Way back when, in what seems like another world, there was the day when I went back to school at about this time of year.
The school year commenced the day after Labor Day, in September, and ended sometime around the middle of May.
For several reasons, school at that time was different, even though most students, including myself, did not particularly want to go to school.
So, at least that part has not changed.
Students were expected to be respectful of their teachers and administration.
The were persons to be looked up to for guidance and insight.
Most of them treated the students with care and dignity and it was reciprocated.
Back talking or smarting off to a teacher was met with either after-school detention in that particular teacher’s classroom, cleaning chalkboards.
The attempt to impress or rebel ended in humiliation.
In the worst-case scenarios, it meant a one-way trip to the principal’s office, where nobody wanted to be, because that usually also entailed contacting the parents or something nigh unto coming face-to-face with your Maker.
Such respect is pretty much all gone now and the teachers and administrators are at the mercy of the students, the ACLU, the left-leaning media, and parents that act more like juvenile delinquents than the juveniles themselves.
Students were also expected to learn, at least the basics, of reading, writing, and arithmetic.
Learning the basics was important because going to college was for the really smart, if not rich, people and during that time remedial courses in colleges to learn what should have been learned in high school, were an exception, not the rule.
Beyond the basics, public education provided a variety of vocational courses, whether in auto shop, wood shop, building services, agriculture, home economics, typing classes, et cetera.
To leave high school with some kind of skill was typical, as once again, college attendance was not.
Plus, most students would join the workforce on a full-time basis upon graduation.
Moreover, attending college was not viewed as the place to go to gain a vocational skill.
It was more for those who possessed exceptional acumen in the basics, who could translate those into even higher skills associated with becoming an engineer, a doctor, a lawyer, or even a teacher.
Today, students are passed along without really proving they know anything, let alone the basics.
Oh, it is not that they do not take exams and go through the formalities of at least feigning that they know what a preposition is or what the product of 2+2 equals.
It is that most students are dumb as a box of rocks when it comes to the basics and rarely will one come across a young person who can think clearly or organize a project in a linear sequence unto a logically successful conclusion.
Few students have a skill-set worth mentioning, which is why most of them are not worth hiring upon graduation, except for perhaps taking orders at McDonald’s and that with a great amount apprehension, since most cannot add or subtract without the aid of a computer.
What most students focus on today in school revolve around moral and political issues driven by narcissistic agendas that end in self-contradictions.
Instead of training our children to be productive citizens in the greatest country in the world, we condone immoral behavior whereby they become the slugs of society who exist off the public dole and then revise history to damn America as some kind of colonialist tyrant.
Finally, students were expected to participate by utilizing whatever extra-curricular talent they might have to make lifelong friends at their eventual alma mater.
Whether students competed in athletics, band, or the Spelling Bee, only in a very few exceptions was there not a function for everyone.
Extra-curricular activity, though, was placed in its proper perspective.
It was not the reason why anyone went to school, but was it was for fun.
If one was fortunate enough to enjoy a professional career later on in life, because of their participation in some extra-curricular activity, that was great, but it was not expected.
It was the frosting on the cake, so to speak, but it was not the cake itself.
All of that has changed, though.
Sports are now the main emphasis to the exclusion of a handful of non-sports-oriented activities.
Playing a particular sport has become the main reason why many students even attend school and that with the approval of the parents.
Parents fork over billions of dollars every year to place their little professional hopefuls before collegiate coaches to hopefully get that prestigious scholarship or future lucrative contract.
Our perspective, in other words, has been completed distorted, when it comes to athletics in school.
Instead of the motive being for fun and the maturation of the young person for adulthood, it is now a big-money, business venture where fun and maturity have become expendable.
So, today is the start of a new school year. Let the abuses begin anew.
Since we refuse to learn from the past, we may rest assured that this year will take one more step down the rung on the educational ladder.
Teachers will be more disrespected than they were last year and students will spend more time knowing less, as they waste their time chasing a delusional dream.
Thankfully, we have parents, administrators, and the political elite rubber-stamping it all.
Is it not great that it is not like it used to be?