Recent Posts

Friday 18 October 2013

Repost from last year

Thursday, 6 December 2012

My dance card is full and young people will not believe this

Talk about generation gaps. The construction of my society growing up is gone, gone, gone. From education to social manners, to identity as a Catholic sub-culture, we had a security in knowing who we were and where we were going.

Talking with Generation Millennials, I have realized over the past few years that what I had for coursework in 7th and 8th grade they had in high school and what I had in high school they have in college or university. What I had in college or university, they get in graduate school.

Depressing. When I was in high school, schools were divided into "terminal degree" high schools and "college preparatory schools". In the second grouping, the high schools were run on three tracks, and students were placed in this tracking according to their interests and abilities. Terminal degree high schools actually taught a skill, such as welding, accounting or business skills, and things where a student could walk out the door and get a job immediately.

In those days, we knew that people were not created the same. I do not have my high school curriculum in front of me, but it would be similar to this. This would be the top layer, or third track of the college prep school. All girls, by the way----

First year-freshman year
Civics (general and American)
World History first semester; European History second semester
Algebra I and possibly II
Latin I
English Literature-first semester general; second Shakespeare
English Grammar
Religion-Old Testament first semester; New Testament Second
General Science
Extra-Curricular Studies, such as journalism, choir, art
Sport and Gym Class

Second year-sophomore
Ethics (wow)
Latin II
American History first adn second semester; America Government in more detail second as option
English Literature-Essays-including 18th century ones; second semester Poetry including Shakespeare's sonnets and Mystical Poets
Composition first semester; speech and debate second
Biology all year
Geometry I and II
Religion-Church History, both semesters, but staring with a sacraments section
Extra-Curricular studies, such as choir, drama, art or journalism or all
Sport and Gym Class

Third Year-juniors
Advanced Math I and II; either Trig or another option independent studies; Algebra II; some in Pre-Calculus
French I
Religion- great Catholic thinkers; world religions
Contemporary History (usually from WWI to present)
Extra-curricular choices again including Drama class, choir or above
Sport and Gym Class
English Literature of the Modern Age-novels and poetry
(Optional Typing)
(Optional Driver Training)

One also took college entrance tests in junior year for applying for scholarships. We had up to four hours of homework per night. Ask my dad.

Fourth Year-seniors
Independent studies in History
Advanced Math-Calculus
Religion-marriage prep; modern issues such as Vat. II
Physics, optional
French II
English Literature-drama and world drama; debate as advanced options
Extra-curricullar again like drama or choir or aboves
Free time to take college courses for credit
Research skills
Intro to Philosophy
Sport and Gym

We had some choices for sport.

I may be forgetting something. The mathematics classes varied after Geometry. I took Algebra II and my brothers went way ahead of me in Trig, Pre-Calc and Calc. etc. We had options. I was the feature editor of the newspaper and teen editor for the local city newspaper. I did almost everything-choir, drama, etc.  Yes, we had uniforms very similar to those below except we had to wear black or brown shoes--- and no, I was not a cheerleader.

We were allowed to seek excellence.

Ah, social skills. For our first dances, we had little booklets on which to write who was dancing which dance with us. They had little ribbons so that we could wear them around our wrist and there is a photo of a young girl with one. We called them dance cards. In my Grandmothers' days, these were silver and gold. 

This custom is where the phrases, "pencil me in" comes from....and "my dance card is full."

We had formal and informal dances. We had teas. We had picnics which were planned. We did not have much fast-food. Pizza Hut opened in my home town when I was 16. That was where I went on my first date, with the neighbour boy and his friend who tagged along. I remember exactly what I wore-a white top with large black polka dots and a black skirt;  and the date: January 1, 1965. I turned 16 two days later. My parents had known the parents of that boy since before I was born, and we played together even as toddlers. Still, permission had to be sought and granted. That was how the culture was disciplined and set. It was all very comforting. There was no stress as most people in those stratifications has so much in common to make such socializing relaxed. And, we had no idea about sex. We could just be ourselves, and learn to use our manners, and wait.

Manners helped us, as well as the truly Christian character of the culture at the time. 

The list, taken from the website below, is what we learned naturally in all of these events. We even learned sports etiquette. We went roller skating and ice skating. We played foursomes in tennis. We did not go shopping for fun. That was not done then. One shopped with one's mom. Two of my girls friends had to go shopping with their dad, as he had to approve their clothes. He was an Italian dad. My dad would not be caught dead in a ladies' shop. Good thing, too.

  • First impressions
  • Introductions
  • Greeting and shaking hands
  • Paying and receiving compliments
  • Correspondence
  • Telephone manners
  • Family dining
  • Table manners
  • Polite conversation
  • When to rise
  • Doors and coats
  • Sports etiquette
  • Formal dining
  • Party courtesies
  • Hosting a party
  • Receiving lines
  • Eating unusual foods
  • Instructional dinners

  • Honesty
  • Integrity
  • Promise keeping
  • Fidelity
  • Caring
  • Respect
  • Citizenship
  • Excellence
  • Accountability
  • Handling peer pressure

All the dances had adults present: the nuns and our parents were chaperones. Sometimes the priests came for a short while. All the parents knew all the other parents in your track, mostly. Dating was strictly controlled by parents. Boys were very polite. My dad reminds me of the Friday night I had one young man at the front day, one at the back door, and one on the phone. I was not that popular. I had a pink Princess phone and a turquoise blue transistor radio with a matching leather case--trendy.  We had plays, concerts, football, basketball, track, wrestling, and all kinds of things. We had cotillions to go to and strict rules on dating regarding times and frequency. We did things in groups. We sang when we went out in groups. We dated in order to find a mate. Mom and Dad were part of the process of dating.

