Modern Manners

Discussion in 'The Barracks' started by CL1, Feb 6, 2019.

  1. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    Post-O-level era, but I'm another all-boys grammar product.

    What I only realised in hindsight is how many of my teachers were either not actually trained as teachers (is that still possible?) or had come into teaching later as a second career (most had hopped across in the 70s and began retiring in the mid to late 90s). Off the top of my head, my first maths teacher was a priest, my second was a former RAF officer, my politics teacher had been a barrister, my Chemistry and history teachers were former university academics, my physics teacher had run his own business and my English teacher was a retired Royal Navy commander with an aristocratic title. Oh, and one whose subject eludes me had been a playwright, although I don't think he was supposed to have been much good at it.

    Of that odd assortment, there was only really one duff teacher. The younger mob of teachers who'd been along the school-university-school loop were, on the whole, a far less-inspiring bunch.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2019
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  2. SteveDee

    SteveDee Well-Known Member

    I was 16 in one of those funny periods when the establishment started to fiddle around with education. At our school they decided to drop O levels and got us to try these new things called the C.S.E. This was a combination of 2 years course work plus an exam at the end.

    I failed my mock English (something that a teacher friend told me years later was impossible these days: " just have to write your name at the top of the paper") and my school lost a whole years Art coursework (so I was lucky to end up with a grade 4 pass). I got grade 1 in Maths, Technical Drawing, Physics & Chemistry.

    Luckily, it was pretty easy to get a job in 1968, which was just as well because many potential employers didn't recognise the C.S.E.

    I could not have coped with a Boys school. The best thing about secondary school was the Girls...and I also made sure my son went to a co-ed school.
  3. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    I remember my Dad imploring me to work harder to avoid the dreaded CSE (no disrespect Steve). I probably should have done Maths and Physics at CSE level, instead of failing miserably at O' Level.
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  4. SteveDee

    SteveDee Well-Known Member

    These days, graduates in other subjects can re-train as a teacher, but I think they have to end up as a trained teacher. At the school where I worked (as I was winding down to retirement...) out of a staff of 200+ only about 100 were teachers. Many of the rest were just teaching assistants. It saves money and reduces time wasting activities where a real teacher is probably not required.

    At technical college (back in the late 1960/early 1970s) a lot of lecturers had crossed over from industry. We had one great guy who worked on the TRS-2 project, until the Gov scrapped it. So he thought "sod-it" and went into teaching.

    He used to spend half the lesson telling us unrelated stuff (e.g. when his daughters were born he took out insurance policies which would pay out if any of them decided to get married before they were 21. And also I remember that he bought a new car, but stripped it down to make sure it had been built properly before taking it out on the road!). But we really paid attention to what he said in the second half of the lecture, and did well in the exams that followed.
  5. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    I worked for a private fee paying school in the early 1980's as my first job. They had many unqualified teachers on the books, some of whom were probably the best actual staff members. One sports member of staff was in fact an old boy who just never left the school organisation, apart from the intervening years of WW2.
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  6. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

    Some of the least qualified teachers in my high school were also the very best instructors. All of them had taken time to pursue other jobs/careers before becoming teachers. That gave them a wider perspective than those who never left the shelter of academia. A universal favourite was Geoge Onley who had been a Navy diver for 6 years. No other teacher could lift a shirt and display scars from a bar fight in Singapore.
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  7. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    One of my teachers was Mr Peacock aka Richard Passmore author
    Blenheim Boy (Shot down in mid 1940)
    Moving Tent (life as a pow in germany) A very modest man but very strict and respected for it.
    Manners were kept on stream.
  8. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic Patron

    Ah....the 1960s. Great time to be at school. Our French teacher was so old I'm sure he learnt his French in the Trenches in WW1. Our Chemistry teacher had spent WW2 working in Munitions...which meant his lessons were often spectacular (think lots of noise, bright flashes and mounds of molten stuff) and certainly not an exercise in Elf and Safetey.....and the Art teacher was...well...artistic.....
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  9. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Old Hickory Recon

    In the late 1970s, we had to stand when any adult entered the room, except when were taking a test. Oh, and it was stand quietly and don't speak until spoken to. We were required to address adults as Mr. or Ms. surname and as some of you have noticed over the years, that habit has stuck with me. Of course, that manner of addressing adults was also strongly taught at home and is customary in the Southern US, at least in the areas that haven't been yankeefied.

    My high school was a private (US usage) college prep school. The first year or so at the local public university was somewhat a repeat of my high school exposure, as a large number of the college courses used the same books I had studied from during my four years of high school. I was expecting college to be a lot more difficult early on than it was but I didn't complain that it wasn't.
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  10. TTH

    TTH Senior Member

    My mom's family are Southerners and I remember that custom among the kids when I visited there. "Yes, sir," "No, ma'am." I wasn't used to it, but I had encountered it occasionally before in New York because many Black families in the north taught their kids to do the same.
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  11. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Old Hickory Recon

    It is the expectation in my house and among most of my close friends. Even now, those who are 20 or so years older than me are referred to as Mr. or Mrs (or Ms). If the person being addressed is a close acquaintance, then we use Mr. or Ms. FirstName. An example of this was the subject of my book from WWII. His name was Marion Sanford. I regularly referred to him as Mr. Marion not thinking that others might be under the impression that Marion was his surname.

    All of my parents close friends are addressed that way by me and my wife. My dad's dearest friend is Mr. Harold to me and I am a middle-aged man. I guess it is a way of according him respect for his wisdom.

