ďA New Way To Communicate"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Friday, April 24, 2009

Were all the hours spent in school just a waste of time? As youngsters, we were told we had to go to school to make any headway in life. We had to learn reading, writing, spelling, as well as many other major subjects.

Many of us struggled with school because it restricted our time too much. We had to give up time we could have spent playing ball, shooting hoops, fishing or hunting, activities we believed were more important.

I’m still not sure school was all that essential. Take writing for example. In school, we were taught 2C how important spelling was, we had to study proper spelling. Why was properly spelling each word so important? We were told with properly spelled words we could construct sentences, phrases and paragraphs. We spent hours and hours learning how to spell, but why? Little did we know, soon we would all be tweeting on Twitter (an activity the New York Times calls one of the fastest growing phenomenon on the Internet).

In today’s world, after all our schooling including months of typing classes, we no longer use typewriters or construct sentences of properly spelled words. We abbreviate as many words as possible. BTW, (by the way) if my grade school teachers were to come upon messages such as those we routinely send via electronic devices, they would have breakdowns. FYI, we would all be assigned homework every day for the rest of our lives.

Homework was another thing I never understood while attending school. It took many after school hours that I thought would be better spent playing ball. I remember teachers saying, “You have to do your school work, never mind playing sports unless you’ve finished your homework.”

Teachers who said to spend our time studying spelling were unable to see into the future. I ask you, “How much does a good speller get paid?” Another question, “How much does a professional ball player make?” I believe some of them make as much in one season as many teachers make in their entire teaching career. Perhaps some of the teachers should have taken up teaching baseball, golf or football instead of the use of proper English.

I have seen professional athletes responding to interviews who were unable to speak proper English but they make a lot more money than scholars who have a perfect grasp of English usage.

Maybe teachers should have taught how to sell things. I have read reports of a professional golfer who makes six figures just by letting a manufacturer use his name on products. A familiar sports name can be found on products in the underwear department of men’s stores and who can resist buying a sports car from a big name football star? (Yep, it’s Dan Marino).

I guess schools should teach you that everything you learn in school will probably be extinct in 10 years (or less). At least you have a reference resource I never had, it’s called a computer. Some of us still have our doubts however that the computer is easier to use than Webster or Britannica. For those who don’t remember those reference works they are the dictionary and the encyclopedia.

As I see it, our current use of electronics has proven that many of us have way too much spare time. Perhaps today’s teachers should assign more homework. For those teachers with classes made up of future star athletes however, keep those students updated with name and address labels to mail the checks to.

P.S. Parents or grandparents reading this column need not be alarmed their children will say, “Captain Davis said school is a waste of time.” Most of the young people today don’t read anything that has more than three letters — 404 (I haven’t a clue), A3 (anyplace, anywhere, anytime), ADN (any day now).

BFN (bye for now) and TNT (till next time) VBG (very big grin)!! Oops forgot one we all know and love, TGIF.

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