Do people really get Columbus Day off from work? Seriously? Columbus Day? Man, that’s a second-tier “holiday” if I’ve ever heard of one. In my mind, it’s on the same level as Arbor Day, Flag Day, and Gerald Ford’s birthday. But maybe I’m way off?
Needless to say, I’ll be working tonight. My employer begrudgingly closes on Christmas and Thanksgiving, and that’s about it. At my job, today is Monday and nothing else. “Now get y’ass back to work!”
Columbus Day, of course, played a big part in the all-time worst episode of The Sopranos. And that’s what it’ll always mean to me.
I have a pimple in my left ear. Just thought you should know. It’s as hard as a BB, and I keep messing around with it. If I can’t get it to surrender to my prods and manipulations, I’m gonna go after it with a steak knife. Stay tuned for further developments.
Last week Toney and I went to the high school to experience an accelerated version of our oldest son’s school day. Have you done this? You actually go to each classroom (for ten minutes each), take lunch, etc. All the teachers are there, and it’s mildly surreal.
It’s been a long time since I’ve sat in a high school classroom waiting, praying, for the bell to ring. But I did it again on Thursday night.
It’s the math stuff that gets to me. Anything that’s even loosely associated with mathematics causes my eyes to glaze over, and my brain to start wandering and thinking about baseball and The Clash. Just like in 1981.
One class — CAD (aka Computer Assisted Design) — seemed promising, with all the expensive-looking computers and technology, and whatnot. But when I opened the textbook, I was instantly bored and making sarcastic remarks inside my brain. More math! If we’d been in there for ten minutes longer, I have a feeling I would’ve started throwing spit wads.
I also found myself making instant, and possibly unfair, judgments about each of our son’s teachers. One guy in particular rubbed me the wrong way, and I don’t really know why. He didn’t say anything objectionable, I just didn’t like him. I think it was his mannerisms. He kept spreading his arms for emphasis, and going up on his tiptoes while talking, and that stuff pissed me off.
I haven’t spent too much time in the local high school, and it’s massive. Probably three or four times as large as the school I attended… It’s also like an archeological dig. Over the years sections have been built-on, and it felt like we were walking through different eras. One minute it was 1957, then 1984, then 1969…
But the classrooms themselves are pretty much the way I remember them. Same smells, even. The desks are a little more fancy-pants than ours, but it had the same overall vibe. I’d say classrooms are 95% unchanged from olden times.
While sitting through yet another maff-based torture, I started making mental lists of stuff we had, that no longer exists, and vice versa. And here are some things that have disappeared since I was an unfortunate-looking student:
- mimeograph hand-outs (everybody sniffed them)
- film strips (with sound effect to signify that it’s time to move on to the next frame)
- 16mm films (with roaring fan and clickety-clack noise)
- manual typewriters (I took a typing class in high school and had Popeye forearms by the end of the course. Shit!)
- the rope in gym (I’d get roughly two feet off the ground, and gently swing back and forth until the coach disgustedly told me to get my ass out of the way.)
- framed photo of Jimmy Carter
And that’s gonna be the big Columbus Day Question, for you guys: What things existed in schools while you were attending, that are now extinct? And vice versa. Use the comments link below.
And by the way… We saw Poppa Half-Shirt in the lunchroom on Thursday. He was sitting at the nerd table. Thanks to the influence of my wife, we were eating with the popular parents, while ol’ Halfy was over there with the goobers and men in turbans.
Yes, it was highly satisfactory.
I’ll see you again tomorrow.
Now playing in the bunker
Evil Twin t-shirts now only $13!
A lunch hour!
Both of my schoolers have a half a fucking hour for lunch now. Not nearly enough time to regroup.
In the day, a lunch HOUR was enough time to burn a hog’s leg blunt, suck down a bottle of TJ Swann and smoke 5-6 cigarettes. Oh, wait a minute, maybe that’s why they shortened it.
Here, they have ballroom dancing in gym class. What the fuck? It was bad enough that in grade school we were forced to square dance, with an old fart named Boone as our instructor, but there was no dancing in high school gym! The faggotiest we would ever get was volleyball. Bruises were the norm in gym class, but I guess that’s gone the wayside.
The school my son is in has realized his potential and accelerates him two to three grades beyond his level and actually teaches him something. Not back in Yahoo-city-on-the Kanawha’s high school. We got just what was expected of us and nothing further, Just the powers that be keeping us down to eventually get factory work in the Chemical Valley.
High school sucked there, except for the lunch hour. Smoked good stuff, drank a lot, got licked from top to bottom in my car by a couple of younger whores. Nothing like lunch there. Would have preferred a Florida High School though. Have you seen these youngins” (female)? All look like 25 year olds.
I have a Ms. Facinoli story too, but I’ll save that for another time.
Dave's not here, man says
I don’t know what’s missing from school today, but reading through this just reminded me of a particularly fun afternoon at school.
Mike: “Hey guys, wanna go to the bathroom with me?”
Us: “Uh, why?”
Mike “’cause I got a fifth of Jim Beam in my jacket!”
Dave's not here, man says
Oh, and I work for the state and I get Columbus Day off. But not today, we wait until the day after Thanksgiving to take our Columbus Day holiday. Gio figure.
Mrs. L. Bangs says
Home Economics – learned to cook from Mrs. Faulkner! Even stole the cook book, which I still refer to!
All students had to take a 1/2 year of cooking and 1/2 year of sewing – I had the football team in my sewing class – watching the boys make a skirt (easiest thing to make) was great, and most of them gave them to their Mothers for the holidays!
Gone are the cool chemicals in the science labs. There were bottles of mercury, sulphur, bunsen burners (with natural gas plumbed to the tables!), jars of dead creatures floating in formaldihyde…..also gone is the ‘gold room’. This was usually called the teachers lounge, but the walls and everything in it were gold from the cigarette smoke and coffee stains. You could tell when you were near…smelled like a fire at Starbucks.
Lee Harvey Ramone says
The metric system
Ivan The Terrible says
Dress codes… In 8th grade (1964) I proudly wore what was called a Ponderosa Shirt to school, a colonial style pullover shirt made out of fake suede with fake rawhide laces part way down the front instead of buttons that was a novelty type of fad shirt at the time. I was into history, pioneers and Indians then and I thought it was the coolest garment ever. Apparently our ASSistant principal, Miss Kennedy, who weighed 300 Ibs. plus, didn’t share my enthusiasm for history. She literally ripped the shirt off my back and made me sit in the office until my mother brought me a “more appropriate” shirt. I remember my mild mannered mother having words with her that I had never heard come out of her mouth before. I think the school had to pay for the shirt, but I still couldn’t wear another one like it. Years later I read Miss Kennedys obituary and I rejoiced, hoping that she would be reincarnated to her former role as assistant principal in one of todays schools with the wiggers, low slung pants, crooked baseball caps, the scantily clad girls with all their tats & body piercings and such.
Kids these days don’t have the Reds in the World series like I did. Damn.
no handicap access
And when did Columbus Day become such a hot topic of the Italians? I don’t remember it being a big deal not that long ago but now it seems like there are protests and parades and shit.
Whatever, the man did invent Ohio.