Wednesday, July 27, 2005


(Run originally 1/26/04 on our old site)

Dan E. Randle

I don’t know about you but, for me, the years spent in the English classes taught by the sisters, Mrs. Moody and Miss Thornton, were pure torture. Of the two, I must admit I liked Mrs. Moody the best. Both were harsh task masters, because they expected you to be perfect in all aspects of English and its use. I hated writing book reports, so Mrs. Moody allowed me to give mine verbally. At that age, I could read a book and tell you everything that happened in the correct order. Now, I can read a book then, if I reread it a few months later, I find that I have forgotten almost the entire book. (I need more Ginko!) If she had not allowed me to give verbal reports, I might still be in her class. I do remember her fondly: she had a sweeter disposition than her sister, and was always willing to help you. I finished her class with a B, and was very happy to get it.

Miss Thornton was another story though. I don’t know anyone who went through her English class that can’t recite "Friends, Romans, Countrymen, end me your ears, I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him--etc., etc.” out to infinity. I hated memorizing anything, so it took me a little longer to memorize the speech. After I did, it has stayed with me to this day. (My memory was “Water, water, everywhere, and how the boards did shrink. Water, water, everywhere, but not a drop to drink” -tlp-)

Remember the fun we had diagramming sentences? Has anyone used that process in later life? I doubt it, unless you’re an English teacher. It never appeared to help me get ahead in anything.

Miss Thornton came off as a grouch to me: I was constantly in trouble with her, probably because I was so hyper at the time. I did make it through her class with either a C+ or B-, and could have made better by just applying myself.

You ask, why I have written this? I’ll tell you why! Have you ever noticed the number of people who use incorrect English? If it wasn’t for The Sisters, I would never pay much attention to the way people use the English language. The use of I and me, her, him, they put me first (i.e., me and her are----). Also, could someone define ir-regardless for me. I understand that when you place "ir" in front of a word changes it to the opposite meaning. My definition puts it at "regard this." (“Regardless” and “Irregardless” mean the same thing, as do “flammable” and “inflammable”). Their misuse of verbs, etc … and every time I hear someone say "the consensus of opinion is," it’s just like dragging nails across a chalk board.

I still can’t believe the number of educated people who never learned to use their native language properly. I stopped taking my hometown newspaper because no one used proper English consistently.

At this point in life, I look back and see that their demand for excellence was the best thing they did for us. I wish I could thank them now for all their help and direction. In another life, I will!

One last observation: after looking at their pictures, it’s amazing how young they look. They sure looked very old when I was going to school.

EDITOR’S NOTE: On my personal site, May 18 of this year, I republished a piece called PUNKSHOOAYESHUN. Part of the problem with school in general is that they spend absolutely too much time on high-falutin’ theory and too little on practical, useful knowledge. Our teachers taught that way because THEIR teachers taught that way. Maybe this piece will give you a little practical help.

But you’re right: people scalp their native language. Foreigners speak it better than do we. I asked my daughter, when she was in high school in south Florida, what she was doing with so many Cubans in her Spanish class. Her reply? “They’re taking Spanish for the same reason I’m taking English: just because you can speak it doesn’t mean you’re speaking it correctly.” -tlp-

Click on the site below and let me know what you think:

I bet you haven't seen these pictures in a long time! Since you were in band under Mr. Laas, I thought you might enjoy seeing the pictures again; also, a Maness at age 15.

If you have pictures you want on the site, go ahead and send them. I'm new at this, so I will have to learn by trial and error. I have also been thinking about setting up a before-and-after page for anyone that wants to post on it. In other words, take your picture from the year you graduated and a picture now and display them side by side. What do you think? Some of us might not want people seeing us and how we have aged, but I think it would be informative and fun. On a more morbid side, how about a roll call for all those that have passed on?

EDITOR’S NOTE AGAIN: I think I’ve got some 20th Reunion pix (class of ’56) that might be perfect for this. Stay tuned and I’ll let you know. Also, note that Dan also sent a picture of Sandy Laas. Check that with the Mystery Girl standing in front of Billy Anderson in the Recital Group photo (middle row, very right hand girl). Could be …. –tlp-


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