Saturday, November 5, 2011

A good read; a new sock ...

I finished reading Killing Lincoln ... (Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard) last night. It tells the story of Abraham Lincoln's assassination, beginning six weeks prior to the event. It was a good read. Reviews I read say it's not always technically accurate in details, like which room what happened in at the White House, but I'm not sure that's important. At least not to me. I'm not a researcher nor an investigator trying to solve any controversy. I was just looking for something that could hold my interest for a couple of nights. This book fit the bill, for sure. I couldn't put the thing down.

They say O'Reilly was once a history teacher. If all high school history teachers had his knack, school could be much more interesting for American students. A teacher can make all the difference in the world, according to how well they can bring a subject to life. That brings to mind a few of my history teachers when I was in school. My American History teacher in HS had to be the absolute worst. (Sorry, Mr. F, but it's absolutely true.) He was lazy. And full of himself. He spent more time bragging about himself than doing any teaching. He had a "policy" of giving out a certain number of As, Bs, Cs, etc. He doled them out more according to how well he liked/disliked a student more than anything else. This teacher didn't TEACH anything. He assigned reading every day, then gave quizzes whenever he ran out of stuff about himself to talk about in class. I'm telling you, he was THE worst teacher, ever!

One of my best friends in that class openly flirted with him to "earn" her A every marking period. I usually got a B. One day I confronted him about his grading system. He admitted that it WAS ridiculous, but said he had no intention of changing it. So, being the bold brat that I was and probably still am, I told him I wanted an A on the next report card, indicating that unless I got it, there would be trouble. I got the A. How gross is that?!?

In college, I had the same professor for sociology and Russian history. After several weeks that semester, I received notice that I was to meet him in his office one day. He asked me why there was such a discrepancy between my performance in sociology and that in Russian history class. Asking him to pardon my bluntness, I had been wondering the same thing about him. I explained that the way he taught sociology put me to sleep. Literally. I used to ask my friends sitting nearby in the crowded, too-warm lecture hall to poke me if I dozed. No joke. The class was crowded only because it was a required course. I suspected he got stuck teaching something he didn't have any interest in. (They had a problem filling all the teaching positions that year.) His presentation of Russian history, on the other hand, was a thrill a minute! Seriously. Full of mystery, intrigue, facts I'd never heard before, and I marveled at his amazing knowledge.

I thought that I was certain to have the Riot Act read to me, but his comment was, "Fair enough." And in fairness to him, he did make an effort to keep me awake in sociology class after that. I managed to get thru the class with an average grade, while I got what they called "high honors" in his Russian history class. I'm telling you, it's all about the teacher.

And with that note, I'll quit my rant about teachers and show you what I'm doing to continue my effort to reduce the stash:

I have just a couple of balls of this yarn. It's 100 percent wool and will make warm, cozy socks. One can never have too many of those! There's enough yarn to make both socks to match, but I'm pretty sure that wouldn't matter to me. I intend to use up odds and ends to increase my hoard of sockage while decreasing the stash of yarn around here. If that means I have one of a kind, all the better! Whoever made up the rule that socks must match ought to have been ousted from rule-making right at the beginning. How much more interesting the wearing of socks would be today!

1 comment:

  1. That book sounds intriguing... I agree with you 100% about the teachers. And you're right about never having too much sockage.