Friday, August 19, 2011

What I Used to Know

We stayed up late last night... too late. I'm totally worn out today. We stayed up and watched the DVD of "To Kill a Mockingbird", which always leaves me feeling a bit nostalgic. Scenes like when Aunt Stephanie calls in Dill for bedtime, followed by Atticus calling for Scout and Jem. There were no secrets in a small town. Every thing was shouted from the front porch.

Then there was the scene about the mad dog.As Atticus took the sheriff's rifle and shot the diseased dog I asked Mac, "Remember when we were young and the teachers all made sure we knew what an animal with rabies looked like?'


"Do they teach that stuff anymore."


And it got me to thinking of what I used to know. By fifth grade, we were taught not just to recognize, and stay away from, an animal with rabies, but life saving skills. Saving drowning people. Pumping water from the lungs before commencing cpr. If a person was in shock elevate the head and keep them warm. Simple things.

I could split wood with out cutting off my foot. I could start fires and cook over them. Not well, but I could do it. I could climb trees and I could build forts. I could catch minnows bare handed.

When I was twelve I often had sole responsibility for my infant brother. By fourteen, I could run a household.

Some parts of it were good... some parts weren't, but it seems to me that maybe, it would be a good thing for young people to still know what a rabid animal looks like. Maybe it would be a good thing to skip one year of keyboarding class to learn to build a tree house. I think it would be a good thing to know some of the stuff I used to know. So it seems to me, anyway.


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