Guardian Article on New Rules Regarding Data

snippet from today's Guardian on EU response to Snowden information:
The draft would make it harder for the big US internet servers and social media providers to transfer European data to third countries, subject them to EU law rather than secret American court orders, and authorise swingeing fines possibly running into the billions for the first time for not complying with the new rules.
"As parliamentarians, as politicians, as governments we have lost control over our intelligence services. We have to get it back again," said Jan Philipp Albrecht, the German Greens MEP who is steering the data protection regulation through the parliament.
Data privacy in the EU is currently under the authority of national governments with standards varying enormously across the 28 countries, complicating efforts to arrive at satisfactory data transfer agreements with the US. The current rules are easily sidestepped by the big Silicon Valley companies, Brussels argues.
The new rules, if agreed, would ban the transfer of data unless based on EU law or under a new transatlantic pact with the Americans complying with EU law.

Dr. Ronald McArthur, RIP

Thomas Aquinas College had lost one of its founders, Dr. Ronald McArthur. I knew him as a gracious man, generous with his time and talents. God bless him and his family.

Persecution Watch Again Times .......

St. Luke's Day

St. Luke is traditionally identified as a doctor and a friend of the Blessed Virgin Mary. He is also supposedly the first painter to paint a portrait of Mary. If he was a doctor, a painter, and a writer, as we know he was, of the Gospel and Acts, this man was multi-talented. He had more than a few fish and loaves in his basket.

Pray to St. Luke is you are bachelors, bookbinders, brewers, butchers, from Capena, Italy, glassmakers, glass workers, gold workers, goldsmiths, from Hermersdorf, Germany, lace-makers, lace workers, notaries, sculptors, painters, and stained glass workers.


poor bloggers....sniff

The Secret People by Chesterton

The Secret People

Smile at us, pay us, pass us; but do not quite forget,
For we are the people of England, that never has spoken yet.
There is many a fat farmer that drinks less cheerfully,
There is many a free French peasant who is richer and sadder than we.
There are no folk in the whole world so helpless or so wise.
There is hunger in our bellies, there is laughter in our eyes;
You laugh at us and love us, both mugs and eyes are wet:
Only you do not know us. For we have not spoken yet.

The fine French kings came over in a flutter of flags and dames.
We liked their smiles and battles, but we never could say their names.
The blood ran red to Bosworth and the high French lords went down;
There was naught but a naked people under a naked crown.
And the eyes of the King's Servants turned terribly every way,
And the gold of the King's Servants rose higher every day.
They burnt the homes of the shaven men, that had been quaint and kind,
Till there was no bed in a monk's house, nor food that man could find.
The inns of God where no man paid, that were the wall of the weak,
The King's Servants ate them all. And still we did not speak.

And the face of the King's Servants grew greater than the King:
He tricked them, and they trapped him, and stood round him in a ring.
The new grave lords closed round him, that had eaten the abbey's fruits,
And the men of the new religion, with their Bibles in their boots,
We saw their shoulders moving, to menace or discuss,
And some were pure and some were vile; but none took heed of us.
We saw the King as they killed him, and his face was proud and pale;
And a few men talked of freedom, while England talked of ale.

A war that we understood not came over the world and woke
Americans, Frenchmen, Irish; but we knew not the things they spoke.
They talked about rights and nature and peace and the people's reign:
And the squires, our masters, bade us fight; and never scorned us again.
Weak if we be for ever, could none condemn us then;
Men called us serfs and drudges; men knew that we were men.
In foam and flame at Trafalgar, on Albuera plains,
We did and died like lions, to keep ourselves in chains,
We lay in living ruins; firing and fearing not
The strange fierce face of the Frenchman who knew for what he fought,
And the man who seemed to be more than man we strained against and broke;
And we broke our own rights with him. And still we never spoke.

Our path of glory ended; we never heard guns again.
But the squire seemed struck in the saddle; he was foolish, as if in pain.
He leaned on a staggering lawyer, he clutched a cringing Jew,
He was stricken; it may be, after all, he was stricken at Waterloo.
Or perhaps the shades of the shaven men, whose spoil is in his house,
Come back in shining shapes at last to spoil his last carouse:
We only know the last sad squires ride slowly towards the sea,
And a new people takes the land: and still it is not we.

They have given us into the hands of the new unhappy lords,
Lords without anger and honour, who dare not carry their swords.
They fight by shuffling papers; they have bright dead alien eyes;
They look at our labour and laughter as a tired man looks at flies.
And the load of their loveless pity is worse than the ancient wrongs,
Their doors are shut in the evenings; and they know no songs.

We hear men speaking for us of new laws strong and sweet,
Yet is there no man speaketh as we speak in the street.
It may be we shall rise the last as Frenchmen rose the first,
Our wrath come after Russia's wrath and our wrath be the worst.
It may be we are meant to mark with our riot and our rest
God's scorn for all men governing. It may be beer is best.
But we are the people of England; and we have not spoken yet.
Smile at us, pay us, pass us. But do not quite forget.