News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Opinion Columns

August 20, 2013

LIZ CIANCONE: School supplies these days just don’t add up

School bells rang yesterday to begin a new school year. I really wish I was still of an age to trek back to that proverbial “little red schoolhouse.”

Heaven knows I strung it out for as long as possible. I attended six different schools, including graduate school, before I finally tossed out a tatty loose-leaf binder and called it quits. While I’d love to do it all again, I think that I’d spend more time with my textbooks if I had that chance. The perspective of age has led me to realize that I regret nothing I have learned, I just mourn all those things I could have learned if I had paid more attention.

Yesterday was only Aug. 19. My school years began the day after Labor Day. I could hardly enjoy the Labor Day picnics and hurried home to get all my school stuff organized for the big day.

Of course, Mom had made me a new dress — girls were not allowed to wear slacks to school. Mom had taken my brother and me to Aurora to shop for school supplies. I was most thrilled with a new box of crayons every year. There were only eight crayons and none had a more exotic name than “orange.” None of this “apple green” or “brick red.” We colored with just plain “green” and “red.” We were also required to have a box of water colors. I really didn’t learn to like water color until I met Salty Seamon. My efforts were more water than color and were never posted on the refrigerator.

The big choice was the mandatory “pencil box.” There was a pen with a point which could be changed, but we didn’t have ink in our inkwells until after fifth grade, so pens were no big deal.

There were pencils, of course, and a couple of gadgets: I finally learned to make flowers with the compass, but never did figure out the purpose of the protractor. If it had anything to do with arithmetic, I probably wouldn’t have understood it anyway.

My grandchildren loaded all this sort of thing into a backpack. I just carried it all as best I could and stowed it in my assigned desk.

My favorite memories of school involve my teachers, most of whom I remember by name and can picture in my mind’s eye: Miss Meeker, Miss Montgomery, Miss Bauer, Miss Hoadley, Miss Gibbs. I had good teachers. My sons had good teachers, and I have to bite my tongue when someone tries to tell me that teachers don’t care — they are just in it for the money! I don’t believe that for a minute.

I was out the other day surveying a counter of school supplies and was amazed at how things have changed. Honestly! I saw a box of crayons with dozens of color choices. There was even a built-in crayon sharpener built into the box — we didn’t have that luxury or that many choices of color.

I miss school. Maybe I’ll go to the library and try to learn something new. How about a crash course in arithmetic?

Liz Ciancone is a retired Tribune-Star reporter. Send her email at opinion@tribstar.com.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion Columns
  • Ronn Mott.jpg RONN MOTT: Disc Jockeys

    I know this is going to sound a little like “sour grapes,” but it is not. I just passed my 61st anniversary of being involved in radio. I also spent some television time in Canada and did a local TV talk show. But, my main effort was in the good old USA in various radio markets.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • RONN MOTT: Colonoscopy No. 5

    I just finished up my fifth colonoscopy last week. It had been seven years since my last one, and since my father and grandfather died of colon cancer I find it advisable to go through this procedure in attempting to live as long as I can.

    July 29, 2014

  • LIZ CIANCONE: Next century? Hope strikes out again for ‘our’ team

    It is a case of hope trumping experience that my Best Friend and I looked forward to the 2014 baseball season.

    July 28, 2014

  • baseballandnewspaper.jpg MARK BENNETT: Hall of Memories: Names, images of baseball greats trigger connections to our own past

    Baseball Hall of Famers are just people. Totally human. Still, for Americans who follow the national pastime, those players represent a nostalgic connection to summers gone by.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • RONN MOTT: The Czar of Russia

    If you are expecting Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Republic, to react to the crisis in the Ukraine as an ordinary elected official, think again. Even though Putin is the President of the Russian Republic, this is not the job he wants. Putin also doesn’t want to be the chairman of a newly resurrected Communist Party in Russia. No, what he wants is to be the czar of a greater Russia.

    July 24, 2014

  • RONN MOTT: Dragonfly

    The other morning I was moving the canister that holds our recycling material out to the curb when I saw a strange sight. What I saw was a dragonfly fighting with a bee.

    July 22, 2014

  • LIZ CIANCONE: Chickens as pets always turned out same way

    I suppose many of us who grew up on farms or in small towns adopted unusual pets. I had a fondness for chickens. My folks always kept a few chickens, not only to fry or roast, but also for the eggs.

    July 21, 2014

  • LovellEdwards.JPG MARK BENNETT: Former Terre Hautean Jim Lovell stood ready as Neil Armstrong’s backup on Apollo 11

    The words “Apollo 11” stir optimism in me.
    I was an elementary school kid growing up in Vigo County when Neil Armstrong put the first footprint on the moon on July 20, 1969. So much seemed possible

    July 20, 2014 2 Photos 4 Stories

  • RONN MOTT: World Cup over, but it was fun

    After many weeks and many games, the World Cup is over. While the world calls it “futbol,” only we in North America play another brand of football. It is very simple to understand why this is the world’s favorite game … all it takes is an empty lot, a round soccer ball, and you can get a futbol game together.

    July 18, 2014

  • RONN MOTT: Presidential Ambush

    No wild-west ambush, either real or fiction, has been as successful as the ambush on President Barack Obama.

    July 17, 2014

  • MET071614band.jpg MARK BENNETT: Are you ready for some oom-pah along the banks of the Wabash?

    Any time I hear Curtis Mayfield’s “Superfly,” the sound transports me to 1973, when that classic song bubbled from my parents’ car radio on the drive to Sheridan Park for my youth football games.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • RONN MOTT: Collett Park

    Saturday at the Park, Collett Park, another beautiful wedding was held. They looked so nice in the warm weather with the Gazebo acting as church sanctuary, I would almost be tempted myself to do it again, and do it outdoors at the Park. No, no, no, not again, even as pretty as it is in the Park on a nice July Saturday.

