Friday, August 9, 2013

Dick and Jane

Those of us who are old enough, remember learning to read using the repetative stories of Dick, Jane, Baby Sally, Puff the dog and Fluff the Cat. Try to get one of these readers in a rare book store.

Moderns totally laugh at them and that method of learning. "Why, it was not even phonics!" Trouble is, I loved them and I still do. I learned to read on them and I will always be grateful.

You may hear the whirring of a time machine as it takes me back to the first grade. Yes, after all these years I remember the stories.

Sample: Baby Sally is watching a giant crane at a construction site with her family. She leans forward to see better and drops her doll. It tumbles down into the giant hole the digging machine is making. "Oh, no, no ," says Baby Sally,"I have lost my dolly." The crane operator saw it fall, and very delicately picks the doll up in the huge jaws of his machine. He carefully drops it at her feet. The family waves a friendly hello to the friendly operator. End of story.

As I told this story I was learning to read and build up the confidence of a six year old boy. "How pathetic," say people today. Dick and Jane are used as examples of a long past, simplistic time. People laugh.

In contrast, my sister began to read a new library book to her children. It was about a haunted ghetto apartment. Weird moans could be heard coming from the basement. What could they be? The family got up the nerve to investigate.

They discovered the moans were not from ghosts, but were the sounds made by agonized drug addicts. Mystery solved! Go to sleep kids. The basement is not haunted after all, it is just the sounds of a crack house.

I remember my sister's anger over this story. Of course she did not finish reading it.

Back to Dick and Jane.

I found that the reading method I learned was quite realistic. Instead of puffing out phonic sounds, like "buh, buh, buh," Dick and Jane repeated whole words. "Oh, look, look, look." It sure worked for me.

But what about the unrealistic pictures? Once again, I was startled to find that the pictures were made from actual photographs of people living then. I saw some of the pictures and the photos on which they were based. People did live and look like these drawings!

Warning, my point is coming up.

There are some of us who accept the Bible just as it is. We are laughed at--not that I care--because we believe in the Old Testament stories of real people and events, and the New Testament lessons drawn from them. It turns out that we are scientifically correct after all. People are catching on to false teachings. It is one of the few modern trends I really like.

To the so-called liberals, I only have this to say, "Buh, buh, buh."

1 comment:

  1. I still have some of those early readers with Dick and Jane somewhere. They are happy memories for me, and we did indeed live just like Sally Dick and Jane, at least while we were still learning to read in those books. I also had Puff and Spot, but our family named them different things. Nowadays, at my house, we say, "Run, DOS, run" at our computers.