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In times of yore

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  • Bob Rosebrough
    In Praise of Skinned Knees and Grubby Faces By Conn Iggulden Sunday, June 24, 2007; B01 LONDON When I was 10, I founded an international organization known as
    Message 1 of 6 , Jun 25 8:36 AM
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      In Praise of Skinned Knees and Grubby Faces

      By Conn Iggulden
      Sunday, June 24, 2007; B01



      LONDON When I was 10, I founded an international organization known
      as the Black Cat Club. My friend Richard was the only other member.
      My younger brother, Hal, had "provisional status," which meant that
      he had to try out for full membership every other week. We told him
      we would consider his application if he jumped off the garage roof --
      about eight feet from the ground. He had a moment of doubt as he
      looked over the edge, but we said it wouldn't hurt if he shouted the
      words "Fly like an eagle!" When he jumped, his knees came up so fast
      that he knocked himself out. I think the lesson he learned that day
      was not to trust his brother, which is a pretty valuable one for a
      growing lad.

      I wrote "The Dangerous Book for Boys" as a handbook for boys with
      scenes like that from my childhood in mind. I wasn't trying to please
      anyone else. I was just trying to free boys to be themselves again,
      the way we were when my brother and I were growing up.

      Back in the 1970s, our father was a schoolmaster and part of his job
      was caning boys. He was prepared to do this on the job, but the only
      time he ever brought his work home was when I stole money from him
      and somewhat naively put it in my moneybox. Perhaps because that
      punishment was a unique event, I've never stolen anything from anyone
      since that day.

      Looking back, I realize now that my father was an incredibly patient
      man. He loved wood, and whenever a school threw out an oak table or
      mahogany benches, he would rescue them and bring them home. One day,
      my brother and I took all that wood and nailed it to the tree in the
      front garden. It was perhaps the ugliest treehouse ever built, and my
      father was not impressed. In fact, I think he was close to tears for
      a moment.

      He was born in 1923. He has seen a different world -- one before
      television, before mobile phones and before the Internet. He flew in
      Bomber Command during World War II, and when he tells stories,
      they're always grim, but funny at the same time. He lost half a
      finger in one bad crash, and at various times in our childhood, he
      told us that he'd worked in a sausage factory and pushed the meat too
      far into the grinder, resulting in the best sales the factory had
      known; that a German sniper had recognized him flying overhead and
      thought, "That's Mr. Iggulden, I'll just fire a warning shot"; or
      that he was the new Bionic Man, but the British government could
      afford to replace him only a bit at a time.

      His generation understood the cars they drove, could hang wallpaper
      and fix just about anything. In his 80s, he is still an immensely
      practical man, but at the same time, he still quotes poems he learned
      as a boy, demonstrating that a man can love a good line as much as a
      good dovetail joint.

      Of course, my mother was important to our childhood. An Irish
      Catholic, she gave us a faith that endures today, as well as an
      appreciation for literature that made me want to be a writer from a
      young age. She kept chickens in a garden no more than 30 feet square
      in a suburb of London, and the neighbors complained about the
      cockerels waking them up.

      When she gave birth to me, the nurse walked down a line of babies
      saying, "This one will be a policeman and this one will be a
      footballer." When the nurse came to me, she said "Ah, but this one
      has the face of a poet."

      My father, though, made me the man I am. He was playing bridge on the
      night I was born. When he saw me the following morning, he said, "I
      hope he never has to kill anyone."

      We had books in the house with titles such as "The Wonder Book of
      Wonders" or "Chemical Amusements and Experiments," showing their age
      with instructions directing you to buy "a shilling paper of Potassium
      Permanganate." I read them all, and I'm lucky to have all my fingers.
      We made bows and arrows every summer, cutting them green and hunting
      in the local woods. We managed to trap a raven, though I think it
      must have been ill. I had an idea about training it to attack so that
      I would be the terror of the local park. Sadly, we found it cold and
      stiff one morning in the chicken run.

