BlueTrain (Login BlueTrain) Posted Jun 11, 2010 9:51 AM
I had an aunt who was an enthusiastic sunbather, the only one in the family who was like that. She spent the whole summer in shorts and halter top and did indeed get a nice tan every year. She was also a heavy smoker who outlived everyone else in the family. And her husband was the one who got skin cancer. She never did but she must have been a carrier.
I have no way of knowing if schools are being dumbed down or not. I do know that reading is being taught in kindergarten (I never went to kindergarten). Pretty soon a child will have to be able to read just to get in kindergarten. More difficult subjects are being taught a year or two sooner than they used to be, too, so I don't think there's a shred of truth to the claim that schools are being dumbed down.
On the other hand, it is true that everyone is expected to get through high school, whether or not their graduation is worth anything or not. I wouldn't say it is the school's fault. They're always in the middle anyhow. I don't know if there is any sort of expectation that everyone go to college or not.
Concerning parental authority and discipline, I have no way of knowing what sort of conditions my father or grandfathers lived under when they were school age. I wasn't around. It is a highly individual thing, too. One of my neighbors would literally beat his son with his belt if he wasn't on the spot when he was called. None of the other fathers in the neighborhood were anything like that.
And finally, I was sure the television was the center of family entertainment in the 1950s. You just had to have a TV and sooner or later, most people did. If you didn't, you went to someone's house that did, at least if you had a friend there. I also went to the movies a lot when I was in grade school and junior high, much more than our kids did, partly because it was less expensive and it was only about three blocks away and we could walk. That was the period of the neighborhood theater. I don't know what other kinds of family entertainment there might have been. Playing cards weren't allowing at my house. Also, we only got one TV station, so there was no question of what you might watch. Others with bigger aerials could get no more than three networks anyway. That's all there were.