.

        I’m all for a time limit for political ads.

      • Birgit Says:

        im6, your Tennessee Ernie video showed a typical campaign street ad, allowed approx. 2 month before election date. Street trash. No phone calls, ad mails , emails, visits, etc πŸ™‚


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