Friday, September 17, 2010

Much Ado About Nothing

The ever dependable Drudge Report had two separate items this morning which concerned routine behavior treated as news.  To a geezer with a mid-western background raised in the thirties, neither was really remarkable in any way.  Let’s deal with them individually.

“Teen rides his horse to high school.”

Wow, that’s a stunner!  In a story extracted from ""we find Roby Burch atop his Percheron, “Jet” on his way to tony Haverford School for classes.  Roby and his dad arranged for a nearby paddock near the school so Jet could stand and munch oats and a little hay while the boy attended his sophomore classes.  If you click on the link you will learn about Roby’s interest in animals, his Montana experiences, and his family’s support.  The opening sentence of this piece describes this as “routine” for a good reason.

As I type, at 9:30 AM, rest assured that our closest school (approximately 2 miles away) has no less than a half dozen horses--or more--patiently waiting for the riders to complete their absorption of their daily dose of readin’, writin’ and ‘rithmatic.  Unlike Roby, they didn’t shed their jeans, put on slacks and hang up their hard hats when they arrived.  They were dressed alike with dark blue pants, worn blue shirts and straw hats.  Saddles may or may not have been part of the equipment for the horses that are contentedly grazing in the school yard.

At morning recess, they will uniformly check on the horse’s welfare before they take up the continuous ball game which generates more enthusiasm from the participants than the “Phillies” could ever hope for.  From the horse’s point of view, it’s a welcome break from pulling the variety of equipment which waits back at the farm.  We note here that the teacher’s buggy is parked and her horse has joined the others.  Since this school ends with the eighth grade, these kids are all at least four years younger than Roby.

Granted, the traffic encountered by these youngsters riding to school is minimal compared to Roby’s experience.  It does exist however and the locals are very much aware of the presence of riders and buggies in our neighborhood and yield to the slower transportation.  Those who live adjacent to this community respect them as individuals and their “ways” as well.  It does make it very difficult to see a boy riding his gelding to school as “news.”

“Jail for NJ gym teacher who grabbed boy by the ear”

From The Trentonian we find twenty-five year teacher, Allen Rushing, who resigned after a February 2009 confrontation with a student, has been sentenced to 90 days.  His crime: he grabbed a disorderly kid by the ear and threw him out of the class room.  Apparently, he made repeated requests for the student to leave and he did not comply.  The judge, Frederick DeVesa, noted that there was likely “a degree of provocation.” but coupled that with other complaints about Rushing in making his ruling.  Now I fully understand the assertion that; “the lunatics are running the asylum.”

As I recall my school days, even the slowest and most willfully stupid kid at any level recognized that mis-behavior in a class taught by “coach” would not be tolerated.  He might let a non-athlete girl slide but a boy at any level of physical accomplishment was fair game for his wrath.  Considering the large number of convenient appendages available to assist in control of classroom miscreants, the kid got off lucky with the coach’s choice.

As a home experiment, I encourage you to grab your own ear; exert as much pressure as you can and be amazed at how difficult it is to realize any actual pain--discomfort yes; pain—no.  Where the ear goes, the body will follow.  Keep in mind how many kids of both sexes submit to piercing their lobes.  I shudder to think of how many instructors I have known who have used this device to encourage some kid to move.  Reports of ears being torn off or damaged in the process are non-existent.  In today’s world of “politically correct” behavior, the mere act of actually touching a student is unthinkable.   


“Kid rides horse to school,” “mother bakes cookies,” “teacher throws kid out by the ear,” “dad goes to work,” “preacher is down on sin,” are not headlines which deserve our attention.  In doing further research, I found that Drudge no longer had either article featured.  He could then focus with clarity on items which reflect the situations, both nationally and regionally, which do matter.  If nothing else, both of these items demonstrate how detached we have become from the realities of life.  Is it any wonder we can view with success the attempts made by some folks to return the nation to fundamentals.  By lending importance to these lame tales, we find only those who are willing to trivialize the real problems facing the country.

As I typed this piece, an old song, revised, kept going through my head.

“If I sent a horse to you,
            for every time you made me blue.

“I’d have a room full of

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

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