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Lessons in back-to-school whimsy
Aug 22, 2013


Summer is fading away and fall is slipping gradually into our lives, bringing with it family activity and sports registration,  a million leaves to rake, the fall garden cleanup and, of course,  the return to school.
Back to school whimsy:
• It was a teacher who said, “One of the greatest problems in education today is that too many parents can’t tell if their kids are poor spellers.”
• During the first week of September, the second-graders were quizzed about what they’d like to be when they grow up. The teacher got the usual answers from most of the pupils, such as doctor, firefighter, actress, police officer, astronaut, rock star, etc.
However, one little boy sat quietly, giving no indication of his future vocation. 
“What about you, Darren?” the teacher asked. “What do you want to be when you grow up?” 
The boy shrugged.  “Gee,” he answered. “I don't even know what I want to be for Hallowe’en yet.”
Back-to-school brings to mind this line that was probably uttered by a mom: “While modern psychiatry has contributed enormously to mental health, there’s still a lot to be said for the re-opening of school.”
Most teachers will be glad to be back to the challenge of the new school year. Some, however, may be yearning for the “good old days.” But heres a little food-for-thought perspective on those days of yore:
• Rules for Female Teachers, circa 1915.
1. You will not marry during the term of your contract.
2. You are not to keep company with men.
3. You must be at home between the hours of 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. unless attending a school function.
4. You may not loiter downtown in ice cream stores.
5. You may not ride in a carriage or automobile with any man, unless he is your father or brother.
6. You may not smoke cigarettes.  Wow! A rule ahead of its time.
7. You may not dress in bright colours.
8. You may not dye your hair.
9. You must wear at least two petticoats.
10. Your dresses must not be any shorter than two inches above the ankle.
11. You must sweep the schoolroom floor at least once a day, scrub the floor once a week,  clean the blackboards once a day and start the fire at 7 a.m. so that the room will be warm by 8 a.m.  
12. You may not travel beyond the city limits, unless you have the permission of the Chairman of the school division.
The  “good old days?”
 It’s never too late to learn!
Perhaps a Continuing Education  course is on your agenda for the fall. The following are proposed courses designed for men. It’s fair to say that they were thought up by a woman.
• Course No.1 —  You can do housework, too.
• Course No. 2 — How to fill an ice tray.
• Course No. 3 — How to stay awake after dinner.
• Course No. 4 —  Parenting: No, it doesn’t end with conception.
• Course No. 5 — Spelling: Even you can get it right.
• Course No. 6 — Reasons to give flowers.
• Course No. 7 — The weekend and sports are not synonymous.
• Course No. 8 — Understanding your financial incompetence.
• Course No. 9 — Why it is unacceptable to relieve yourself anywhere but in     the washroom.
• Course No. 10-  Garbage: Getting it to the curb.
• Course No. 11 — How to go shopping with your mate and not get lost.
• Course No. 12 — The remote control: Overcoming your dependency.
• Course No. 13 — Romanticism: Yes, you can learn.
• Course No. 14 — How not to act younger than your children.
• Course No. 15 — Changing your underwear: It really works.
• Course No. 16 — How to omit expletives from your vocabulary.
• Course No. 17 —  PMS: Learning how to keep your mouth shut.
• Course No. 18 — Get a life: Learn to cook.
• Course No. 19 — Combating stupidity and stubbornness.
• Course No. 20 — Loading the washing machine: Yes, you can do it.