Back 10,000 Years

By David C. WEST

This is going to be a short article, since it refers back to my childhood. I did not at all like or enjoy my childhood, or secondary “education”, or University study, and, especially, “research” for PhD, or being a university academic. In fact, nothing whatsoever to do with education was pleasurable at all. All of it was ultimately boring.

On my own, at the age of 12, I knew as much astronomy and the associated physics, in fact more so than my obese physics teacher, now thankfully deceased! It is well said that “if you can’t do, TEACH”!!

No, this is not about education, as such, but more concerned with events occurring within the educational area.

It seems, if what I have heard is correct, that a disruptive or otherwise very naughty pupil, cannot be caned by his teacher, or even given a mild slap to correct small inadequacies. This is, in my view sheer stupidity. A good hard bash on the bum at a young age, can have wonderfully beneficial results. Nowadays, idiot parents go to the cops.

I remember being in primary school, at about the age of 6 or 7, and I particularly remember the Headmaster, a wonderful and impressive figure, called Mr Henry Alec Jones (HAJ), also, and thank God, very long since similarly deceased. He was relatively short, but copiously fat, and with an enormous “beer gut”. For us little kids, he was an emanation of Hell itself, BUT he had one other attribute: “a device of terror”: A SIX FOOT LONG CANE. He also had a very large mouth in terms of the volume of sound output.

Even as an old man I now clearly remember one incident from 65 years ago: A particularly nasty and very bad boy was hauled into the front of the Class, clearly having being “reported” by the so-called “teacher”, and HAJ turned up, complete with the long and feared instrument in hand.

The said bad boy was denuded of his short trousers, caused to bend over, and administered 6 of the really very best on his backside. This was accompanied by HAJ’s considerable vocal performance.

Although memory is defective at over 70, I do remember that this particularly nasty specimen of small-boyhood magically turned into something approaching the decent, and relatively congenial. Hence my conclusion: A CANE used appropriately, violently enough, and for a long enough period, is a marvellous tool. That is my LESSON for the Reader’s delectation.

In conclusion, and (only) slightly in fun, I am all for the total abolition of “educational psychologists”, all forms of the imbeciles called “sociologists” and similar types. They only “think” like cretins, but do actual harm.

Going back to the title, can you imagine that a primitive hunter, with a clear shot of his son’s bow at a deer, would not have administered a very hard kick up the chuff, if his beloved, but stupid, offspring farted, fell down, or in some other way missed the family’s dinner? Q.E.D.

* Published in print edition on 12 August 2011

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