I heard it again today on a radio talk show. Some expert trying to reassure us that schools really haven’t changed much over the decades. They’re not any more violent or dysfunctional today than they were 20, 40, or 60 years ago. Bullshit. And I would add neurotic to the mix, too. As a society we are certainly more neurotic.
Helicopter parents, crying parents, fighting parents, partying parents? And let’s not forget the little princes and princesses that lord over the parents.
I know this much, we didn’t have metal detectors at our school and carrying a pocket knife wasn’t going to get you expelled. Hell, there was at least one kid who brought a rifle to class for show and tell at my school.
It’s a flat out lie when someone says things are more or less the same today. No they are not.
In grade school boys did a lot of drawing, especially drawings of war scenes. Not quite sure why. We also drew factories — especially chocolate factories — at my school. Again, not sure why. These were not supervised activities — in fact I’m sure we were supposed to be practicing cursive — but if you asked nicely, the teacher might lend you her checking pencil so you cold add color to your illicit drawing.
Those were the glory days, where we learned from each other how to draw a machine gun or an exploding head. Burning schools and churches were popular, too, with big bombs landing on the teachers’ parking lot. The only punishment we ever got was a stern “put that away” from the irritated teacher. And with all of that blood, murder, and mayhem, we more or less turned out ok…and certainly less neurotic than what we have today.
I just did a quick (too quick from the looks of it) sample sketch for you. I’m guessing if ten-year-olds did this at school today it would be leading the 6:00 news with teaching careers and family reputations in jeopardy. Am I wrong? Hell, no…there would be a lock down! Followed by counseling (neurotic) and town meetings. A kid might even be locked in a padded room. Right?
It’s no wonder we’re nuts.
The neighborhood park board is always looking for volunteers to teach summer camp programs for kids. Maybe I’ll volunteer to lead a drawing class this summer.