What is the case for country schools?
I came from the big city of Denver where; for many, size was a source of pride. Big choices and big programs were the order of the day.
When we moved to a small town and attended a a small school; my first few months were a big shock. This tattered old building outside of Lexington, Kentucky ministered to every age ranging from Kindergarten to High School; some 200 students in all. Tired old hall bells clanged loud and off-pitch; the stairs and hall floors creaked at every step;
All of the wood elements were scarred and worn. Smells of cabbage, kraut, and sausage often filled the halls at lunch time. Real spankings were often administered (an art form often lost on my younger brother) for misdemeanors.
Some children wore funny clothes with little worry about ridicule; they were warm in their often ill-fitting hand-me-downs.
Daily prayer was as normal as recess.
How was it then, if big is good; that when we started there from the big city, I was almost held back a grade (and my brother was). It was hard to keep up! Who ever heard of diagramming sentences; where a group of words were lined up like and organization chart? There was “old math” (new to me), and Latin that nobody ever spoke. My experience was the same all the way though my Junior year, having moved to an all- male High School in Louisville, Kentucky;
And, how is it that when we finally moved back in my senior year to the big city of Denver, everything was so easy… even lacked challenge. And, the required things that I had missed were stupid things like hygiene…. that I already had nailed?
I forever thank these old schools for their early lessons that I still try to use; respect, discipline… and fundamental thinking.
And, most importantly …..reverence.