      The Black Cat Club gathered in the garden to give it a warrior's
      cremation. We used my father's lighter fluid and poured it over the
      bird where it lay in a nest of bricks. We lit it and stood back with
      our hands clasped in prayer. The flames roared, and I think we wept
      until the flames died back down again and the bird was still there.
      We poured more lighter fluid, and eventually realized we'd cooked the
      bird instead of cremating it.

      When I had a son of my own six years ago, I looked around for the
      sort of books that would inspire him. I was able to find some
      practical modern ones, but none with the spirit and verve of those
      old titles. I wanted a single compendium of everything I'd ever
      wanted to know or do as a boy, and I decided to write my own. My
      brother, now a theater director in Leicester, a city in the midlands
      of England, was the obvious choice as co-writer. I had dedicated my
      first book "To my brother Hal, the other member of the Black Cat
      Club." It was official at last. I persuaded him to come and work with
      me 12 hours a day for six months in a shed.

      We began with everything we had done as kids, then added things we
      didn't want to see forgotten. History today is taught as a feeble
      thing, with all the adventure taken out of it. We wanted stories of
      courage because boys love those. We wanted stories about men like
      Royal Air Force fighter pilot Douglas Bader, Scott of the Antarctic,
      the Wright Brothers -- boys like to read about daring men, always
      with the question: Would I be as brave or as resourceful? I sometimes
      wonder why people make fun of boys going to science fiction
      conventions without realizing that it shows a love of stories. Does
      every high school offer a class on adventure tales? No -- and then we
      complain that boys don't read anymore.

      We added sections on grammar because my brother once said, "If anyone
      had told me there are only nine kinds of words, I'd have damn well
      learned them." Boys like to see the nuts and bolts of language. Of
      course they can empathize and imagine, but they need the structure as
      well. Why should the satisfaction of getting something right be
      denied to those who have been educated since the '70s?

      We filled our book with facts and things to do -- from hunting a
      rabbit to growing crystals. As adults, we know that doors have been
      closed to us. A boy, though, can be interested in anything.

      Finally, we chose our title -- "The Dangerous Book for Boys." It's
      about remembering a time when danger wasn't a dirty word. It's safer
      to put a boy in front of a PlayStation for a while, but not in the
      long run. The irony of making boys' lives too safe is that later they
      take worse risks on their own. You only have to push a baby boy hard
      on a swing and see his face light up. It's not learned behavior --
      he's hardwired to enjoy a little risk. Ask any man for a good memory
      from childhood and he'll tell you about testing his courage or
      getting injured. No one wants to see a child get hurt, but we really
      did think the bumps and scratches were badges of honor, once.

      Since the book was published, I've discovered a vast group that cares
      about exactly the same things I do. I've heard from divorced fathers
      who use the book to make things with their sons instead of going out
      for fast food and a movie. I've received e-mails from 10-year-olds
      and a beautifully written letter from a man of 87.

      I thought I was the only one sick of non-competitive sports days and
      playgrounds where it's practically impossible to hurt yourself. It
      turned out that the pendulum is swinging back at last. Boys are
      different from girls. Teaching them as though they are girls who
      don't wash as much leads to their failure in school, causing trouble
      all the way. Boys don't like group work. They do better on exams than
      they do in coursework, and they don't like class discussion. In
      history lessons, they prefer stories of Rome and of courage to
      projects on the suffragettes.

      It's all a matter of balance. When I was a teacher, I asked my head
      of department why every textbook seemed to have a girl achieving her
      dream of being a carpenter while the boys were morons. She replied
      that boys had had it their own way for too long, and now it was the
      girls' turn. Ouch.

      The problem with fighting adult gender battles in the classroom is
      that the children always lose.

      I expected a backlash. If you put the word "boys" on something,
      someone will always complain. One blog even promoted the idea of
      removing the words "For Boys" from the cover with an Exacto knife so
      that people's sons wouldn't be introduced to any unpleasantly
      masculine notions such as duty, honor, courage and competence.

      The dark side of masculinity may involve gangs and aggression, but
      there's another side -- self-discipline, wry humor and quiet
      determination. I really thought I was the only one who cared about
      it, but I've found many thousands who care just as much.

