Insightful Rambling Thoughts

by Mama Coover

I recently stumbled on an area in our local library, an area with lots of books on education, theories and thoughts on teaching, history of education, etc. and so I thought I would share some quotes that I found to be quite interesting.

The first quotes come from a book called "The Little Red Schoolhouse" by' Eric Sloane. It is a sketchbook of early American education. He says, "The difference between yesterday's schoolhouse and that of today might seem to be merely the difference between two kinds of architecture and the difference of size. The real difference, however, is the simple difference between yesterday and today, and the way we live it. Education, like modern everyday life, has suddenly become regarded as a means of making more money. Startling as it sounds, life's values have become all too linked with the dollar, and the diploma is openly regarded as a guaranteed bank account. School days, like our everydays, have changed."

"Living has lost tranquility-wars have become almost constant, strikes are part of daily work and rebellion is a popular school study. Normal education in this modern chaotic time often resembles a child trying to do homework while parents quarrel: students feel called to leave their orderly routine of study and try to patch up the confusion."

"The disappearance of the old- time great fireplace is sad; it was the favorite American family gathering place. Now we gather about the TV set, but there is little or no contact or even conversation among a family watching a TV show. The hearth was once exactly what the word meant-the "heart" of the home, the center of communication."

"A vice President of the U.S. said that "a man with a college degree will earn a hundred thousand dollars more during his lifetime than a man without a degree." And so, many children are being sent to college with the inspiration that they might get the best jobs and earn the most money; they are told that the dropout is destined to be a financial failure. It must be confusing when they learn that most of the richest men of our time had the least education, and the poorest paid are sometimes the teachers."

"Nowadays you hear of younger people "doing their thing" and rejoicing in a new-found expression of one sort or another. Actually, there is nothing new-found about it, for centuries ago people were often happier and more aware of life because everyone "did their thing" - making their clothing, raising and preparing their food and rejoicing at the end of the week by giving thanks to an Elohim they believed in. Children started out doing their own things at their school; they made their own quill pens and lead pencils and they made their own rag-paper copy books at home ...... " That concludes the quotes (for now) from Eric Sloane's thought-provoking insight.

Marquis and Sachs did a book as a tribute to American teachers called, appropriately, "I Am A Teacher" It contains numerous quotes throughout from teachers. Marilyn Gillis, a health/home economics teacher at Milton Jr./Sr. High School in Milton, Vermont said some interesting things that, perhaps unbeknownst to her, make an excellent case for pulling one's children out of the world's educational system (note her statement about "not letting them out of the house"). She says, "If you are a parent, you can't prevent your child from getting 'sex education' - not if you let them out of your house. Not if you have a television. Not if you have a radio. Not if you let them listen to (the world's) music ..... One of the school board members wanted only pure home economics taught here, which is of course cooking and sewing ...... " I'll end her quote there, but she goes on to explain how she feels that "pure" home economics isn't enough in the world we live in because the children are being educated by their peers anyway, and so it is her duty to counteract that teaching with her version, whatever that might be. For those reading this with spiritual minds, I should think it would strike you as scary stuff. The sad part is that she offers no hint of the fact that we don't HAVE to let them out of the house (make them go away to schools where they are not taught things consistent with what we believe, or claim to believe...thus letting them "out of the house" ..... we don't HAVE to have a television and a radio, along with the contents thereof. The poor lady acts almost as if these things are necessities of life, right along with food, clothing, and shelter!

Someone ('don't know who) once said .... 'They say' is often proved to be a great liar. I love this because I get weary with well- meaning, but often misinformed people, handing down every kind of advice and "knowledge" under the sun, apparently entrusted to them by "they". A basic fundamental English gem is "Check the source!" So I ask over and over again, sometimes out loud and sometimes, out of respect, under my breath ..... WHO are "they"?

