Jun 01-03

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2003: Jun: Jun 01-03
Sacred Heart School, 8th grade, 1910    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo from John O'Brien

Charlie at Pasty Central on Sunday, June 1, 2003 - 08:13 am:

A class photo from the land of copper mines and pasties. John P. O'Brien's father, John F. O'Brien, is in the second row, fifth from the left. He went on to work for Copper Range Railroad for 52 years. But on a day in 1910 little John and his Sacred Heart classmates stood still long enough for the camera to capture the moment.

Thanks to the many Camwatchers who have treated our photo-inbox to your shoebox memories. Wonder if anyone else recognizes a friend or relative in this weeks picture?

By Bob Brown, AL on Sunday, June 1, 2003 - 12:25 pm:

It is an absolute fact that the development of the Copper Country (as well as many other areas) was advanced by many 8th grade grads. With good penmanship and spelling and good overall grades, they would go directly to work for companies or banks or commercial offices. It would be interesting to see how many of this group went on to more schooling (high school) and who went to work. The types of tests that they took when finishing 8th grade would be challenging to most high school graduates of today's educational system.

By DB LAKE LINDEN on Sunday, June 1, 2003 - 01:04 pm:


By Jo Ann in Iowa on Sunday, June 1, 2003 - 02:35 pm:

Where are the girls? Did they separate the classes? Bet they cleaned up good, too.

By JMT,IA. on Sunday, June 1, 2003 - 06:05 pm:

Bob Brown,Al. are you saying that 1910 eighth graders are more educated than today's seniors in high school? I hope you are kidding unless it has been a long time ago since you were in school, with today's technology and computer knowledge do you really believe the 1910 eighth graders could survive among what teaching is all about today? Your last sentence inspired me to make this comment.

By pikkuleipa on Sunday, June 1, 2003 - 08:36 pm:

What a handsome bunch of divils...doesn't look like an eejit in the bunch!

By John-Canton on Sunday, June 1, 2003 - 09:23 pm:

JMT- What you say is true. However, the kids of that era learned things themselves as opposed
to technology-see spell check etc. So who is
smarter? Good •••• question.

By John-Canton on Sunday, June 1, 2003 - 09:24 pm:

Sorry, OK good DARN question.

By rb, South Carolina on Sunday, June 1, 2003 - 09:28 pm:

As a retired teacher (from IA), I'd have to say that you're comparing apples to oranges. Technology has little to do with mental acuity. To suggest that people who drive automobiles are more educated (to use your term) than people who rode horses defies today's reality. Those who operate motorboats cannot be presumed to be more knowledgeable about water transportation (and safety) than those who paddle or sail. The mental discipline common in schools in 1910 (before my time) probably engendered skills, attitudes, and knowledge superior to that promoted in today's schools. In fact, the reliance on calculators and computers probably has the opposite effect. When I finally bought a microwave oven, I didn't get any smarter.

By MH Liminga on Sunday, June 1, 2003 - 10:15 pm:

On an unrelated note: Sunday I drove between Sidnaw and Covington. There must have been 3 to 4 miles of empty train cars sitting on the rails parallel to the road. What's up with this? Does anybody have any insight on this?

By Paul in Illinois on Sunday, June 1, 2003 - 10:20 pm:

My father graduated from 8th grade c. 1914 from the Kenosha, WI schools. He had the ability to read, which he did extensively. He was also a resource for me all though my High School math. Point is, his 8th grade education served him well in his time. My maternal Grandfather was a product of Calumet's Sacred Heart Grade School and High School. He too, was well served by what would now be concidered a minimal education. What both these men gained were the basic skills and far more importantly, as rb, South Carolina says, the mental discipline to apply those skills to continue learning. As any graduate of Calumet's Sacred Heart (in that era) could tell you, they learned discipline!
I went all the way to a Master's Degree - after 19 years in various schools, the last words from my major Professor were: "Now you have to go out and actually learn something useful." He was right!
I would say those boys of 1910 would have an edge over today's average high schoolers on knowing how to think and learn on their own. No doubt if any of those pictured were put behind the counter at Mickey D's, they would be able to cope with making change if given a couple of extra pennies to even things out.
Today, in more things than just education, we seem to want to give people the "fish" rather than teaching them how to fish. In turn, many seem to refuse to take responsibility for their own fate. If expectations aren't met, it must be the fault of the system rather than the individual. In 1910, each one of those boys undoubtedly had a strong sense that they had to go out and make a life for themselves. They were given the tools, but once out the door it was up to them to use them.

