One of the joys I get from posting the Grudge every day is seeing which threads generate the most comments.
Clearly,Monday’s was about Obama’s pitiful writing skills.It got me thinking of my halcyon days in high school.
When I received my class schedule before beginning my junior year(1966-67) I had been one of 22 students from a class of almost 400 for an Honors English course.The teacher was a woman named Gladys M. Ford.Everybody has one teacher who impacted their life to some extent.For me,it was Mrs.Ford.
The first day she laid out her philosophy. “You are in an honors class for a reason.I expect excellence and will accept nothing less.” She also had a sign on her desk:Question Everything.
Some of the kids disliked her to various degrees because they had always just skated through. Woe be unto anyone who came to class unprepared.We went through everything from Beowulf to Mad Magazine.(See if you can guess who suggested that material.)Anytime you wrote a report you better be prepared to defend it.
When you asked a question,she would steer you toward finding an answer on your own instead of just telling you.She felt you would retain what you learned better that way.I always considered myself a wordsmith,but against her I never stood a chance.Ironically,the best piece she claimed I wrote was when we had to write a satire and I chose to retell Paul Revere’s ride from his horse’s perspective.
In August of 1967,just before senior year,Mrs.Ford suffered a massive heart attack and passed away.Nearly her whole class attended her funeral,which was a testament to her dedication to what she called: ‘her children.’ A portrait of her still hangs in the Rockford Auburn foyer outside the theater stage.
She could not have survived in today’s educational system.Her joy was seeing a student’s face light up when they accomplished things they never thought possible.
If Barack H. Obama had been in Mrs. Ford’s class and handed in this rubbish she would have said: “If abusing the English language were a crime you,sir,would be a felon.”
How different things were before the teachers unionized and suborned childrens’ education to their own selfish interests.
I fear the like of Gladys M. Ford will never be seen again,and we as a nation are poorer for it.