Monday, April 25, 2011


My friend Stasia at LibraryThing (Interview with a Bookie), sent this along over the weekend and it peaked my curiosity. I did some further research at OpenCdA and The Salina Journal to make sure it wasn't a joke. It wasn't, and it isn't. When Martha read the questions, her mouth dropped open and I saw a fly fly right in her gaping maw. I never saw it come back out.

If you don't have time to read all of the questions then scan a few. But don't allow your maw to gape, unless you need the protein.

8th Grade Final Exam: Salina , KS – 1895

Lookit: Girls got to go to school too!

Grammar (Time, one hour)
1. Give nine rules for the use of capital letters.
2. Name the parts of speech and define those that have no modifications.
3. Define verse, stanza and paragraph
4. What are the principal parts of a verb? Give principal parts of ‘lie,'play,’ and ‘run’.
5. Define case; illustrate each case.
6 What is punctuation? Give rules for principal marks of punctuation.
7 – 10. Write a composition of about 150 words and show therein that you understand the practical use of the rules of grammar.

Arithmetic (Time,1 hour 15 minutes)
1. Name and define the Fundamental Rules of Arithmetic.
2. A wagon box is 2 ft. Deep, 10 feet long, and 3 ft. Wide. How many bushels of wheat will it hold?
3. If a load of wheat weighs 3,942 lbs., what is it worth at 50cts/bushel, deducting 1,050 lbs. For tare?
4. District No 33 has a valuation of $35,000. What is the necessary levy to carry on a school seven months at $50 per month, and have $104 for incidentals?
5. Find the cost of 6,720 lbs. Coal at $6.00 per ton.
6. Find the interest of $512.60 for 8 months and 18 days at 7 percent.
7. What is the cost of 40 boards 12 inches wide and 16 ft.. Long at $20 per metre?
8. Find bank discount on $300 for 90 days (no grace) at 10 percent.
9. What is the cost of a square farm at $15 per acre, the distance of which is 640 rods?
10. Write a Bank Check, a Promissory Note, and a Receipt.

U.S. History (Time, 45 minutes)
1 Give the epochs into which U.S. History is divided.
2. Give an account of the discovery of America by Columbus.
3. Relate the causes and results of the Revolutionary War.
4. Show the territorial growth of the United States.
5. Tell what you can of the history of Kansas.
6. Describe three of the most prominent battles of the Rebellion.
7. Who were the following: Morse, Whitney, Fulton , Bell , Lincoln , Penn, and Howe?
8. Name events connected with the following dates: 1607, 1620, 1800, 1849, 1865.

Orthography (Time, one hour)
1. What is meant by the following: alphabet, phonetic, orthography, etymology, syllabication
2. What are elementary sounds? How classified?
3. What are the following, and give examples of each: trigraph, subvocals, diphthong, cognate letters, linguals.
4. Give four substitutes for caret ‘u.’
5. Give two rules for spelling words with final ‘e.’ Name two exceptions under each rule.
6. Give two uses of silent letters in spelling. Illustrate each.
7. Define the following prefixes and use in connection with a word: bi, dis-mis, pre, semi, post, non, inter, mono, sup.
8. Mark diacritically and divide into syllables the following, and name the sign that indicates the sound: card, ball, mercy, sir, odd, cell, rise, blood, fare, last.
9. Use the following correctly in sentences: cite, site, sight, fane, fain, feign, vane , vain, vein, raze, raise, rays.
10. Write 10 words frequently mispronounced and indicate pronunciation by use of diacritical marks and by syllabication.

Geography (Time, one hour)
1 What is climate? Upon what does climate depend?
2. How do you account for the extremes of climate in Kansas? (It depends on how many politicians and preachers have their mouths open at the same time.)
3. Of what use are rivers? Of what use is the ocean?
4. Describe the mountains of North America.
5. Name and describe the following: Monrovia, Odessa, Denver, Manitoba, Hecla, Yukon, St. Helena, Juan Fernandez, Aspinwall and Orinoco.
6. Name and locate the principal trade centers of the U.S. Name all the republics of Europe and give the capital of each.
7. Why is the Atlantic Coast colder than the Pacific in the same latitude?
8. Describe the process by which the water of the ocean returns to the sources of rivers.
9. Describe the movements of the earth. Give the inclination of the earth.

Notice that the exam took FIVE HOURS to complete. (Actually, it took an additional 45 minutes because there were 5 questions on Physiology.)

I think I did pretty well on the test: I answered one (in red) in geography, which usually isn't my strongest subject.

And now I know why Dorothy packed up Toto and split for Oz.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Son of Elbow Debacle

Take my elbow. Please.

I know, I know. It's an old joke that was never funny in the first place. Don't worry, though, because I have a whopper coming up.

For those of you who have a longer memory span than I do, you will remember that I wrote about my Great Elbow Debacle waaaay back on February 28. As a visual aid, a refresher, or for those who know little or nothing about human anatomy, this is an elbow:

One of mine got infected, and this is what it cost to fix it:

According to my calculations, the true cost of draining the ick out of my elbow was $ .64; the remaining $11,233.00 is attributable to "the high cost of healthcare in America."

Hey Professor, how about Mr. Obama's "historic healthcare reform" that was signed into law? Hmm? How about that?

All smoke, mirrors, and total bullshit, my dears. As a matter of fact, "healthcare for all" is headed in the opposite direction. Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to do away with Medicare (the health insurance program for those 65 years and older), for all those folks under 55. That will change 36 times or more, of course, because neither the Pres nor the Congress can get their shit together.

But I ask, and here's the whopper of a non-funny joke I mentioned way up on top: What the FUCK is this country doing for its own people?

Friday, April 08, 2011

A Nightmare on Ironwood Drive

I read this Herman cartoon, laughed all over the place, but then my hands began to tremble. And my feet. And my arms and legs. Pretty soon all of me was trembling; I was having a nightmare, during the day, while I was fully awake

Unless he has a serious death wish, no man ever, ever, ever jokes about his beloved's beauty. Even if she looks, sounds, and smells like a fishwife. Martha is nothing of the sort, but the result would be exactly the same: suicide by beloved with our good cast iron frying pan.

During all our years together, I've only slipped up once.

"You know, I don't understand it," she said one evening while taking inventory in the mirror. "My boobs keep getting smaller while my ass keeps getting bigger."

I didn't have the stupidity to tell her that spring was over for the chickens a loooong time ago, so I tried logic. "You can blame it on gravitational pull," I told her in my best scientific voice. "It rearranges your body, and even makes you shorter as your bones scrunch up." Geeze, I'm full of shit sometimes.

"You're full of shit," she told me, putting on her flannel PJs with the footies in them but no back door, which meant only one thing:

Flannel jammies in the desert in the middle of August → No nookie until winter comes, which it never does → A nightmare on Ironwood Drive.

Herman © by Jim Unger