Hey, hey! It's Back To School time for most of the country, with millions of cute little fresh-faced kids being mercilessly shoved onto chaotic yellow buses all over America as their parents sadly wave goodbye and then run down to Shady's Dew Drop Inn for a quick nip before work. When I was at a local Goodwill store the other day photographing an ess-ton of vintage Christian Evangelist LPs, I also found these old school instructional records for teachers. (You can tell they came from the same guy's collection from the white tape on the spine...dude was really into AUTHORITARIAN LIFE, that's for sure.) I thought I might let you know what was probably on them, and then what was REALLY going to be learned. Please to enjoy!
WHAT KINDERGARTENERS WERE SUPPOSED TO BE LEARNING: Basic shapes, colors, left vs. right, taking turns, numbers 1-10, the alphabet, cut with scissors along a line, writing first name.
THE ONLY THING THEY REMEMBERED: Don't pick your boogers or Mrs. Dammbacher will shame you by putting your sorry little ass in the corner.
WHAT KINDERGARTENERS WERE SUPPOSED TO BE LEARNING IN CHURCH: The story of the Garden of Eden, Jesus' birth, life, death, and resurrection, what is sin, how to please God to get into Heaven and avoid Hell.
THE ONLY THING THEY REMEMBERED: Don't get caught doing anything bad or Santa won't bring you Christmas presents and you'll start on fire.
WHAT FIRST GRADERS WERE SUPPOSED TO BE LEARNING: Beginning reading, printing words short words, addition and subtraction facts up to 20, tell time, count change, capitalization and punctuation.
THE ONLY THING THEY REMEMBERED: That there's always one bossy bitch in a fancy skirt who pushes everyone around, and everyone is desperate to be her best friend.
WHAT SECOND GRADERS WERE SUPPOSED TO BE LEARNING: Work cooperatively with a partner or group, understand the difference between right and wrong, read fluently with expression, recognize spelling irregularities, learn to use a dictionary, begin concepts of multiplication.
THE ONLY THING THEY REMEMBERED: Susie D'Alessio often forgot to wear underwear.
WHAT THIRD GRADERS WERE SUPPOSED TO BE LEARNING: How to complete projects in small groups, choices and consequences, copy information from a blackboard, write in cursive, read longer chapter books, use prefixes and suffixes with ease, multiply single- and double-digit numbers, divide single-digit numbers.
THE ONLY THING THEY REMEMBERED: Raise your hand all you like -- the teacher is always only going to call on the kid she knows always has the answer, or the kid that never has the answer, depending on her how irritable she feels.
WHAT FOURTH GRADERS WERE SUPPOSED TO BE LEARNING: to think independently and critically, to have empathy for others, show ability to memorize and recite facts, be able to research for a project, write a structured paragraph, show increased reading comprehension including prediction, connections, and inference, add and subtract decimals, multiply multi-digit numbers by two numbers, divide multi-digit numbers by a single number, find the area of a two-dimensional shape.
THE ONLY THING THEY REMEMBERED: Joey Shankman's masterful and disruptive arm farts.
WHAT FIFTH GRADERS WERE SUPPOSED TO BE LEARNING: organizational and classification skills, read complex text, use all the features of a book to locate information, identify conflict, climax, and resolution in a story, writing a cogent brief theme essay, more complex math story problems, add and subtract decimals and fractions, identify and describe 3D shapes and find their surface and volume areas, complex long division.
THE ONLY THING THEY REMEMBERED: The rich kids have way better birthday parties, so you should be friends with them, but the unpopular kids might bring you candy every day to try to win you over.
WHAT SIXTH GRADERS WERE SUPPOSED TO BE LEARNING: the scientific method, complex research papers, beginning statistics, distinguishing between fact and opinion, ancient civilizations, biography studies.
THE ONLY THING THEY REMEMBERED: Coach Wallace telling stories in Boys' Health Class about 'Nam and the impressive skills of one particular "working girl" in Tokyo.
WHAT SEVENTH GRADERS WERE SUPPOSED TO BE LEARNING: pre-algebra, give multi-media presentations, independent study skills, increased reading expectations, science lab work, American history.
THE ONLY THING THEY REMEMBERED: The consequences of unexpected boners and periods at school will scar you for life.