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Cedar Rapids Gazette Newspaper Archive: February 24, 1974 - Page 9

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Publication: Cedar Rapids Gazette

Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

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   Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - February 24, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa                                Youfh habits extendable Leisure comes of age: Prepare By Norman Cousins S in part to the energy crisis, A Hie five-day work week in Great Britain is practically dead. Americans will probably be on a four-day work week before the end of the decade. The main problem posed by this development will not be the maintenance of high production automation will more than make up the difference but the inability of many people to inako use of their free lime. What will make this problem all the more acute is the increase of life expec- tancy and the lowering of retirement age. Within a decade, it is likely that the average person can expect to live well into his 70s. Since retirement ago will drop from 65 to about 55, this means that millions of people will have about 20 years of a work-free existence long before they experience old age. The practical effect could be the grea- test boon or the greatest disaster in the history of the nation. By and large, Americans have never been educated In cope with increased leisure time. Absence of work has generally produced Idleness and waste rather than a fuller and richer life. People with a great deal of time on their hands tend to go to pieces instead of being able to develop and enlarge their creative capacities or become involved in all sorts of socially useful activities. Medical researchers have collected Norman Cousins Opinion Page 2 Ideas judgments Views Insights Comments enough evidence to convince thorn that the body's endocrine system tends to dry up when the mind has little to anticipate in the way of challenge. Dr. Anna Asian, the well-known Romanian expert on ag- ing, believes there is a direct connection between a person's health and the level of his creative interests. Once the will to live is dimmed, the body's entire mechanism begins to run down. Similarly, family counselors and psychiatrists know that divorces and broken homes can bo produced by'sup- posedly "ideal" situations in which the man of the house is able to slay home most of the time. What actually happens is that once the pattern of relationships is changed, people tend to get in each other's way. This, then, is the great failure of our institutions, particularly education. We don't train people to make the most of increased freedom. We don't prepare them for creative involvement in the af- fairs of the community. The place to begin is very early in schooling. Conventional homework is an extension of the classroom and therefore fails to provide balanced and varied stimulation for the growing mind. The development of good taste is as vital as any other single aspect of education. I see no reason why children shouldn't be assigned to read good books and magazines, or to watch quality television programs, or to listen to good music or to sec reasonably decent movies instead of doing the usual homework. There is no point in complaining about miserable television programming if we don't create an audience that is trained to appreciate quality programs and that, indeed, will demand such programs if it doesn't get them. The habits of good citizenship have to be cultivated and worked on. The leaching of public affairs can be enhanced by creating public forums in which students and members of the community can engage in structured debates on the outstanding issues of the day. Without denigrating the importance of formal studies, I believe the total educa- tion of a youngster would be belter served by having him practice a musical instrument, or giving him an opportunity to paint or lake piclurcs in his spare lime ralher than doing homework. It may be said that the enjoyment of living comes naturally. This is true only up to a point. There are different kinds of enjoyment. Life at its fullest calls for the development of sensitivities and skills not always within the ready reach of youngsters. Education should bo as much con- cerned with these sensitivities and skills as it is with the teaching of. history or languages or sciences or vocational training. The kind of life we live, and the satis- factions we get out of it, not only require but demand far more intensive and con- sistent preparation than is now generally available. I believe educators would welcome such changes if they felt they had the support of the public. Los Angeles Times SyndlcotB discardable To discipline is not to punish By Jenkin Lloyd Jones T HAVE BEEN reading a peculiar and JjL heartwarming document an an- nual report of a shrunken, once-pres- tigious boys' military school in a northern state. It does not follow the patlern of most such reports, booming with optimism, rowdedow and puffery. It is a thoughtful and restrained account of a struggle, an issue still in doubt. The writer, who is the headmaster, is a West Pointer who was brought into a decaying situation four years ago. As America moves into the last quarter of the Twentieth century, all prep-school military academies are in trouble. "Militarism" is a 10-letter dirty word. Parents generally permit kids to pick their schools, and not many kids go for spit, polish and reveille. Even the non- military preps are having trouble enough competing with the easy standards of most high schools and the free life around the drive-ins. Falling apart When our hero arrived at the old cam- pus he found lhal the discipline was both overly severe and overly lax. Theoret- ically, the increasingly turbulent cadet corps was being handed more demerits than it could'possibly walk off around the guard path. Praclically, there was little punishment for misbehavior. Drugs were becoming a problem. Academically, the once-proud stan- dards had softened. Students were allowed to go down a cafeteria line of courses and they selected the easiest. Many, having belly-flopped through youth before the TV set, could hardly read at all. The new headmaster had several op- lions. He could de-emphasize the bother- some military training and produce Way wifh words something that could parade a little for the parents Saturday morning. He could make his institution coed and