By Bill,from Lansing on Sunday, June 1, 2003 - 11:10 pm:

To all of the above: the freedom of speech..what would it be like if it couldn't be? What a boring world this would be if we all thought alike!!! Probably very limited like 1910 compared to today!! Where is technology spelled wrong?

By Ken from da UP on Sunday, June 1, 2003 - 11:14 pm:

MH Liminga, There were railroad cars like that around here, too, (Cornell) a while ago. The RR Co. is just using those tracks as a warehouse for the cars that need to be repaired or repainted. They have been there for a couple years at least. Did you go to Covington for the Pavilion Fund Raiser? I play tenor banjo for Kilpela and Friends. Been to every one of the Covington Fortchuly (fourth of July) music fests. And the last 5 or 6 Aura Fiddlers Jamborees.

By ed mi on Sunday, June 1, 2003 - 11:15 pm:

It is my understanding that the ore cars that sit on the siding near M-28 belong to the Escanaba and Lake Superior Railroad and are sold off as the need arises.

By Bill, in Lansing on Sunday, June 1, 2003 - 11:19 pm:

To Paul in IL. considered is not spelled concidered, sorry, couldn't help myself!!!!

By theshadow on Sunday, June 1, 2003 - 11:24 pm:

(edited, personal attacks removed)

You are absolutely right Bob. Anyone with common sense understood your statement I am sure.

By theShadow on Sunday, June 1, 2003 - 11:28 pm:

JMT do you honestly think that todays graduates and kids of similar ages know what it is like to do chores around a house or farm without being bribed with money, or that they could walk the mere distances in all sorts of weather conditions due to lack of automized transportation back then?

...todays kids ... have very little sisu so I have a hard time believing todays kids of similar ages could funtion very well in those times.

Editor's note: Please avoid inflamatory language and personal attacks.

By ILMHitCC on Sunday, June 1, 2003 - 11:48 pm:

Well, some things never change! I'm sure the adults of 1910 were lamenting the spoilt and lacking youth of the day and waxing romantic about their good ole' days! Even Aristotle, or was it Plato, complained of the same. Thanks for the firestorm, Bob. Gotta have a bit of excitement now and then to keep the feathers fluffed.

By Lansing,Michigan on Monday, June 2, 2003 - 09:33 am:

when I went back to school in 1986 and got my Diploma they would copy my Math and are Bus driver had a daughter that couldn't tell time on a regular clock only digital and the hand writing these kids have to day your lucky you can read it.we had penmenship when I was in St cecilia School in Hubbell they should do that now. an I think the parents should be aloud to spank ther kids as they sure need it when they can kick ther Dad an that is bad . I don't beat them to death but a spanking
Therese Dimet

By Barb on Monday, June 2, 2003 - 09:37 am:

My grandfather's brother was in the eighth grade in 1914. In 1916 he dropped out of school, in 1917 he was a certified drunk, and finally in 1920 was inprisoned for 10 yrs. for robbery. My grandson is a 1998 4.O grad. on the Nat. Honor Society and is currently in med school. In every society there has been "bad eggs" I feel.

By PCM on Monday, June 2, 2003 - 09:58 am:

In 1910, they were taught punctuation, capitalization and grammar (not to mention spelling). It looks like many of us here using this great technology haven't learned any of those things.

By the way, technology wasn't spelled wrong anywhere above. See spell check- refered to the use of spell check as an example of technology verus the learned ability of spelling correctly.

By PCM on Monday, June 2, 2003 - 10:08 am:

Darn that spell check!

By Alan, Kansas City, MO on Monday, June 2, 2003 - 10:45 am:

I think education is relative. It seems to be geared towards preparing--or trying to prepare--kids to be able to enter the workforce and be productive as business might require IN THOSE TIMES.

Granted, spelling, punctuation, simple math for counting out change (remember when cashiers would actually COUNT OUT change?) are still important and relevant.

I don't know how many kids I went to school with who would use their calculators and not even think about the outrageousness of some of their answers. They were clearly WRONG, but "since their calculator came up with it, it must be right."

Technology has to be combined with common sense and some simple ability to determine that the answers you have come up with are reasonable.

One thought: while it seems to me that schools are setup and curricula are designed to help students be productive in the workforce of today's businesses, what would happen if we started to add entrepreneurial concepts to schools?

A lot of previous eras' education--math, english, etc.-- seemed to be designed to send the students as mindless drones to be just cogs in great machines.

Today's schooling does seem to add some elements of creative thinking which is necessary to allow people to be more than just miners, mechanics, cashiers, etc. Not that we don't need miners, mechanics, cashiers, etc., but we as a society need MORE than just mindless--yet mathematically competent and gramatically correct--ones.

