Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Brief Sunday Post

This is pretty cool…if you’re a hockey fan: The NHL Tournament of Logos. And you can vote for your favorite! Do NOT, repeat, DO NOT come back here and tell me you voted for a team other than the Red Wings. Some things are simply unacceptable in life… and this is but one. No ifs, ands or buts.
Apropos of nothing…Detroit is the proud possessor of the NHL’s oldest logo, worn proudly on red/white jerseys since 1948. Second oldest? The Habs — 1952. Both, coincidentally, are Original Six teams, and both logos are classics. Cue up Tevye, if you please…
Gerard posted one of his better essays yesterday (“Back to School”), which is both funny and ALL too true. The essay is difficult to excerpt, building as it does from one point to the next. But I’ll try:
YESTERDAY I HEARD OF A YOUNG MOTHER who came downstairs early in the morning to find her fifth-grade son dressed for school but flat on his back in the middle of the living room staring in despair at the ceiling.
MOM: "What on Earth do you think you're doing?"
BOY: "I can't do it. I just can't go to school any more."
Today, after mulling the lie-down strike a little more, it seems to me there's more than a little to be said on the side of the fifth-grader's strike. After twenty years of schooling and more than thirty on the day shift, those early grades seem -- looked at through society's grubby glasses -- to be an idyllic time. After all, weren't they?
But if we try and shift our point of view a bit, and if we try to remember all those things the haze of our twice-told childhood fairy-tales hides from us, we might see it -- just a bit and just for an instant -- from the point of view of the fifth-grade boy flat on his back in the living room staring at the ceiling in utter despair.
Here he lays. He's been going to this job of his for as long as he can remember. Unlike my experience which didn't start until kindergarten, today's boy has probably been working in the education industry since age 3. They started him out on basic blocks and why he shouldn't nail somebody who took his cookie. Those are hard lessons. How to stack something up so it doesn't collapse in a heap at the first shudder in the earth. How to "share" limited and personal resources. Why you don't just paste someone who irritates you with the nearest blunt object. These are basic lessons, and we forget how hard they are. Some of us don't learn them at all. Those people are either in prison, running Fortune 500 companies, or assembling bombs.
Do go read the whole thing…including the 19 comments, as I write…you won’t be sorry. And have a little pity for your 12 year-old the next time he says “I don’t FEEL like going to school today…” He just might have a point.
Today’s Pic (Gearhead Division): An immaculate Rat Motor from a 1967 Chevelle SS 396, the first new car I ever bought and one of perhaps four or five cars I’ve owned that I wish I still had. Even though I wouldn’t ice down a case of beer in the back seat and go looking for drag races on Highway 90 in and around Biloxi, Mississippi. Not that I ever did anything that stupid, to begin with. Much. One of life’s greatest mysteries is how we (most of us, anyway) manage to survive youth.
Car show in Amarillo, TX. March, 2004.


  1. Excellent essay on schooling. School offers nothing to Cody, except band. That's the only thing he likes about it.

    At least he's not being tormented as much on the bus as he used to be. Now I tell him, "You remember how it was when they were bullying you. Now it's your turn to protect the little kids who can't protect themselves."

  2. As a teacher witnessing my kids at school along with other kids - I just couldn't do it anymore - much like the fifth grader.

    Toby says to say that my man was mopar man. And it is amazing that he survived his youth in Hobbs, NM.

  3. Very honest essay.

    I wish I had home schooled my guys. For all the focus on "self esteem" in the schools, it just takes a few bullies (teacher or students) to completely demoralize a kid. Some schools seem to be survival of the fittest in the highest degree (as Alan's comment highlighted), but really the bureaucratic environment is stifling in most of them. I used to support public schools, but I doubt most of them are salvageable as things stand. I will be interested to see what my guys do with their kids when their turn comes.

    Thanks for this, Buck.

    Becky, you're bringing up your Cody to be exactly the kind of kid my guys would have respected and appreciated in school.

    Lou, does that stand for motor parts? I had to look it up. :-)

  4. Guess my glasses aren't as rosed over by time as I thought. I blanche at the memory of school now as much as I detested the real thing at the time.

    NICE Chevelle! I almost drag-raced a local hot one with my bike once - nah, if you didn't drag race, I didn't either.

  5. Ok I went and voted, no comment on who I voted for...

    Very interesting read on school. It seems to get worse. I don't know how kids learn anything. It seems to be more like survive instead of excel.


  6. The Second Mrs. Pennington home schooled SN3 for two years and then quit, for reasons unknown to me. He went back to public school, which doesn't sound too bad from what little I hear, when he went into the third grade and there he remains. I could speculate about TSMP's reasons for dropping the home schooling...but won't.

    Bec: "Mopar" is the term gearheads use for Chrysler products, e.g., Plymouth Road Runners, Dodge Darts, Challengers, and Chargers, etc.


Just be polite... that's all I ask.