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> School Finishing Times When We Were Young, A question or two
Alex MacPhee
post 11th Nov 2014, 03:03pm
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QUOTE (bilbo.s @ 11th Nov 2014, 02:31pm) *
Later on I graduated to a Platignum fountain pen and then a Conway Stewart with gold-plated nib - far better than yon scratchy abominations.


Interestingly, I've found that price isn't always a good indicator of how well a pen will perform. I was never a great fan of Parker pens, for instance, and didn't share the general view of their reputation. One of my longest serving pens was a relatively cheap Osmiroid calligraphy set (left handed of course) which gave me a range of writing nibs that were good to work with, except that change nibs was a bit messy, as they'd to be unscrewed, and then you had to 'prime' the next nib to get the ink flowing again. I liked the Sheaffers, and the Silver Cross set my wife gave me for our Silver Wedding anniversary.

But for everyday writing, far and away the best pen I've ever had has been a WH Smith own brand 'Signature' fountain pen. It has a classic style nib, but it's slightly softer than average so lends itself well to copperplate, and the ink flow is always good and fast. The design has changed slightly since then, and mine is a simple deep Burgundy red plastic barrelled pen with a gold trim. It wasn't expensive, and no pen I've bought since, regardless of price, has been as good. I write with it all the time.


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Betsy2009
post 11th Nov 2014, 06:16pm
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You're all so young.
I fondly remember the first hammer and chisel I got to go with my stone tablet.
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bilbo.s
post 11th Nov 2014, 06:24pm
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QUOTE (Betsy2009 @ 11th Nov 2014, 07:33pm) *
You're all so young.
I fondly remember the first hammer and chisel I got to go with my stone tablet.



We know you're just kidding - it was a slate and pencil in your day ! tongue.gif


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Alex MacPhee
post 11th Nov 2014, 06:42pm
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QUOTE (Betsy2009 @ 11th Nov 2014, 06:33pm) *
I fondly remember the first hammer and chisel I got to go with my stone tablet.


Ach, is there anything quite like properly carved pictograms, eh?




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taurus
post 11th Nov 2014, 10:35pm
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I absolutely loved penmanship at school,light up heavy down,the word was "minim" the best word to practice on. When I had a few spare pennies when I was young,I spent them in a wee shop in London Rd buying new pen nibs and a writing pad,practising my hand writing all the time. My youngest daughter funnily enough did the very same thing nearly 40 years later,she taught herself beautiful calligraphy,and the funny thing was I`d forgotten until then that I`d had exactly the same love of writing at about the same age. At wee school I sat beside a lovely girl Susan Graham,and she was a left hander,her page was always smudged and she used twice as many blotters as the rest of us. One day the teacher (tryrant) came along and belted her behind her head for the mess of her paper. These days that teacher would be in jail !
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Alex MacPhee
post 11th Nov 2014, 11:14pm
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QUOTE (taurus @ 11th Nov 2014, 10:52pm) *
I absolutely loved penmanship at school,light up heavy down,the word was "minim" the best word to practice on.

'Minimum' was my favourite word to write!

QUOTE
One day the teacher (tryrant) came along and belted her behind her head for the mess of her paper. These days that teacher would be in jail !

My mother, also a left-hander, would never let any teacher try to interfere with my writing hand, and often related to me the story of what happened to her own teacher, when the teacher hit her with a ruler for not using her right hand to write (this would be in the inter-war years). My grandmother (oh, you just had to know Maggie Lindsay to know how true this was!), a formidable woman of Irish descent, and who instilled me me a lifelong love of poetry, marched into the school and into the classroom, gave the teacher a lecture on famous people in history who were sinistrals, then to reinforce the point, grabbed the teacher by the hair and pulled her, telling her never again to "lay a hand on my Rosie". All the teacher's hair came away, revealing complete baldness. It was a wig!

Although I was occasionally tempted to feel sorry for the teacher, that was tempered by the cruelty she'd used in beating my mother, because she'd made her hold her hand low over a wooden desk, so that when she hit her with the blackboard ruler, the blow bounced her hand off the desk too, so that she was hit on both sides simultaneously.

Although I have been left-handed all my life, I did learn to write with my right hand, and now one's as easy as the other, but for calligraphic writing, I still use my left hand.


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Dave Grieve
post 12th Nov 2014, 05:55am
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Meant to add in my post about taking the grandkids for dinner was the reason we started talking about school and the differences between then and now was when it came to settling the bill.

My grandson asked me how much tip I was leaving and I told him normally ten percent, I then showed him the bill and asked him what ten percent was and he told me he would need a calculator to work it out, from there it went on to telling him that we were taught mental arithmetic which they don’t get at school here and eventually ended up with pen and ink.

Surprised he never asked me if the dinosaurs were really as dangerous as the cartoons make them out to be biggrin.gif
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Dylan
post 12th Nov 2014, 08:34am
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I was taught my X Tables by Rote. The whole class repeating them together.

I understand this was frowned on by later Teaching experts ?

However it stood me in good stead . Never forgot my Tables !.



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gardenqueen
post 12th Nov 2014, 08:47am
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QUOTE (Dave Grieve @ 12th Nov 2014, 06:12am) *
Meant to add in my post about taking the grandkids for dinner was the reason we started talking about school and the differences between then and now was when it came to settling the bill.

My grandson asked me how much tip I was leaving and I told him normally ten percent, I then showed him the bill and asked him what ten percent was and he told me he would need a calculator to work it out, from there it went on to telling him that we were taught mental arithmetic which they don’t get at school here and eventually ended up with pen and ink.