thus supply in a measure the social amenities of high school. He could further water down the academic standards and operate a hold- ing pen for the lazy and directionless. He chose none of these. The coddling teachers were fired. Fifteen major demerits got you thrown A tough remedial reading program was set up. Stiff courses were included in the requirements for graduation. Old students who had grown sloppy under a system that had turned plebes into their servants bent once more to make their beds and polish shoes. The right of older boys lo old comeback knocked off. The result was awful. At the beginning of the school year of 1970 the enrollment was 343. In 1971 it was 270. In 1972 it was Jenkin Lloyd Jones 2211. The school sold off unncedcd real estate. It pledged other assests for a line of bank credit. The enroll- ment report for last fall was awaited with apprehension. But the decline had slopped. There was a net exactly five. More cheer- fully, alumni and parents were beginning to show some interest in what the head- master was trying to do. Inquiries have been increasing. Tougher admission standards naturally haven't helped the new enrollment figures, but they've halved the dropoul rate. The "head" views (lie future with cautious optimism. Maybe he's right. Maybe not. It is not really terribly important whether the lit- tle school survives, for redistributing 225 boys is no big thing in this huge land. But he wrote something in his report that struck me, and here it is: "America is faced with increased in- ternational competition from without and deterioration of its educational systems from within. To maintain such a collision course would be disastrous, but lo deviate from such a course requires discipline. "It is time the 'do your own Ihing' at- titude be overcome. It is time for educa- tors to take their work seriously and do away with 'open a cop-out. It is time that judges supported school ad- ministrators who seek lo mainlain order in our schools, lhat 'discipline' and 'punishment' cease being synonymous in our society. Reconsider "We must benefit from history and have impressed upon us Ihe repeated cycle of work and dis- cipline mean success; success means affluence and leisure lime; affluence and leisure mean lack of discipline, and lack of discipline means failure." The ancient Greeks, who liked fancy words, spoke of the meaning the big world, and the meaning the litlle world or man himself. Oul of Ihe macrocosm man is shaped, and as he changes so docs the world in which he lives change. He suqceeds and his world smiles. He rots and his world becomes a terrible place. In the oulcome of the struggle of the little military school to keep afloat in a cockleshell of standards on a vast sea of permissiveness, one might be able to make some guesses about the future of America. General Features Corporation Damned elusive, this old quote By Thoodors M. Bernstein HOW LANGUAGK changes' This started out lo he a simple Item demonstrating how the word damned changed from an impolite word lo a don't-give-il-a-second-lhoiiKht word. Dili Ihe item has grown somewhat complicated. 11 all began with Ihe publication of a Idler to (lie editor of the New York Times pointing out "once again" the bowdlerized version of Charles Coles- worth Pinckney's Immortal refusal as Minister lo Paris in 1797 lo pay money to France. Thnt well-known version Is: "Millions for defense, but nut one cent for tribute." Tim Idler lo Ihe editor said Ilinl this was a cleancd-up version mmlc fll In bo Inscribed on Plnckncy's lomb in SI. Michael's church, Chnrliwlon, K.C. What Plncknoy nclunlly snld, according to Iho loiter, was, "Millions for defense, bnl not one domneo' penny for trilnilc." A check wilh Barllott's "Familiar Quotations" substantiates Ibis wilh Ihe slighl excep- tion lhat it gives "mil o (instead of one) damned penny for tribute." So fur pretty good. But Ilicn a decision lo make n second check brought (rouble. The Oxford Dic- tionary of Quotations has Ihe quotation all righl, bill it never heard of Pinckney. 11 attributes the .sentence (wilh (he wording "mil a cent for lo Robert (ioodloo Harper, saying he included it In a luiisl al a dinner given by congress al Philadelphia In 17IIH. Obviously further checking was ad- visable, and (hut was done In the Fn- cyclopedia Brltmmlcri. The entry under Pinckney stales tluil hown.s "sold lo have Hindi' (ho fnimms bill ndds Hint nniillicr version Is simply, "No, not a sixpence." Tim Columbia Kncyclnpedla agrees wilh this "sixpence" version and indicates skepticism about whether I ho "millions for defense" statement was made at all. Would you believe lhal this slarled out lo he a simple Hem aboul the word damned? Word oddities. The word tribute Is related clymologlcally lo tribe. The Romans were originally divided into three tribes (the word Iribe, incidentally, contains the base Iri, three) and tribute hud the sense of allotting or granting or dividing among Ihe Iribes. Then Ihe word came lo mean a lax and II still retains some of thai meaning. In addition it has (lie sense of a gift or testimonial ns evidence of respect, gra- Illude or honor. And Hint kind of tribute Is worth more than one damned penny. Now York Svnrtlcntt The Cedar Kaplds Gazette: SIIB.. Ftb. 24. 1874 9 A Stop them short this spring. Pantcoats on sale! Sale prices effective through Wednesday, February 27. 11.88 Ladles' Pantcoats in your choice of cotton seersucker or oxford cloth. Spring colors and patterns. Sizes 8-18. Blazers are blooming in fresh spring colors solids, checks plaids and stripes. Polyester doubleknit for easy care and wrinkle-free wear. Sizes 8-18. 10.88 Ladies' Shirt Jacs are 100% polyester doubleknits that wear as well as they look. Choose great-looking spring plaids in sizes 8-18. Turned back cuffs add to layered look, CHARGE IT 7.88 Denim-Look Oxfords are in step with the styles. Bump toe styling, navy synthetic uppers with cushion crepe soles. Women's 5-10 medium. 2.33 Boat Shoes for the outdoors this spring. Cotton canvas uppers, composition soles. Lots of colors. All washable. Women's 5-10. Girls' 12Vz-3. 1. Tsnnis Shoes for warm weather enthusiasts. Machine wash- able cotton canvas in colors. Women's 5-10', children's aVz-12. 4.88 Women's Sport Oxfords have brown polyurethane uppers, composition soles. Sizes 5-10. Target Stores Incorporated Hours; Monday through Saturday 10 AM to 10 PM, Sunday 10 AM lo 7 PM 4501 First Avenue SE, Across from Llndale Plaza   

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