Education is a progressive discovery of your own ignorance.
- Will Durant
For many, the school days begin in earnest this week, and the boys and girls of summer will return to the mouse race of today that will prepare them for the rat race of tomorrow.
For them, it's a chance to learn new subjects, see their friends, enjoy thrilling discoveries, see their friends, return to the nightly challenges of homework and see their friends.
For us parents, it's a chance to stretch a moment, then get ready for a whole new set of homework questions about realms of history, science and mathematics that didn't exist when we were in school.
That is because things are different.
The school you and I went to is not the school our children and grandchildren attend. They go to a better school, a kind school, a new school.
We went to an old school, and the differences are pretty obvious.
Old school: Class changes announced with sound of a loud buzzer purchased from prison supply store.
New school: Light chime that suggests young scholars proceed to another class.
Old school: Arithmetic calculations involve computing the travel times of trains with a No. 2 pencil and a piece of paper.
New school: In math class, a calculator is allowed as you compute the money raised from a charity bake sale.
Old school: History includes frequent reminder that we often went to war and always won.
New school: History involves an embarrassed recitation of our brutal conquests of misunderstood opponents.
Old school: Diagramming sentences.
New school: Reading short stories about lonely children who have trouble making friends, but will do so before the story ends.
Old school: Role models: Archie and Jughead.
New school: Role models: Bart and Homer Simpson.
Old school: Cheap lunch involving food the government is trying to get rid of.
New school: Healthy entree, carrot sticks. Roughage.
Old school: Rush to get seat near open window.
New school: Air conditioning for everybody.
Old school: Somehow produced generation that invented CAT scans, microwaves, cell phones, the Internet and cable TV.
New school: (We'll see.)