My classmates of 1958 will be
meeting in my hometown of Alderson, West Virginia for our 50th
year high school class reunion over the July 4th week. I have come
to realize that the 58ers and education have come so far and yet
not far at all in these past 50 years. We of course have learned
new sciences and computers and knowledge has run rampant. We have
ventured to the moon and are now digging into the crust of Mars.
We have space modules visiting the outer planets that orbit our
Sun. What else will we accomplish. Where else will we go. We have
learned and become learned beyond the wildest dreams of man We
have traveled so far and have learned so little. In the giant
scheme of the universe we have but scratched the surface of space
travel and space knowledge. We have ventured only far enough out
of our safety zone of the earthís atmosphere as to call it
dangerous. We have libraries full of books that sit with dust on
them. Our language has become computer bites with letters and
numbers to make up our words.
You would think in those 50 years we who keep our feet planted on
the surface of the earth would have learned how to live in peace,
but it is just the opposite. We are killing each other at an
alarming rate and for the same reasons people were killing each
other 50 years ago, a hundred years ago, yea a thousand years ago.
You would think with all the technology and the knowledge we have
obtained with agriculture that there would not be one hungry human
on the face of the planet, yet we see people from a hundred
agencies on television everyday showing children the world over
starving and begging for food to feed them. We see that same food
meant for the hungry going to feed the troops of some power hungry
third world idiot who is killing people at an alarming rate to
seize power of a country that cannot feed itself, cannot produce
anything and the entire bankroll of the country would not keep
Donald Trump in business for one day.
You would think the society in our country would be the mirror
image of Emily Post. After all, her methods of how a young lady
should dress, act and behave were taught 50 years ago. Every young
lady was taught home economics. Everything from cooking to
household budgeting. How to dress for work, for play and for tea.
Gentlemen were gentlemen because society and the ladies demanded
it. If you were a cad you were shunned and not invited to social
functions. Todayís women have much tougher choices to make, "do I
stop at McDonalds or Captain Dís on the way home from work".
Todayís children are almost all "latch key children" who fend for
themselves until the parents come home from work. What education
they get is from the TV or the Internet. I seriously doubt if
Emily Post would have anything to do with either one except for
catching up on current affairs. That term to mean catching up on
world news and events, not the latest Hollywood gossip.
We have learned to be better policemen and firemen. Less crime is
gotten away with because of the vast amount of knowledge about
criminals and their behavior. I guess that is why we must build
more jails each year. The criminals are still just as dumb and
stupid as ever and are getting caught at an alarming rate. It used
to be the firemen that had the biggest rate of job related deaths,
but that has turned around now and it is the policemen who now
face the most perils of the job. There was a time when policemen
had a great deal of respect, even from the criminal element, but
now we find that the bad guys have no fear of the policemen or his
position in society.
We have dumbed down our politics, we have dumbed down our legal
system and we have most dreadfully dumbed down our education
system to the point that a person graduating from college now has
less knowledge than an eight grader did 50 years ago. Our science
and mathematics have lapsed below a lot of third world countries.
Most high tech employers are going to the east and far east to
find their brain power these days.
Oh, before I forget we have advanced in one area of academics. We
are turning out athletes now that would have marveled those
playing 50 years ago. Then we had a saying " he can do any thing
with a ball except autograph it", now we say, "donít worry about
him being able to sign it, his attorney will do that for him".
Today education is just a job and little is expected from the
teachers and even less is expected from the students. Lucky for
most of the teachers they have the union to help them keep the job
and playboy magazine if they are not able to keep it.
It was so nice living and going to school 50 years ago. The
teachers who taught in school also taught in Sunday school. They
had high morals and high standards which they demanded of
themselves and their students.
How far have we advanced in our education system? We have
digressed about two hundred years. The school system as run by the
state has become little more than a tax payer based day care
Our class motto 50 years ago was, "today we anchor, tomorrow we
sail". After sailing for 50 years I have never come across better
schools, teachers or town than the one I left 50 years ago. Sail
on 58ers, sail on.