    Another custom is the referring to of close friends of the family as "Uncle" or "Aunt", though it is not as universal. My dad's close friend who lived across the road from me as a child was "Uncle" Wayne, even though we were not relations and my children refer to my best friend of 40 years as "Uncle" Stan and his child in the same manner when addressing me.
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  12. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

    What you describe in the way of respectful language and formal salutations was mostly true here as well until the mid-late seventies. It has been going downhill ever since. When I joined the workplace in the early eighties it was quite formal as well. Anyone senior to you was addressed as Mr. or Mrs. and titles/positions were accorded a degree of reverence that is now mostly gone. I have mixed feelings about it. There was, in my opinion, a degree of deference to people in certain capacities (clergy, doctors, professionals) that smacked of a class structure. However, I am continually shocked by the increase in boorish and classless behaviour I see now. I guess every generation has to adapt to changing standards, or lack thereof.
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  13. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Thanks SDP, so many similar stories to tell. One cold and icy January day our Welsh Rugby Master declared to us that the rugby pitch was frozen and too dangerous for play.

    "Right lads, instead of rugby, I want you to do three laps of the perimeter of the pitch on your hands and knees and then shower."
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  14. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic Patron

    Ah! The UK winter of 1963(?) by any chance? Snowdrifts in the Lincolnshire Fens...but the school bus was still almost on time and there was no thought about closing the school for the duration (or am I seeing things through Rose Tinted Spectacles?...might be). The annual School Cross Country Run was still the snow and ice and Fenland winds...very 'bracing' as they say at Skegness. Happy days.

    Very traditional boys Grammar School (Spalding) in those days - the Lords Prayer during morning assembly during United Nations Week was said in a different language each day - Latin by the whole school, French etc and including, albeit just by the Headmaster, in Ancient Greek ( Chippy Woodward had read Classics at Sidney Sussex College Cambridge...doesn't everyone?) - but I understand they now admit 'girls'....what is the World coming to....? Always had to stand in silence when an adult entered the room and only use surnames. Our desks were also in alphabetical order and even now I can remember the start of the Class Register...Adams, Asher, Bee, Benton, Bollons, Bradshaw and so on.... There was also the Annual Speech Day Review when everyone could be 'silly' in that old 'silly sort of way': the best sketch I remember was about the Fenland Mountaineering Club where a couple of chaps - in full mountaineering gear - crawled across the Stage (think about it!).
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  15. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Old Hickory Recon

    Mixed feeling? I do too. I worked in surgery as a Registered Nurse for 10 years in my earlier life. I was required by my employer to address physicians as Dr. Lastname and I did so in professional circumstances. When not involved in patient care, I used only their first names if they were generally my age and Dr. Lastname if they were a great deal older than me, such as some WWII veterans who were still in practice. Even now, when seeing them as a patient, unless they call me by a title (Mr.) I don't use a title when addressing them.

    There was a nurse in my OR back then who was well into her 70s and who worked part time. The older surgeons and the younger surgeons who were raised in a more rural setting, always called her Ms. Dot (her name was Dorothy). It was the expectation and all of the other surgery staff used that name for her, too.

    We had a scrub tech about our age that called all the nurses, Nurse Lastname. When she sees me today, she still addresses me as such, even though I am no longer a nurse. She said she felt it was an honor we had earned.
  16. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    Coming from schooldays in the 50s and 60s much of this thread resonates with me. I am reminded about this story. For some reason a new boy joined our class halfway through the term. Our English teacher, one of the more disciplinarian types, entered saying "Ah a new boy. What's your name?" "Watt Sir" said newbie. Teacher launched into a tirade on manners starting with "Don't you dare say What? to me." Eventually during a pause newbie managed to blurt out "Sorry Sir but my name is Watt".

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  17. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    Ah you see it is now a different time and time changes and some would say oh the oldies are complaining, very much like back in the days of youth we said about our elders.However we still have a part of society that is lacking in basic skills.

    So we concern on and deal with bad manners in our own way which sometimes can be fun.

    I thank you

    onward and upward
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  18. papiermache

    papiermache Well-Known Member

    Yesterday I came to a halt in my car, in daylight, because of a temporary traffic light place on a steepish ( for Essex ) hill, the opposite flow traffic lights being out of sight over the brow of the hill. Three cars and an articulated lorry then jumped the red light by overtaking my stationary car and the one behind me, and yet the red light had been showing for some time, no closing amber light seen by me ( since a few cars may have ignored the red before I halted and obscured the amber from my sight.)

    Needless to say, the lorry came to a halt on the brow of the hill. This gave me the chance to turn around in the road and take a different route. It is commonplace for cars, which are much wider these days, to cut corners on our local narrow small roads cutting corners so I am prepared for each corner I know is regularly "straightened", but I was really puzzled by the plain stupidity of the other drivers' attitude to a red light.

    It is almost as if people are behaving to a new code of loutishness, but the reason for being a lout has eluded them. Automatic bad manners, perhaps caused by wi-fi, bluetooth, and other short-range radio transmissions.
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  19. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    Local London news
    stating the schools are now showing children how to brush their teeth properly due to poor eating habits.

    Feckless parenting the norm cant get the teeth brushing right and miss the manners by a country mile
  20. smdarby

    smdarby Well-Known Member

    I don't know about anyone else, but I've got a mouth full of fillings due to poor eating habits. It's not a modern thing. I blame Yorkshire Mixture and Pineapple Chunks. In fact, I'm surprised I've got any teeth left after all the quarters of YM I went through as a kid. They're like sugar-coated concrete.

    Just to bring a bit of balance to this thread, I remember the "good old days". Take the 1970's for example - "Jim'll Fix It" on the telly (along with rampant racism and sexism), power cuts, cr*p food (I had no idea pineapple didn't come out of a tin until I was about 20), the class system and lack of educational opportunities (I was the first generation in our family to go to university), second hand smoke, not to mention the threat of nuclear holocaust hanging over our heads. Eeee, those were the days...
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