Who Wrote?

10th September 2004 at 01:00
1 "Our village school was poor and crowded, but in the end I relished it.

It had a lively reek of steaming life in boys' boots, girls' hair, stoves and sweat, blue ink, white chalk and shavings. We learned nothing abstract or tenuous there - just simple patterns of facts and letters, portable tricks of calculation, no more than we needed to measure a shed, write out a bill, read a swine-disease warning."

2 "I am not one to sneer at education, but I would not give 6d in hiring an engine-man because of his knowing how to read or write. I believe that of the two, the non-reading man is best...

It is impossible that a man who indulges in reading should make a good engine driver; it requires a species of machine, an intelligent man, a sober man, a steady man, but I would much rather not have a thinking man."

3 "The dread of beatings!

Dread of being late And, greatest dread of all, the dread of games!"

4 "When teacher talks he won't hear a word And he shoots down dead the arithmetic-bird He licks the patterns off his plate And he's not even heard of the Welfare State."

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