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SPECIAL MESSAGE TO THE VERMONT LEGISLATURE, by                 Poet's Biography
First Line: We folks that went to district schools
Last Line: While we look on.
Subject(s): Country Life; Education; Schools; Teaching & Teachers; Vermont - Legislature; Students; Educators; Professors

WE folks that went to district schools
Are 'bout the biggest set of fools
I know of anywhere;
We had a mile or more to go,
We had to wash our slates with snow,
And yet, the best of what we know
We learned right there.

That's why we ought to brace our feet
And shout: No fancy school can beat
The good old district "hut";
You've got to have a country school
In country regions—any fool—
A baby big enough to drool,
Can crack that nut.

A-carting children forth and back
And 'long acrost the railroad track,
Is "education," Eh!
A-hiring wagons, sleds and sleighs,
And busses, carryalls and drays,
And driving 'round in forty ways,
Is "schooling," Heh!

When cartage costs the same about,
Or more than teaching, "school is out;"
The "system" then amounts,
To making one department strain
To lift another, which, it's plain,
Might give the "Auditor" a pain
In his accounts.

Then, legislators, use your sense,
And push this patent system hence,
And give us back once more
The little schoolhouse on the hill,
Or down beside the cider mill,
And see that it is reddish still
With brownish door.

Restore the schools our fathers planned,
Give "number work" the bounce that's grand,
Make "language talks" taboo;
Let grammar cease to live in fear,
Let spelling gently hover near,
And mental 'rithmetic appear
And ciphering, too.

I'm told 'twas only here in May
Our "educators," under pay,
Employed a college hall
And lunged such loads of highbrow guff,
And absolutely piffling stuff,
The janitor betongued 'em rough,
High Priest and all.

And so, I say, we're awful fools,
We folks that went to district schools,
With half our birthright gone,
To let these "docs" with fancy kits,
And more or less bewildered wits,
Reduce the other half to bits
While we look on.

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