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#3502 05/17/01 03:00 AM
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Some answers are obvious but for the same reason some are not. It's the books on the list I haven't read that I'm curious about. It's not on the list but I read somewhere The Lorax was banned in areas (heavy logging areas for obvious reasons to those who've read it) where as it would be greatly loved in others. When I look at lists of banned books it makes me want to read them to understand why they were banned. But that's the rebel in me I guess.


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Re: AS comment When I was in high school (OK, in the early 70s, if you must know! ), we read an "expurgated" version of Romeo & Juliet (with all the maidenhead stuff deleted - not that we'd have known what that meant, anyway). My mom made sure I read the original at home.

My school too had a bowdlerize version-- but our English teacher in order to drum up excitement told us to look up the word Expurgated-- and to buy/beg or borrow a complete edition and we could get bonus point for figuring out why the text had been expunged! --(this was an all girls public HS)

my HS school, a few years before your time AS, was stuffed to the gills with "baby boomers" (over 6,000 students in the school, and most students didn't start at the school till "sophmore" year). It ran on split sessions-- the first class of the day Period 0 started at 7:55 AM-- the last class, Period 10, started at 4:10 or so) I had English at 7:55-- In NYC, even with Daylight saving time-- we arrived at school when it was still dark! Many of us where interested-- but some students where still half asleep (and the rest of us half frozen-- Only 1 door of the school opened for Period 0-- directly across the street from a city reservoir--and the door didn't open till 7:50-- so if you got to school a little early-- you stood out side and froze!)


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the first class of the day Period 0 started at 7:55 AM

My first class is at 7:25 and many of the teachers get there at 6:30 to prepare. I personally like this more because we get out at 2:25, leaving more time in the afternoon. I'm pretty sure that most of the schools in this area have about the same hours.

My school is a little different though because we're on block scheduling which means that instead of 7 or 8 classes 45 minutes a day we have 4 classes per semester for 90 minutes a day. (There's also the option of having 2 45 minute classes all year for those of us in band or choir.) It sounds like 90 minutes is a long time for one class, but after a while we got used to it. It also means that one only has to think about 4 subjects at once.


#3505 05/18/01 04:43 AM
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I went to school in Colorado. We too got to stand outside and freeze until the doors opened. But I wasn't a happy camper because it was the first year that the school bussed students from my area, before that students had been housed in town. The principal said he'd never opened the doors until the bell rang for twenty-five years and he wasn't going to change now, even though we were dropped off half an hour before the bell so that the bus could get all the students to their schools. Junior high and high school rode together in the morning. All grades in the afternoon. Before dawn, in the middle of winter, it gets pretty cold in Colorado. I came from a very small mountain community. As you can imagine school wasn't a big priority for many families in my area. It's hard to care about school, when you feel school doesn't care about you.


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Do others share my feeling that this is a lovely thread that merits reviving?


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Yes, Ken, but this is the wrong place for it. Maybe a new thread in Miscellaneous? You could entitle it Rants about Education.


#3508 11/01/01 12:23 PM
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>My first class is at 7:25 and many of the teachers get there at 6:30 to prepare.

Probably a little off topic but what the hell.

Why is there such an obsession with starting early in the USA? Is it something to do with daylight and coping with a country that runs across several time zones? Or is it just part of the work ethic that gives workers only a couple of weeks holiday a year (that would really hurt me)?

My school ran from roughly 9am - 4pm, with a 3:30 finish for the juniors. Even so, I had to leave the house at 7:30am to get there, which seemed far too early for me, when many of my friends were able to roll out of bed at 8am and hop on a short bus ride.

It fitted in pretty well with most office hours (9-5ish), although some there was some pre-school care for the few (in those days) families with very young children where both parents worked. Older children just made their own way to school anyway, I don't remember any school buses in our area, we just used public transport, few had the luxury of a second car for school runs.

As far as I am concerned nights are for staying up late (at least after 11, if not 12, after the late night film) and mornings are for a lie in, I think that getting up before 7am is slightly subhuman, I have to do it occasionally for an airline check in but would never dream of scheduling a work meeting before 9am (if not, 10am), although in my full time working days, I rarely left the office before 6:30 or 7pm.

Medicine in the USA seems appalling. I'm still recovering from the medical student who told me that he has to do his ward rounds at 4am to be ready to present cases at 5am. Are the patients allowed to sleep? The law doesn't seem much better, a friend worked in a New York office where people not in the office by 7am were regarded as slackers, especially those who take their "full" two weeks holiday, she didn't dare take hers. I'm not surprised that they are all so uptight, they all needed more sleep and a good holiday. [/rant - is that Ok for a rant?]


#3509 11/01/01 01:37 PM
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Jo, the US school schedule has roots in our agrarian past. I think that school traditionally began early so that children could be home in time to help with chores, and recessed for the summer so that children could work in the fields. The fact that 90+% of current students have never even been on a farm hasn't stopped the inertia of that schedule.

I think that the inertia is compounded by the work ethic. You are right; people who take what vacation time they are given are regarded as slackers. Also, however, there is the problem of trying to make up the work if you take the days off. The last time I took a week off - 1995? - I spent such long hours before and after that week doing the work I couldn't do while I was gone, I told myself I would never do that again. It's just too painful.

There has been in recent years a slow alteration of the traditional school schedule. The school year is creeping later and later into June, and beginning in late August rather than in September, and parents are beginning to grumble about the early hours (when I was in school, I got up at 5:45). Suggestions to have school year around are receiving more favorable attention, in no small part because not having the extended recess would alleviate the learning atrophy which occurs in children and requires them to spend a significant part of each new school year reviewing the prior material and rehoning their learning skills. There are three major obstacles to year-round school schedules: in some areas of the country, the lack of air conditioning in school buildings (never installed because the buildings were closed during the hot months) would make summer sessions unbearable; teachers - at least, teacher unions, which are extremely strong in Michigan - don't want to lose their summers; and the tourism industry does not want the end of summer vacations because of the adverse impact on vacation travel (in Michigan, a few years ago the tourism industry tried to get a law passed outlawing the beginning of school before Labor Day, which is the first Monday in September; the compromise result was a prohibition against holding school on the Friday before Labor Day).

Always, there are vested interests in the status quo which slow change, even when the interests are not really pertinent to the issue at hand. Sigh.


#3510 11/01/01 02:52 PM
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Our school summer holidays are fairly long too, they are always under review but the possible move to a five or six term year with more regular short breaks seems to be on hold at the moment.

In English state schools they usually finish in late July and start again at the beginning of September. Scottish state schools finish at the end of June and start again in mid August, a period of around six or seven weeks. They usually get around two to three weeks at Christmas and Easter and up to a week off at each half term.

Some private (public) schools have very long holidays, as much as three months in the Summer and nearly a month at Christmas and Easter but they have school on Saturday mornings and only a long weekend for half term.

I feel a little guilty to hear about your lack of holidays. Most people that I know take at least five or six weeks a year, they don't always go away, sometimes they just have a break at home or with family. A few people that I know take four or five foreign holidays a year and hardly anyone I know takes less than one. How do we cope when we go back to work? You just expect to cover for people when they are away so that they will cover for you. In many offices, at any one time one or two people are away. I have never met anyone in the UK who has not taken a holiday in the last two years, they would be regarded as a little strange and probably be sent for counselling, funny how different our cultures are, isn't it?

Bye for now

jo


#3511 11/01/01 11:28 PM
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