Surprised he never asked me if the dinosaurs were really as dangerous as the cartoons make them out to be biggrin.gif


Mental Maths is taught as part of the National Numeracy Strategy so it still happens as far as I know in England anyway.
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taurus
post 12th Nov 2014, 11:23pm
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Yes learning the times tables by rote was a terrific thing,it kept you on your toes,Teacher went round the class,not in any order,"9 12`s" "7 6`s" and so on.you would be sitting shivering waiting for it to be your name called out,for if you got it wrong "OUT!!!" and out to stand in front of the class in disgrace. The wise ones learned them off by heart,and it all added up to learning,which school was all about anyway. I have great memories of the wee school,I think the teaching methods were brilliant,our teacher called the dimwits Dooley Andys,a made up name,very effective though,I never wanted to be a dooly andy,so I worked real hard.
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mairead
post 13th Nov 2014, 09:28am
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Aye, such golden memories of our schooldays and I can relate very well. One of my sons when he was at the village Primary school came home with an essay which had won him a gold star. I sat down to read it but found it difficult to do so as the spelling was horrendous and the grammar was dreadful, not to mention the writing. I thought he had pinched a gold star and put it on the essay himself so I marched him back up to the school. I was dumfounded when the Headmaster, who was his teacher, said, "No, I gave him the star" When I pointed out all the errors and poor writing, he told me, "Yes but he has it all up there" and pointed to my son's head. My response to that was that "It's no good up there if he can't put it down there" and pointed to the paper. Turns out the education dept, and therefore the school, was experimenting with the phonetic alphabet but to this day, my son's spelling is poor and his writing remains awful. Thankfull that experiment didn't last long.


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Samjohn
post 17th Nov 2014, 10:13pm
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I’ve been reading with interest these posts dealing with the changes that have occurred in our schools these days. When for example, Dave’s grandson couldn’t mentally calculate the amount of the tip and said he needed his calculator, I see absolutely nothing wrong with this. I’d wager a wee bit, that the grandson would ‘out-calculate’ his granddad using his wee calculator ( assuming Dave is not a whiz on his calculator) . I don’t think there is any need for mental arithmetic today. “Times tables”? A waste of time! Did we really have to learn by rote that 12 taken 11 times produces 132, or to express what is implied, eleven twelves all added together make 132? I don’t think so. As regards Dave’s tip, I’m pretty sure that after the grandson has paid a few tips himself it’ll dawn on him how easy it is to figure out percentages without using his calculator… which I’m sure will never be far away anyway. Nothing has changed the world of numbers as much as the numerical calculator. If a teacher doesn’t have to teach ‘times tables’ then this gives the teacher a bit more time to spend on some aspect of numbers that will be a lot more useful than learning multiplication tables by rote. You know, land surveyors use to use 7-place Logarithms to make their arithmetic easier… can you imagine that? What the heck is a logarithm!

I have similar thoughts regarding what Mairead’s experience with her son’s essay. I’m not an advocate of phonetic spelling although I use it all the time, but it doesn’t bother me. If I were a History or Math teacher marking essays I’d be marking them for subjective content. I’d deduct no marks for bad spelling or bad grammar, I’d simply underline them in red or something to draw attention to them. Your son’s headmaster had it right, the boy had it in his heed! Did you ever see a copy of Abraham Lincoln’s original Declaration of Independence or whatever that revered document is called? I tell Mairead, the spelling and grammar are both shocking! Check over my spelling in all my posts and you’ll find very few spelling errors. This is not because I’m a great speller, because I’m not, it’s because I try to always use the spellcheck--- the spellcheck is Dave’s grandson’s calculator in the world of words.

Dugald.
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bilbo.s
post 17th Nov 2014, 10:33pm
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Complete and utter nonsense, Dugald. It is so easy to make a mistake with a calculator, and when it happens, the user nowadays is none the wiser. As for your reliance on Spellcheck, I guess it is better than being illiterate and not using it. See what happens at your local store when the power goes off !
If more people were properly educated in the old methods, there would be a lot fewer misunderstandings in places like this. Rules of grammar and punctuation are there for a good reason, not simply for pedantry !


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TeeHeeHee
post 17th Nov 2014, 11:02pm
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QUOTE (ashfield @ 5th Nov 2014, 10:21am) *
... Eventually I taught myself to kinda swim, I say kinda because I don't float in water sad.gif

HAH! you sir are not alone, My Swimming instructor in the RAF said I suffered from Negative Buoyancy tongue.gif
Still do, 58 years later laugh.gif
I watched my eldest daughter going for her school's Swimming Proficiency badge in Louth (Lincs) when she was about 11. She had to swim 32 circuits of the Swimming pool; which was filled with the normal amount of children, and mustn't at any time touch the pool's edge. During the 30th circuit she was bumped into by another kid and reached up for the ledge.
That was it.
So, undeterred, she took a break and started again gaining her badge, completing another 32 circuits this time.
Before she had started I had asked her teacher if Kelly had got it wrong when she told me it was 32 circuits ... I thought she made a mistake between lengths and circuits.
Nope.

Didn't have that when I was at School tongue.gif


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mlconnelly
post 17th Nov 2014, 11:26pm
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Samjohn, whether intentional nor not, imho, you've just insulted every teacher out there worth their salt, including my sister who teaches English, Spanish and French. Maybe if we went back to the "old fashioned way" of teaching the basics, we would have more kids who could read and write properly.
Mary angry.gif

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