Thursday 23 March 2017


Old photo of student working on a typewriter

Homework has changed in some ways since my day. I had a large desk surface in my bedroom that was covered in textbooks and papers. My daughter does most of her homework on her laptop. It gets carted back and forth to school. She can even take photographs with it, and manipulate them. When I was at school we literally cut pictures with scissors, and pasted with "Clag" glue, with a brush in its lid. That's how we finished off an assignment then.

You might have heard that Chuck Berry died the other day, acknowledged as one of the genius pioneers of rock n roll music. Since I do my homework for this blog, here's a quote from Wikipedia

"Charles Edward Anderson "ChuckBerry (October 18, 1926 – March 18, 2017) was an American guitarist, singer and songwriter and one of the pioneers of rock and roll music. "

The New York Times said

" His guitar lines wired the lean twang of country and the bite of the blues into phrases with both a streamlined trajectory and a long memory. And tucked into the lighthearted, telegraphic narratives that he sang with such clear enunciation was a sly defiance, upending convention to claim the pleasures of the moment."


However, the bell has rung for him, as it must for all of us. Perhaps he is now in a place where you don't need quarters for juke boxes such as those he sang about. 




Student: How's your history paper coming?
Friend: Well, my history professor suggested I use the internet for research and it’s been very helpful.
Student: Really?
Friend: Yes. So far I've found 23 people who sell them.

I wanted to turn in my bartending homework, but I was absinthe. 


At the library:



Me on homework duty:



Fizzfan said...

You've made me feel quite guilty because my own homework efforts were pretty abysmal. I just always seemed to have better things to do and Mum n Dad were thankfully frantically uninterested!
Probably why I'm still to this day rather unimpressed with the pressures heaped on the young to 'learn'! Never quite understood the mania about it as such a huge % of the stuff they cram into us is never used and forgotten anyway. I'm more into organic learning and/or on the job and life experience. The worlds changed though and I know if I were young now I'd have to jump through those hoops to be able to do the job I do now. Still not sure why though?!

Kathy said...

I never had much homework as a kid. We used to have one hour study hall and other than term appears which required a lot of research I seemed to be able to get it done then. I lived too far from school to carry all those books home so maybe that was a good thing. I think mostly homework is required to either get parents involved or to teach kids to be motivated. Well, like you Fizzfan, my parents didn't care and Schoolwork came easy for me so I didn't have to have much motivation either. Now, when it came to my three kids having homework! That was another matter. I used to hate it if I had to get involved. One daughter always waited til the last minute and I always had to pitch in. Thank goodness, the other two got by. One an honor student, the other a co-op student. That one was enough to drive me crazy. I do think now, looking back it could have been a great opportunity to connect with the child. I did work as a teachers aid for 8 years. I can see where homework reinforces what a child has learned in class, even if it is just a short assignment it teaches discipline.
Now, I do a lot of online reading and I consider it a pastime not a chore. If I was a kid it would have been our outlook changes. It would be quite a challenge for a teacher or a parent to turn a child on to learning. We used to try to do that by taking the kids on field trips to museums and science centers. Then it was a fun learning experience for all.

Running on empty said...

I agree with the points both of you are making. The reality these days is with the demise of the unqualified jobs in the Western world, the child that doesn't study and get qualified is going to,be unemployed a fair bit. At least that's what I told both my kids, but not sure they listened, they could have use their homework time better, and yes, there's an awful lot of that last minute stuff happening, or overdue!

Fizzfan said...

I'm pretty sure a lot of the angst our young feel now are bourne of pressures imposed by adult fixations on targets and competitiveness. Our educators are now competing globally! Blimey, I couldn't have cared less about my own schools targets let alone the worlds! We left school able to read and write and I think we were well rounded youngsters who'd had fun and had no stresses. That's a good basis for the gentle beginnings of a young adulthood. We walked into jobs and learned what was needed to do it on the job. Again, no stress. We earned enough to learn to drive, buy clothes, party and then leave home not much after that. Promotions were there if you wanted them and even without them, you earned enough to live well.
Unis were for the naturally very gifted and/or very studious who wanted to pursue professions like lawyers, teachers, doctors etc.
I think we've massively over complicated life and made many things unnecessarily difficult, and here's that word again - stressful!
I worked with a young girl a while back who had a ton of qualifications and she said she had no idea what purpose they'd served in either doing her job or indeed life. I do concede they're impressive to stick on CVs but for the most part it's just ramping up the requirements needed to do jobs that really don't require them at all.
You can tell I didn't have much discipline in my childhood can't you. Still rebelling even now!

Running on empty said...

That rebelling is fine on here, Fizz. In too many arenas of our lives we have to keep our opinions to ourselves, that's for sure.

In Australia our educational institutions have become an international commodity. In some suburbs, local children born here cannot get into their local school due to visitors. Universities have changed alot to accommodate the large amounts of students from overseas. The government sees it as an important asset for the economy. I'm not sure it helps our local kids as much anymore, as costs are rising, especially for accommodation. Many country kids cannot afford to go to higher ed because of that.

Fizzfan said...

Seems like education has become a business too! I can hardly believe that less than a generation ago our government fully funded anyone to go to Uni and as far as I can remember, tempting students from abroad wasn't even a 'thing'.
I have no idea how or why this has happened but from a ground level it's hard to accept it as anything other than a money making racket.

Yet another victory for capitalism and the wonderful financiers that set the standards these days!