Sunday, July 5, 2009

Just Popping In. . . .

People are fascinating. My man paraphrases the well-known saying as "It doesn't take all kinds, but there certainly are all kinds!" Friday I encountered several of these.

Ran into a local store to grab a couple of things. The cashier, who is at least as old as I am and has worked there for quite some time, rang up my items and said "That will be $17.76" I laughed and commented, "That's an appropriate total for July 3!" She didn't say anything for a moment as she took my money and then said "Oh, is that the date of independence of something? I don't even know." I almost fell over. Especially because of her age. I figured that anyone who was at least 10 years old in 1976 when the US celebrated its Bicentennial would forever remember the date 1776, even if they didn't remember it from school.

Later that day, I took my boy to take his test for his driving permit. There were quite a few people there, as usual, and as we took our seat with our number, #54, he glanced up at the electronic display showing the number currently being helped, #31, he sighed and said "This is going to take forever. Later as the man sitting in front of us was waiting for his teenage daughter to finish up at the counter after her test, we chatted a few minutes. He and his family are from India, and as they were about to leave he commented "This wasn't too bad. It only took about an hour." After they left, I pointed out to my boy the difference perspective makes: we are so impatient as Americans, but in most other countries of the world, getting any sort of license or permit takes hours and hours, if not days.

Speaking of the driving permit, are your schools as lax about teaching cursive as ours are? They briefly teach it in third grade, but it isn't emphasized and kids aren't required to use it. I have taught my kids that "signing your name" means writing it in cursive. When he signed his name the first time for the worker at the license office, she commented that he was the first student she had ever seen actually sign his full name in cursive. "Probably the last 100 kids I've processed, when I tell them to sign their name, they print it -- and usually just their first name." Heaven help our society that is so focused on standardized tests that we aren't teaching kids basic life skills.

Blogging may be sorta spotty over the next few days - I drove 7 hours yesterday to bring my girl to an orchestra camp clear across the state. We're staying with my brother and SIL, and internet use isn't quite as accessible. Plus last night they taught us to play a fun new game, Marbles and Jokers, and it is a tad addicting!

But I have preposted a giveaway for Monday! So be sure to watch for that!


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Mel said...

oh no you have introduced a slightly addicting game on your blog, ahhhhhh

there are indeed all kinds and not teaching cursive really??? ugh

Xandra@Heart-of-Service said...

I am totally with you about the schools teaching standardized tests and (seemingly) nothing else these days. I think that we have to be more vigilant with our kids and teach them all the important things that they need to get along in society.

Although, from the looks of it, things like manners, a real education and many other social niceties aren't needed any more. Sometimes it feels like we should just let our kids act like all the rest of the world so that they won't get stepped on and always have to be the ones to apologize and make things right.

I was just at the store a few minutes ago and I had to tell Nathan and Grace to stop doing something in the checkout line. They stopped and said, "Sorry, Mommy" and then stood there quietly until I finished paying. The clerk went on and on about how she couldn't believe what good manners they had and how well they listened to me, blah, blah blah. (Good thing she wasn't in the church service this morning when I told them to stop whispering no less than 2745 times!)

I just couldn't get over how surprised she was at basic manners and respect for authority.

Okay...I'm stepping away from the soap box....


KateGladstone said...

Because you teach children that "signing your name means writing it in cursive," would you consider taking some time to make sure that they -- and you -- actually understand the issues here? Too many citizens think they understand what "signature" means, when in reality they do not. To further your children's education on this vital but often misunderstood point,, visit -- click the FAQ link, and search the FAQ page for the word "signature" to find some information that any citizen should have before teaching about signatures.

Kate Gladstone
Director, the World Handwriting Contest
Founder and CEO, Handwriting Repair/Handwriting That Works handwriting instruction/improvement service

sara said...

I am with kids learned the first time they had to sign their name to use cursive!

but seriously...she didn't know 1776? yikes!

Have a great time while your visiting family!

Sarah said...

that's true, kids learned fast. they also like to play marbles but not sure what kind of game is this...
Anyway, have a blessed day.

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

My husband has pointed out many times that while we Americans complain about customer service, people coming here from other countries are astounded that such a thing exists.

TCKK said...

Hope you have a great time while you're away!