Probably, for nothing more than my own amusement, I compiled a partial list of what they say, as has been shared with me through the years. Here it goes:

"They say you can't have a baby at home anymore." Now, I ask, why in the world not? Well, they say, because it's dangerous...something could go wrong. Have they taken a look at hospital statistics lately? But they say the doctors are professionals, they ought to know best. Yes, they "ought" to. I heard a "reputable" doctor once say, in regards to having babies at home, even with a midwife, "They can't do that anymore, can they? Isn't that illegal?" Notice how this man was careful with his wording. He didn't SAY that you can't do that anymore and he didn't SAY that it was illegal, but by his feigned questioning, he simply IMPLIED something, which by the way, he knew perfectly well to be untrue. I could share more with you regarding this evil man, but I will stop there as I can feel my blood pressure rising.

"They say you have to send your children 'to school'" They also say that the truancy officers will come along, pay you a visit, and steal your children from you, regardless of the circumstances, simply because they are not officially enrolled in the local government school. Yes, I know there have been complications along the road of home schooling for many, but the implication here is that it is illegal to teach your own children at home. Have you noticed that "they" love to use the word "illegal"?

"They say you have to get your children shots." You guessed it, to not do so is ILLEGAL of-course. Have you noticed, too, that "shots" is apparently supposed to be a common household word? Someone from another culture might question something like,"Are they talking about bullets?" Well, if they read some of the local newspapers, they might think they had indeed hit the nail on the head.:-( But I was referring to "immunizations" against diseases, many of which though routinely administered, are practically non-existent in this country, or if they are existent, very treatable. They never told me about things like "religious exemptions"

"They say you have to go to college, get a "good" education, so that you can get a "good" job." Many times these so called "good" jobs are also hated, but they left that part out, as they also left out the part that the best of the "good" jobs many times make one a slave to some company for the duration of their natural lifetime. (See back to Eric Sloane's quote about college and the monetary incentive plan.)

"They say that you need to be (forced) to interact and socialize with strangers, many times strangers you neither like, nor like you, in order to be able to "live in the real world" No comment.

"They say both husband and wife HAVE to both work these days. Having two incomes is the ONLY way you can make it." Well, I don't know what they're in the business to make, but I'm just thankful nobody has left me in on it.

"They say you can't be buried at home anymore." You guessed it, ILLEGAL. Think again. In this new found area of the library I told you about, I started out looking for a book called "Caring for Your Own Dead" by Lisa Carlson. "They" also have alot of other senseless stuff to say about the supposed fantasy of home burial, but Lisa offers a complete guide for those who wish to handle funeral arrangements themselves ..... as a final act of love. The back cover reads: "In most states you don't need a funeral director. In every state you can take charge of funeral arrangements and body disposition. Caring for your own dead can be the most meaningful way to say goodbye to someone you love. It may save you money. Natural childbirth and hospice, once considered revolutionary ideas, have allowed millions to take control of critical life events. This landmark book tells you how to involve yourself in another of life's most intimate experiences - the final act of love for a friend or relative who has died." It contains, amongst other things, legal requirements of each state, burial procedures, and why you might want to take charge and what it will cost.

My list is by no means exhaustive, but hopefully it will at least serve as food for thought for the abstract thinker. :-) The next time "they" comes up in a conversation, ask yourself, "Is this fact or fallacy?" Remember who the Father of lies is. Check your source. Who are "they"?

A dear friend of ours once told me that years ago when she was asked to write a column about children, she often had to pray and fast for long periods in order for Yahweh to reveal what it was HE wanted her to say. I suffer from another problem. He reveals things to me all the time that I can't wait to sit down and punch out on my faithful word processor, but I struggle constantly with finding the TIME to sit down and do it! Another friend just recently sent me an E-mail suggesting that perhaps I would want to consider putting out my own paper about such things as balancing one's life and schedule between being a wife, mother, teacher, household responsibilities, doing school, etc. I jokingly told my husband, "O-K, my first piece of advice is this: Don't include in your busy schedule writing a paper telling other women how to balance THEIR busy schedules." The infamous Freud once said, "There is a little truth in every joke." I think perhaps he may have had that one right, and indeed sometimes there is ALOT of truth in a joke!

That's about all for right now from me, except I'll close with an advertisement for a truly LOVELY newspaper by a lovely young lady, also my daughter, Rebekah. It's called, quite fittingly, "Rebekah's Lovely Newspaper", and if you're not already on her mailing list, you can be added by writing to her and requesting it. :-)



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