And, by the way, I do believe that if someone is overly interested in correcting your grammar, they're potentially missing a very important point you may be trying to make. Good grammar by itself is useless, unless accompanied by a useful and important point.

I'll bow out on this subject now and take my lumps.

By Mary Lou on Monday, June 2, 2003 - 12:45 pm:

Something more important than "book learning" is "common sense"......if you do not have it you will never be a productive, happy person...I would guess those young graduates had a lot of it!! Incidently, Ted Kosinsky (sp) was very well educated and was a classmate of my late husband..in graduate school at U of M..graduating with his Masters in 1964..I think he earned a PHD in Calif........His education did not do him or society any good.

By Bob-B Hubbell Mi on Monday, June 2, 2003 - 01:43 pm:

2nd row from bottom,4th boy from left looks like Alfalfa from Spanky and our gang.

By PCM on Monday, June 2, 2003 - 03:24 pm:

My point is, without good grammar, your point may be totally lost in some garbled, unfathomable, rambling statement. You may have a great point, but without the ability to convey it in an understandable manner, you may never get your point across. Grammar and punctuation have a function and a purpose. Without them, we all tend to sound and appear ignorant.

By Nick on Monday, June 2, 2003 - 05:24 pm:

Oh, oh, looks like Charlie had to put the "dunce hat" on The Shadow by censering their opinion.

By UP slim on Monday, June 2, 2003 - 05:28 pm:

Notice the reflection in the window? Wonder whose house that was?

By stew bum on Monday, June 2, 2003 - 05:57 pm:

I'd like to inquire as to the requirements and application process for the status of "certified drunk". I've got a couple of associates that may qualify. They say membership in a professional association can be a resume builder.

By BobBrown,AL on Monday, June 2, 2003 - 06:27 pm:

For an understanding of the old (1935) 7th and 8th grade educational requirements in Iowa...go to www.wccta.net/gallery/fwr
Click on "Here" to enter
Click on "Ed loop archives"
scroll down to 97011205...and click on it...

By Sue, from Texas on Monday, June 2, 2003 - 07:05 pm:

Hey....let's all have a beer or two and lighten up!!!

By Paul in Illinois on Monday, June 2, 2003 - 07:28 pm:

Wow, who would of thought a shot of a bunch of 13 - 14 year old boys would create such a discussion.
At the risk of throwing more fuel on the fire, consider (point taken Bill, I often mispell that one)this: In 1910 we (the US)were on the rise and were among the leaders in educating our children. Today, we seem to have peaked, our industrial base hase eroded and, from all one reads or hears, our education system, on average, is no longer competitive in the industrialized world. The long term implications of this are grim.
Yes, we have some very talented and creative people comming out of the system. But the average product of the system is ill-prepared to cope with the complexities of today's life.
Alan is correct when he says we need the mechanics, cahiers, etc. But I fear he underestimates their creativity. Most of the inventions that propelled us to being a world power were due to the creativity of the drones on the shop floors. Today, are our drones "mechanics"? Or, do they reside in cubicles in high rise office buildings? Who is more value adding or creative?
How do we regain the lead? It seems like we might want to change. Perhaps better pay for teachers in order to attract more to the profession. Perhaps fewer administrators and more teachers would help. More involvment from parents would help both the students and the teachers. Whatever, we need to do something to bring the average up.
Didn't want to offend anyone, but this is a discussion worth having. Just think, high tech to those kids were the hoists at Tamarack 5 and the stories about Orville and Wilber's Aeroplane. Now here we are communicating across the globe!

By Mary Lou on Monday, June 2, 2003 - 07:44 pm:

Wonder who would function better living in the Copper Country.........a college dropout with a chainsaw and a rusty Chevy truck....or a Harvard grad with an MBA and a BMW....who do you suppose would have more fun, more friends and be more prodctive in the area????? There are many ways in which to measure intelligence!!!

By Julie B on Tuesday, June 3, 2003 - 03:25 am:

I say dont take such a wonderful thing here and
make such a "heavy"subject of it....does it really matter ?

By danbury; germany on Tuesday, June 3, 2003 - 05:21 am:

Hey, Paul, it's not the bunch of kids, it's what people think about thmeselves! (I think)
Actually, when I saw the pic it made me think of one I once saw that showed my grandfather at the age of about thirty-five. I was maybe fifteen and thought who's that guy? doesn't look like me at all (or vice versa). Now I'm thirty - and see a very similar face in the mirror each morning.
Oh, and Julie: eduaction is a heavy subject (same here as there), and it does matter.
But I rather enjoy the UP-pictures.

By ASRA/S0C7 on Tuesday, June 3, 2003 - 11:31 am:

Wow, makes you wonder how those people developed all that computer stuff without having a computer.

