Monday, June 21, 2010

What's Really Wrong With Education in America (History Edition)

On Saturday, I attended a board meeting for my local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Afterward, I met up with my family for a bite to eat and a walk around the Redmond Saturday Market, an open air market that houses assorted purveyors of farm-fresh, occasionally mysterious produce, as well as unbearably clever handicrafts that could never be referred to as "necessities" in any sense of the word.

While I was checking out some dangly handcrafted earrings made from sparkly handcrafted beads, the seller took note of the D.A.R. pin on the collar of my raincoat* and asked: "Is your name Dar?"

I replied, "No, that's for the D.A.R."

Dangly Earring Seller: "What's that?"

Me: "That's the Daughters of the American Revolution."

Dangly Earring Seller: "What's that?"

Me: "It's a service organization. To join it, you have to prove you are descended from someone who served in the Revolution."

Dangly Earring Seller: "What do you mean, Revolution?"

Me: "The War of the American Revolution."

Dangly Earring Seller: "Oh, you mean like the Civil War?"

Me: "No, the American Revolutionary War. The Civil War was a little later."

Dangly Earring Seller: "When was it?"

Me: "The revolution? It started in 1776."

Dangly Earring Seller: "Wow. That was a long time ago."

*Because it's June and has been raining nonstop since last November. I reserve the right to whine incessantly about it, unless you can suggest someone I can successfully sue.


  1. Holy cats! That exchange reminds me of Jay Walking on the Jay Leno show. Do you mean to tell me that people like that really exist?????

  2. Having lived in the California desert, my son lost respect for teachers when he moved back to the East Coast and one taught the class, saying, "There are no deserts in the United States."
    Back on the West Coast, I once had a client in my chair who had survived the Holocaust. I discovered this when I saw the tattoo on her inside wrist, which had slipped lower than her long sleeved blouse. As I was expressing my shock and sympathy for her experience, the young lady working next to me turned to us and asked, "What are you talking about?"
    We replied, "The Holocaust."
    Her response was, "What's that?"
    When I explained it to her, her response (in front of my client!), "Uh uh. That didn't happen!"
    Scary thought: every ignorant person is allowed to vote in our country. Are there enough smart people to outweigh the ignorant votes?

  3. I'd have to show up next time with a copy of Don't Know Much About History or some such book.

    Scary that people like that actually exist.

  4. Oh...dear...lord. And people complain about our schools TODAY. We've clearly been suckin' on the American education front for several decades now.

  5. She didn't ask who we were revolting against?
    How we revolved?

    Probably thought you meant Pilgrims vs Indians.


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