Thursday, August 30, 2018


I see from reading that nationwide we have students who don't go to class. I didn't skip all that much as a student but then I wanted to learn and I found enough point in going so I could learn more math, more chemistry, more things that one gets exposed to at school. At the same time, I really didn't think much of school or teachers. For me, when they gave me the text book and told me to read it and I would be tested I read the damned book.

I took the Navy War College by seminar. In Strategy and Policy we had a stack of books to read that was as tall as I am. I regretted handing them back in but I had large pieces copied into a notebook that  I really hoped Chaplain Harvey would find when he went meticulously through two enormous pods I didn't have time to search before burning it all behind me.

What we used to call teachers are now called educators and I wouldn't submit for one minute to their lessons and ministrations.

I knew how to read before I went to school and I had 3 houses full of books a young man could seek his reading teeth into. I'm talking thousands of books.

I used to watch tv and it was mostly just the shows I wanted to watch before NETFLIX got in the business of letting people watch only what they please to watch. I would sometimes catch a few moments of one of the 90's reality cops show. Bad boys bad boys was their music. What I noted in every single one of their home invasions was a complete and total absence of books.

In my parents house we had bookshelves stuffed to overflowing with books. Most of the closets in the house had book shelves.  In my grandparent's houses they had bookshelves that took up whole rooms and stuffed with books. I still remember the delight of finally braving the sure and certain attack by the 30 million bees who lived in the attic and finding where my grandmother had her shelves full of paperbacks. Hundreds of them. Micky Spillane and the Destroyer were captive in her attic.

Where I live, every single room has at least one bookshelf some more than that. I don't buy them anymore but not because I don't want to read them. I just find it much simpler to read electronic books. Probably, in a generation, nobody in north America will even know what a bookshelf is or was since the only books they ever read are electronic.

I live directly across the street from our elementary school and I see little tiny first and third and second graders walking up the path into the door with enormous backpacks which, I suspect, are stuffed full of books. That stack I had doing Strategy and Policy springs to mind every time I see them.

Education and knowledge accrual had little to do with me once I learned that I could just read the damned book and skip every class. They used to tell me that the weekly surprise quiz was only 10% of the factors that went into getting your term or semester grades......but they lied. I could score a 100 on the midterm and the final and still be given a B for failure to "participate" in class. Oddly enough, it still rankles.

In the Newport classes. All of them. Yeah, I went to NSI and SWOS and Department Head school and also to Thompson Junior High and Saint Joseph of Cluny and learned that naps were the best things in life when one found oneself forced to listen to the same material that you read as homework and yet were forced to be in a classroom with a teacher who did nothing but parroting the book.

Since I'm on that topic, one of the very best classes I have ever taken was on stress management. The instructor stood there in front of us and told us that class would not start until every single one of us had the instructional material furnished to us 5 months ago on the tables in front of us. Some people had to drive 10 miles to their houses/apartments to find that stuff. Once we were all present again and seated the instructor simply said, "that's stress and don't ever do it to the people who work for you." That was it, class over. I don't know if they even still have what used to be known as Destroyer School or Department Head School. It may have been flushed along with SWOS many years ago.

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