    July 15, 2014

  • LIZ CIANCONE: Lots we did not have in those good ol’ days

    In my thankful moments, I’m glad I was not my grandmother’s daughter. I would miss the modern conveniences.

    July 14, 2014

  • wefight.jpg MARK BENNETT: Filmmaker captures late uncle’s walk through illness and into ‘whatever is next’

    Paul Fleschner sensed a remarkable strength as he filmed his beloved uncle one final time.

    July 12, 2014 2 Photos

  • RONN MOTT: Troubled history in that place called Iraq

    People are dying, again, in Iraq. And, again, people other than Iraqis will ultimately make the decision about what happens to this ancient land.

    July 11, 2014

  • Ronn Mott.jpg RONN MOTT: That Old Man River

    I was surprised to learn the people in Cairo are now taking water taxis to avoid the traffic, the confusion and the dangers that are appearing on Cairo, Egypt’s, streets. I mean, I was surprised the people in Cairo, these native Egyptians, were surprised they could take a water taxi and get to where they wanted to go using the Nile River as a highway. So, for the Egyptians living in Cairo, everything old is brand new again.

    July 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • RONN MOTT: Black Dog

    We had some excitement around our house the other day and it was not the good kind.
    There was a small dog, black in color with a spiked collar on his neck, and he was the spitting image of a small Doberman. I don’t know if they have miniature Dobermans but this dog could have been a mixed breed that came out looking like a Doberman although smaller.

    July 8, 2014

  • MS. TAKES: Great music is made during all generations

    Number Two son tells us that his 20-year-old son has been listening to “Big Band” music with apparent enjoyment. As if that wasn’t enough of a surprise, I was talking with a young girl, barely out of her teens and she told us that she really wasn’t into rap. She said, “It isn’t really music, it’s just talk.”

    July 7, 2014

  • RONN MOTT: Learning more about Jefferson

    During this Fourth of July weekend, I’ll be reading John Meacham’s biography of Thomas Jefferson.

    July 4, 2014

  • Ronn Mott.jpg RONN MOTT: The Men Who Made the Country

    The Fourth of July is the day we celebrate our independence from Great Britain. It reminds me of something David Ben-Gurion would say, at a much later date, about British rule: “If you have to have a master, the British are about as good at it as anybody.” Of course, we really don’t need a master.

    July 3, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ronn Mott.jpg RONN MOTT: Cats

    Looking at the situation as a whole, the adopted cats, plus one, seem to be doing OK. The boys, Magic and Mellow, like to roam occasionally, which causes some consternation when they are gone for a long time.

    July 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • LIZ CIANCONE: Oldtime fans will never give up on the Cubbies

    My Best Friend claims to be the world’s oldest living Cubs fan. I am willing to take him at his word, but surely there is some long-lived fan out there in the right field bleachers who would dispute his claim.

    June 30, 2014

  • Ronn Mott.jpg RONN MOTT: These are tough times to be an opossum

    Who killed the opossum before man and the automobile? The automobile and mankind have started an evolutionary run on how the opossum continues his bloodline.

    June 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • RONN MOTT: These are tough times to be an opossum

    Who killed the opossum before man and the automobile? The automobile and mankind have started an evolutionary run on how the opossum continues his bloodline.

    June 27, 2014

  • Ronn Mott.jpg RONN MOTT: Teamwork

    Teamwork. You remember the drill. In the movie “Hoosiers,” the coach demanded four passes before anything else happened on the court. The idea of teamwork is you work toward a victory by making sure your self-interest doesn’t come before the team.

    June 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ronn Mott.jpg RONN MOTT: World Cup

    I remember in junior high school, in physical education class, we were told to meet outside. The track and baseball diamond were in back of the school. We were met with a small, dimpled ball and the teacher told us it was soccer. It is played all over the world and you can use your head, your body and your feet, but not your hands. I decided then it was not a game for me.

    June 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • MS. TAKES: Words no one wants to hear: ‘At your age’

    The other evening, a friend limped into the dining room. Judging from the grimace, she was in some degree of pain, so I asked if she had fallen.

    June 23, 2014

  • RONN MOTT: Great effort brings rewards

    I want to tip my hat to young David Fuson who has become the spokesperson for the family business.

    June 20, 2014

  • RONN MOTT: Iraq, again

    Mohammad, the prophet of Islam, lifted into Heaven on a rock, on a hill, in Jerusalem. The binding of military might and strategies, and a religion that was meant for everyone, began to fall apart at that time in history.

    June 19, 2014

  • Ronn Mott.jpg RONN MOTT: The Stanley Cup

    I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy, a proud American who wants to see the USA win just about everything — except the Stanley Cup.

    June 17, 2014 1 Photo

Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN 3 People Killed, Deputies Wounded in NC Shootout 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Raw: 16 Killed in Gaza Market Strike Raw: Plane Lands on New York Highway Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Raw: Smoke, Explosions Fill Gaza Skyline Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways
NDN Video
Famous Internet Cats Help Big Cause With Viral Video Did Jimmy Fallon Look Up Heidi Klum's Dress? Chapter Two: Composing for a film in retirement What Drama? Miranda Kerr Poses Topless Woman's Dive Goes Terribly Wrong Plane crashes in San Diego Costco parking lot Justin Bieber Takes To Instagram To Diss Orlando Bloom You Won't Believe the Celeb Cameos in "Sharknado 2" Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Orlando Bloom 'Takes a Swing' at Justin Bieber In Ibiza Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza Meet the Man Behind Dumb Starbucks Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity