Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Public School Education Prior to 1975

Wow, this one sounds dull as dirt, doesn't it? But hold tight, because don't I always offer you some laughs?




I am in a unique position to evaluate this premise. My public school education began in 1964 and ended in 1977. Spoiler alert: I didn't learn diddly squat about guns.

I did learn stuff, though.

I learned how to turn chicken eggs in an incubator so that the chicks would develop properly. By doing this, I learned that birds turn their eggs. This stuck with me. That was kindergarten.

Grade 1 I learned to love snowfall. The teacher let me stay in the hallway and watch a snow storm, all by myself, while the other kids had recess in the classroom.

Second grade I learned that being left-handed sucks. Cursive writing was a horror.

Third grade I memorized all my times tables. I understand they do it differently now. Rote worked for me. We had flash cards and practiced at home.

Fourth grade I learned that there was an author named Laura Ingalls Wilder, and that she wrote fabulous books about growing up on the prairie in the 19th century. Literally, I think all I did in fourth grade was read "Little House" books and solve long division problems.  Oh yeah! The teacher was so furious that none of us knew the words to the National Anthem that she gave us one night to memorize it and then made all 31 of us sing it, solo, the next day.

In fifth grade I learned that if you can't play kickball very well, you can earn props from the more athletic kids by being a fair umpire.

In sixth grade *spoiler alert kinda gross* I learned in health class that I had been putting certain feminine items on backwards. My mother never showed me.

In seventh grade I didn't learn much of anything, because my mother had a major nervous breakdown, and that made me irritable, distracted, and prone to acting out in school. I would have been keenly interested in gun use classes at this moment in my life, but I didn't get them. There was no gun in my home, at any stage of my life, and that's why I'm sitting here writing this today. I might be dead otherwise.

Eighth grade I remember looking in the Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature about a movie star and then getting magazine articles from the school library to write a report. It's funny how things work. I wound up making a decent living doing exactly that task, from 1984 until 2005.

In ninth grade biology class, I learned that eating a balanced diet every day makes multivitamins unnecessary.

When I was in tenth grade I learned that it's possible to fall head-over-heels, deeply in love with someone that modern society would bar me from pursuing.

Again in 11th grade, life was chaos at home, so I didn't learn anything. As with seventh grade, I would have remembered vividly having gun lessons.

In my senior year of high school, I learned a little bit of Latin. I wish I had studied it from freshman year forward. It's really great, and not just because of the bored gods.


So there, not terribly abridged, is my public school education! It did not include gun safety or gun use.

You know what? I'm going to tag this post with a "moron" label. Think about that quote above. In order to teach gun safety, there would have to be a gun or guns in school. That gun would have to be a common enough model to have readily available ammunition. For the love of fruit flies! What an explosive situation!

So, now addressing the moron who said I had gun safety classes in school, I reply most forcibly: Oh HELL no, I did not! The closest I got to a safety lesson upon which my life depended was in geology class, where we learned protective measures for exploring wild caves. Bite me, Mr. Gun Owner. There was a war being fought almost throughout the entirety of my public schooling. Three major political figures were assassinated. People thought differently about firearms in those days. Trust me on that, reader.

8 comments:

Anne Basso said...

I just asked my folks about this, since they had public school educations on the West Coast and Midwest, starting in 1940, and then they both became teachers and were teaching from the early 60s until the late 90s.

They both said that's a bunch of hooey.

I do teach my kids about guns though. Much like stop, drop, and roll. If they see a gun the rules are don't touch it, get away from it, and tell a grown up.

Anne Johnson said...

I think if my daughters were young now, I would teach them the same thing. I don't have a gun in my house. Never have, never will.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Well, since all my public school education in that era was in Canada, it goes without saying that gun education was unnecessary and not offered. We did, however, learn how to snowshoe, build an igloo and run away from polar bears. Naw, I'm just funnin' you.

Anti Kate said...

No gun education for me, the nuns had wooden rulers, that was bad enough! ;P

Davoh said...

Yep, here's me - attempting to convince you folks up there in the Nothern Hamisphere of this rather beautiful planet - believe me or not - 'tis the only one we have at this point of eternal history.

Guess where all the "guns" and "aggro" come from .... ????


The Southern hemisphere really does NOT need all that sort of shit!

Lucretia said...

I graduated from a California high school in 1979, and we certainly didn't have "gun education" in any of the five schools I attended from kindergarten through 12th grade. The closest we had was some dork shooting his dad's gun off in the empty hallway of our junior high on a bet, and a gang member getting shot in front of our high school when I was in 12th grade. Those were the only lessons about guns I ever got in school, and neither was "standard"!

Anonymous said...

I attended school in California: first grade in about 1956 to graduating high school in 1967, and they never ever said anything about guns-- they might as well have not existed.
I'm told we have a gun in the house, but I've never seen it.
--Kim

Anne Johnson said...

Yes, the 1960s was a different era. Nothing like a foreign war and a presidential assassination to give guns a bad name, or no name at all. Like Kim, I think gun safety classes would hardly have occurred to school personnel.