School days: Comparing then and now

Published 4:34 pm Saturday, November 24, 2012

“Schools can be the place where children learn to think critically, cooperate, and develop into insightful, creative, compassionate, and wise citizens able to participate in a democratic society.” —from Schools That Work


I’m still interested in education except now I believe it’s too complex, at least for me.

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Last week I drove to Cloquet, south of Duluth. What I like so much about Duluth is that it’s the birthplace of my book “You Much Crazy.” It’s also an interesting city.

On this trip I was able to attend Washington Elementary School and see Jack and Henry celebrate the Fall Ball Dance Friday night. The gym floor was crowded with all sorts of special outfits running around the joining gyms. It was driving me crazy. I hung in there until closing.

The principal ran the music machine and was responsible for the excitement.

It made me think back to my early days in sixth grade at Banfield School. We never had dances, if these can be called that. They were like calm steps we took back in the fifties.

I didn’t get there in time for the twin’s celebration set on the ski hill that also maintains a couple of ski jumps. Jana took me out there Sunday morning to look at the place.

It was Saturday that we went to the hunting shack with family gearing up for the hunt. Brady’s dad and uncles were collected there.

We listened to the hunting talk until it was just Jana and I with Brady’s dad. It was beautiful. I worried some about the deer. My hope was that they slept in.

Jana transported us north a ways to meet her Bob friend who was celebrating his 90th birthday. Jana interviewed Bob some time ago and they have been in touch almost daily. The rain followed us home that night.