SEE KAT RAN....RAN, RAN, RAN
I gave my 13 year old grandson a birthday card not long ago because that’s what grandparents do. After he pocketed the $20, that was enclosed, he made an interesting comment. “Why do you write cursive?” I had to stop and think for a moment whether he was making any sense, as he is related to my son-in-law, and then I asked a question.
“What are you talking about?”
“My card. You wrote cursive in it. Nobody writes that was anymore.” he advised me. I felt like I just stepped out into a ‘black hole’ of ignorance.
“What the crap! Everybody writes cursive,” I said. “Don’t you?”
“No. We don’t learn cursive in school.” he said.
“You were never taught cursive?’ I asked trying not to look to horrified.
“Nope, cause most of the time we use computers and don’t have to write.” he informed me. It was true. His school has computers in every classroom. He takes most of his test on computers, does his homework on his home computer and prints it out and then of course there’s text messaging. I’ve seen him on his computer before and you can hardly see his hands he can type so fast!
It appears our junior generations are dumbing down to new and unfortunate standards. His spelling reads like 15th century “old English” and his punctuation quietly passed away some time ago. Being a teacher many years ago, I’m appalled at how the system has turned into a bloated political whale washed up on the beach. Teacher unions have preserved the weak and banned the strong from the profession. The classrooms are infected with liberal education which endorses ‘learn only what you need’ and rejects any and all classical or cultural enlightenment.
Thanks to his school, my grandson knows how to put on a condom….understands same sex marriage is normal and if another person, (classmate, minor, adult or parent) touches him in any manner that makes him feel uncomfortable he must tell his school counselor and students are questioned about any and all bruises. In theory this last part is acceptable unless the child is so racked on behavioral drugs that the concept of right and wrong is no longer an issue.
The final analysis may well be that computers and an elite class of “administrators”, will one day soon tell us what to think and what to do. In which language I have no idea.
The average 13 year old was better educated and prepared for life 100 years ago than our young teens of today. In some cases they were more educated and cultured than many adults of today. Below is the eighth-grade final exam from 1895 in Salina, Kansas. It was taken from the original document on file at the Smokey Valley Genealogical Society and Library in Salina. What you are going to read were the standards of that day.
8th Grade Final Exam:
Salina , KS - 1895
Grammar (Time, one hour)
1 Give nine rules for the use of capital letters.
2 Name the parts of speech and define those that have no modifications.
3 Define verse, stanza and paragraph.
4 What are the principal parts of a verb? Give principal parts of 'lie,' 'play,' and 'run'.
5 Define case; illustrate each case.
6 What is punctuation? Give rules for principal marks of punctuation.
7 - 10. Write a composition of about 150 words and show therein that you understand the practical use of the rules of grammar.
Arithmetic (Time...1 hour 15 minutes)
1 Name and define the Fundamental Rules of Arithmetic.
2 A wagon box is 2 ft. Deep, 10 feet Long, and 3 ft. Wide. How many bushels of wheat will it hold?
3 If a load of wheat weighs 3,942 lbs, what is it worth at 50cts/bushel, deducting 1,050 lbs for tare?
4 District No 33 has a valuation of $35,000. What is the necessary levy to carry on a school seven months at $50 per month, and have $104 for incidentals?
5 Find the cost of 6,720 lbs. Coal at $6.00 per ton.
6 Find the interest of $512.60 for 8 months and 18 days at 7 percent per annum.
7 What is the cost of 40 boards 12 inches wide and 16 ft long at $20 per metre?
8.. Find bank discount on $300 for 90 days (no grace) at 10 percent.
9 What is the cost of a square farm at $15 per acre, the distance of which is 640 rods?
10. Write a Bank Check, a Promissory Note, and a Receipt.
U.S. History (Time, 45 minutes)
1 Give the epochs into which U.S. History is divided
2 Give an account of the discovery of America by Columbus .
3 Relate the causes and results of the Revolutionary War.
4 Show the territorial growth of the United States .
5 Tell what you can of the history of Kansas .
6 Describe three of the most prominent battles of the Rebellion.
7 Who were the following: Morse, Whitney, Fulton , Bell , Lincoln , Penn, and Howe?
8 Name events connected with the following dates: 1607, 1620, 1800, 1849, 1865.
Orthography (Time, one hour)
[Do we even know what this is??]
1 What is meant by the following: alphabet, phonetic, orthography, etymology, syllabication?
2 What are elementary sounds? How classified?
3 What are the following, and give examples of each: trigraph, subvocals, diphthong, cognate letters, linguals?
4 Give four substitutes for caret 'u'.
5 Give two rules for spelling words with final 'e.' Name two exceptions under each rule.
6 Give two uses of silent letters in spelling. Illustrate each.
7 Define the following prefixes and use in connection with a word: bi, dis, pre, semi, post, non, inter, mono, sup.
8 Mark diacritically and divide into syllables the following, and name the sign that indicates the sound: card, ball, mercy, sir, odd, cell, rise, blood, fare, last.
9 Use the following correctly in sentences: cite, site, sight, fane, fain, feign, vane , vain, vein, raze, raise, rays.
10. Write 10 words frequently mispronounced and indicate pronunciation by use of diacritical marks and by syllabication.
Geography; select only two….(Time, one hour)
1 What is climate? Upon what does climate depend?
2 How do you account for the extremes of climate in Kansas ?
3 Of what use are rivers? Of what use is the ocean?
4 Describe the mountains of North America .
5 Name and describe the following: Monrovia , Odessa , Denver , Manitoba , Hecla , Yukon , St. Helena, Juan Fernandez, Aspinwall and Orinoco .
6 Name and locate the principal trade centers of the U.S. Name all the republics of Europe and give the capital of each.
8 Why is the Atlantic Coast colder than the Pacific in the same latitude?
9 Describe the process by which the water of the ocean returns to the sources of rivers.
10. Describe the movements of the earth. Give the inclination of the earth.