By RT on Tuesday, June 3, 2003 - 03:38 pm:

I was starting to wonder here if Charlie was going to have to change this site to "Nasty Cam!" with all the editing he had to do.

By Julie B.....Holland the Netherlands on Tuesday, June 3, 2003 - 05:17 pm:

Danbury Germany ... I come here to look at the pics and relax...and think of my home state of
Michigan since Ive been living in Europe the
last few years....my fathers family grew up in this area and we lived on pasties ...so its a
nice "taste" of home...Ive forwarded this site
to my bros....... hope they enjoy it as much as I
do....keep up the good work pasty cam!!
Julie B....

By Pete Wi on Wednesday, June 4, 2003 - 04:01 pm:

JMT:I just ran into a high schooler who could not figure 10% of 360 without using a calculator. So what happens when all of our electronic whizz bang gear fails.

By stew bum on Wednesday, June 4, 2003 - 04:47 pm:

To Pete Wi- we are seeing this all the time in the business place over the last years. Youngsters fresh from school seem to be having trouble in estimating and also in written communication. I think the reason may be that they dont really know steps involved in solving math problems and therefore dont realize when their answers dont make sense. Maybe the direct result of too much reliance on calculators and abbreviated internet chat room postings.

By Pat, ind. on Thursday, June 5, 2003 - 05:20 am:

Pete in Wisc. Well Pete, they can always do what you probably do....use their fingers and toes!

By Pat, Ind. on Thursday, June 5, 2003 - 05:24 am:

Well everyone who has electronic "toys" are going to wonder what to do if their electronic whiz bang gears fails.

By Pat, Ind. on Thursday, June 5, 2003 - 05:42 am:

I have a daughter who is doing to be a senior in high school this next fall and she is not the "idiot" like the way everyone here seems to think of today's kids. I can't help myself by taking these opinions of people to heart!! There are good kids out there!!

By Jim, MI. on Thursday, June 5, 2003 - 07:31 am:

Perhaps it's not totally the fault of the kids today about the education they are getting (or lack of it), perhaps they are only getting out of what today's teaching techniques offer. I know school closes down a lot more now than when I was in school. Perhaps the parents are partly to blame..seems there is a lot of parents are more involved in their jobs than other parents are. Times have changed since the kids in the photo. there's no doubt about that. But it seems like a lot of us are into this new age of technology, you have to turn on your computer to reach this site now don't you? The future is here now.

By stew bum on Thursday, June 5, 2003 - 08:58 am:

Pat--I think you may have misunderstood. Nobody denies that there are good kids out there. I have four, all products of public school system and all went to college on full scholarship in technical programs. Because they took heavy technical loads in high school. However, a student these days can graduate with a minimum of math classes and therefore not be prepared to function in basic daily business situations such as calculating percentages. Also may we all keep in mind that attacking the individual rarely wins an arguement and seldom impresses an audience.

By Blake, Mn. on Thursday, June 5, 2003 - 03:48 pm:

I think "stew-bum" has had the first and only intelligent response with this response since this big picture was posted last Sunday!!!!!!!! Thankyou, now may we go on? Remember this is the Pasty Cam not the Nasty Cam. Nothing wrong with sharing thoughts and opinions, but when it starts to where people (adults?) start ripping one and another because of their freedom of speech, the purpose is lost.

By mark, kaleva and calumet Michigan on Thursday, June 5, 2003 - 10:46 pm:

One thing here. I think schools are too afraid to flunk anyone these days. They "dumb" down the class just so everyone can pass. Sure there are very bright and intelligent people out there, but there are also those you can't figure how to make change. You need to understand the basics to understand more. Kids are TOO dependant on computers. Computers and technology are tools for learning. You still need to know the basics. I had a girl in the store the other day. She wanted to buy some rope. It was 15 cents a foot. So she said she wanted 100 feet. She could not believe the total was $15.00 plus tax. She said she thought it would only be $5.00 or so for 100 feet because it was only 15 cents a foot. Guess she never learned to move the decimal point. She was a high school graduate too. Think kids back then would have been that mixed up??

By maijaMI on Thursday, February 19, 2004 - 06:59 am:

Thomas Edison was a school drop out. (and I am a teacher!) Kids today are awesome. It's just a different world.

By sammy lefrak on Sunday, March 7, 2004 - 10:43 am:

During the Vietnam War, defense officials were baffled about test scores. They couldn't understand how so many could fake being stupid. They assigned a study. The study found that fakery wasn't involved--the test takers really couldn't read and comprehend.

There is a record of a decline in reading ability documented during the two WWS, Korean War, and Vietnam.

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