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So, you think schools are tough today

This is the eighth-grade final exam from 1895 in Salina, Kan. It was taken from the original document on file at the Smokey Valley Genealogical Society and Library in Salina, and reprinted by the Salina Journal.

Eighth Grade Final Exam: Grammar. Time allowed, one hour. What are the odds you can get an &uot;A?&uot;

1. Give nine rules for the use of capital letters.

2. Name the parts of speech and define those that have no modifications.

3. Define verse, stanza and paragraph.

4. What are the principal parts of a verb? Give principal parts of &uot;lie,&uot; &uot;play,&uot; and &uot;run.&uot;

5. Define case; illustrate each case.

6. What is punctuation? Give rules for principal marks of punctuation.

7. Write a composition of about 150 words and show therein that you understand the practical use of the rules of grammar. I admit I failed the test … I still don’t understand most of the questions.

I asked a new businessman what he did before opening his store. He said he had been a teacher, and so had his wife. He went on to say that his mother, dad, his wife’s dad, his two brothers, his brother’s wife and sister had all been teachers.

&uot;So why did they quit,&uot; I ventured to ask. &uot;The classrooms are hell holes,&uot; he replied. &uot;More than half the kids are there only to have fun, they are out of control and a teacher can’t do anything but holler for the principal, who can’t apply the discipline required. So much time is wasted on kids that should be expelled it was not worth the battle.

“My daughter, retiring after 30 years on the job decided to do some substitute teaching. She refuses to teach above fifth grade.

There is a TV show called Dirty Jobs, teachers easily qualify, and the PTAs sit on their hands.&uot;

Apparently School Boards have their hands tied.

What are the odds?

What are the odds of this? Fire authorities in California found a corpse in a burned-out section of forest while assessing the damage done by a forest fire. The deceased male was dressed in a full wet suit, complete with scuba tanks on his back, flippers, and facemask. A postmortem test revealed the man did not die from burns, but from massive internal injuries. Dental records provided a positive identification and detectives attempted to determine how a fully wet-suited diver ended up in the middle of a forest fire.

Police learned that on the day of the fire, the man went diving off the coast, 20 miles from the forest. Fire fighters, seeking to put out the blaze, had called in a fleet of helicopters with those big dip buckets. Water was dipped from the ocean and emptied at the site of the forest fire.

Yup, you guessed it. One minute our diver was making like Flipper in the Pacific, the next, he was doing the breaststroke in a fire dip bucket 300 feet in the air.

You have to admit it’s easier to believe this than to believe our city Council will lower the property tax rate this year. Council has been given another hoop to jump through … it’s called a parking garage for the &uot;villagers.&uot;

The unasked questions

Here are a few questions that were not asked of aspiring Supreme Court candidate Judge Alito. &uot;How important does a man have to be before he is considered assassinated instead of murdered?&uot; &uot;What disease did cured ham actually have?&uot; &uot;If a deaf person had to appear in court, would it still be called a hearing?&uot; &uot;Can a hearse carrying a corpse drive in the carpool lane?&uot; &uot;Judge, once you get to heaven are you stuck wearing the clothes you were buried in for eternity?&uot; Senator Kennedy could have asked, &uot;Judge, if the rule is &uot;one can put his two cents in,&uot; but it’s only &uot;a penny for your thoughts,&uot; what immoral organization that you belong to gets the extra penny? Do not attempt to avoid the question or give us a bunch of legalese; who gets it?&uot;

Contact the writer at robert.pocklington@suffolknewsherald.com