Fluoride Information

Fluoride is a poison. Fluoride was poison yesterday. Fluoride is poison today. Fluoride will be poison tomorrow. When in doubt, get it out.

An American Affidavit

Monday, December 30, 2019

127 Shooting Birds: The Underground History of American Education by John Taylor Gatto from archive.org

127 Shooting Birds: The Underground History of American Education by John Taylor Gatto from archive.org
Shooting Birds

On the way up Third Street hill to Waverly school each morning to discover what song
Miss Wible was going to have kids memorize that day, I would pass a shack made of age-
blackened hemlock, the kind you see on old barns
long gone in disrepair. This shack
perched at the edge of an otherwise empty double lot grown wild in burdock, wild
hollyhock, and briar. I knew the old woman who lived there as Moll Miner because boys
tormented her by shouting that name as they passed in the daily processional headed for
school. I never actually saw her until one Saturday morning when, for want of anything
better to do, I went to shoot birds.

I had a Red Ryder BB rifle, Moll Miner's lot had birds, and so lying on my belly as if
birds were wild Indians, I shot one. As it flopped around dying, the old woman ran
shrieking from her shack to the fallen bird, raised it to bosom and then fled shouting, "I
know who you are. You're the printer's boy. Why did you kill it? What harm did it do to
you?" Then overcome with sobs she disappeared into her shack.

Her wild white hair and old cotton housedress, light grey with faded pink roses, lingered
in my vision after I went home. Who could answer such a question at eight or at twenty-
eight? But being asked made me ask it of myself. I killed because I wanted to. I killed for
fun. Who cared about birds? There were plenty of birds. But then, what did it mean, this
crazy old lady taking the downed bird into her home? She said she knew me; how was
that possible? It was all very puzzling. I found myself hoping the BB hadn't really killed
the bird but only shocked it. I felt stupid and tried to put the incident out of my mind. A
week or so later I got rid of my BB gun, trading it for an entrenching tool and some
marbles. I told myself I was tired of it; it wasn't a real gun anyway. Around Halloween
some kids were planning a prank on the old lady. I protested, saying we should pick on
someone who could fight back and chase us. "We shouldn't pick on weak people," I said.
"Anyway, that lady's not crazy, she's very kind."

That winter, without asking, I shoveled the snow around her house. It was a business I
usually did for pocket money, and I was good at it, but I didn't even ask permission. I just
shoveled the sidewalk without asking for money. She watched me from her window
without saying a word. Whether she recognized I was the boy who shot the bird, I wish I
could tell you, but that's all there is. Not a sparrow falls, they say. That was the way I
learned to care about moral values in Monongahela — by rubbing shoulders with men and
women who cared about things other than what money bought, although they cared about
money, too. I watched them. They talked to me. Have you noticed nobody talks to
children in schools? I mean, nobody. All verbal exchanges in school are instrumental.
Person-to-person stuff is contrary to policy. That's why popular teachers are disliked and
fired. They talk to kids. It's unacceptable.

On Punishment

No comments:

Post a Comment