“Readin, writin, and ‘rithmatic taught to the tune of a hickory stick” are the words of a song that summed up education in former years. In my 75 years of being a part of education, I have seen many changes.
My first 8 years of education I went to a rural three-room school before graduating to a larger high school of 200 people. I made that adjustment and graduated to a college community of over a thousand students. Each step my world became larger and larger with so many opportunities to learn and live.
My informal education was living on a family farm where we were expected to take part in many activities connected with milking dairy cows, raising pigs and chickens, raising our own hay and grains, building and repairing the necessary barns and fences and cutting wood to heat our house. We learned to make the best of what we had. In my lifetime we went from farming with a team of horses to tractors, from a wind pump to provide water at the barn to running water in the house, from cooling milk, eggs and butter in the cellar to refrigerators and freezers, etc.
Formal school also went through many changes. I taught my first ten years in Kentucky in a one-room school, which then was closed in favor of the larger community school which has now become primary, junior high and high school. I also have become acquainted with home schooling.
There is an important part of education that I have not mentioned. This past weekend I attended my college homecoming celebration which made me aware of the importance of relationship and friendships. What an important part of our education and life that is. Little do we realize in grade school that those relationships will play such an important role in our lives.
This was a special event for me because my college was having a ribbon cutting for a new intra-cultural center named for my college roommate. What an honor and what a blessed feeling to have been a part of her life. Little did we realize how important that friendship could become; that was a definite part of my education.