      I know there are women who can lift heavier weights than I can, but
      on the whole, boys are more interested in the use of urine as secret
      ink than girls are. We wanted to write a book that celebrated boys --
      with all their differences and geeky love of knowledge, skills and
      stories. There just isn't anything wrong with trying to do that.

      We all care about our sons -- scabby knees, competitive spirits and
      all. It's about time we let our schools and governments know how much
      we care. Let the pendulum swing.
    • cynthia vaillancourt
      I love how much Bob R loves boys - they are fascinating and wonderous creatures - and I ask this question without the slightest hint of any agenda... Bob, do
      Message 2 of 6 , Jun 25 6:05 PM
      • 0 Attachment
        I love how much Bob R loves boys - they are fascinating and wonderous
        creatures - and I ask this question without the slightest hint of any
        agenda... Bob, do you have any daughters?

        Cindy V.

        >From: "Bob Rosebrough" <bobrosebrough21045@...>
        >Reply-To: howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com
        >To: howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com
        >Subject: [howardpubliced] In times of yore
        >Date: Mon, 25 Jun 2007 15:36:39 -0000
        >
        >In Praise of Skinned Knees and Grubby Faces
        >
        >By Conn Iggulden
        >Sunday, June 24, 2007; B01
        >
        >
        >
        >LONDON When I was 10, I founded an international organization known
        >as the Black Cat Club. My friend Richard was the only other member.
        >My younger brother, Hal, had "provisional status," which meant that
        >he had to try out for full membership every other week. We told him
        >we would consider his application if he jumped off the garage roof --
        >about eight feet from the ground. He had a moment of doubt as he
        >looked over the edge, but we said it wouldn't hurt if he shouted the
        >words "Fly like an eagle!" When he jumped, his knees came up so fast
        >that he knocked himself out. I think the lesson he learned that day
        >was not to trust his brother, which is a pretty valuable one for a
        >growing lad.
        >
        >I wrote "The Dangerous Book for Boys" as a handbook for boys with
        >scenes like that from my childhood in mind. I wasn't trying to please
        >anyone else. I was just trying to free boys to be themselves again,
        >the way we were when my brother and I were growing up.
        >
        >Back in the 1970s, our father was a schoolmaster and part of his job
        >was caning boys. He was prepared to do this on the job, but the only
        >time he ever brought his work home was when I stole money from him
        >and somewhat naively put it in my moneybox. Perhaps because that
        >punishment was a unique event, I've never stolen anything from anyone
        >since that day.
        >
        >Looking back, I realize now that my father was an incredibly patient
        >man. He loved wood, and whenever a school threw out an oak table or
        >mahogany benches, he would rescue them and bring them home. One day,
        >my brother and I took all that wood and nailed it to the tree in the
        >front garden. It was perhaps the ugliest treehouse ever built, and my
        >father was not impressed. In fact, I think he was close to tears for
        >a moment.
        >
        >He was born in 1923. He has seen a different world -- one before
        >television, before mobile phones and before the Internet. He flew in
        >Bomber Command during World War II, and when he tells stories,
        >they're always grim, but funny at the same time. He lost half a
        >finger in one bad crash, and at various times in our childhood, he
        >told us that he'd worked in a sausage factory and pushed the meat too
        >far into the grinder, resulting in the best sales the factory had
        >known; that a German sniper had recognized him flying overhead and
        >thought, "That's Mr. Iggulden, I'll just fire a warning shot"; or
        >that he was the new Bionic Man, but the British government could
        >afford to replace him only a bit at a time.
        >
        >His generation understood the cars they drove, could hang wallpaper
        >and fix just about anything. In his 80s, he is still an immensely
        >practical man, but at the same time, he still quotes poems he learned
        >as a boy, demonstrating that a man can love a good line as much as a
        >good dovetail joint.
        >
        >Of course, my mother was important to our childhood. An Irish
        >Catholic, she gave us a faith that endures today, as well as an
        >appreciation for literature that made me want to be a writer from a
        >young age. She kept chickens in a garden no more than 30 feet square
        >in a suburb of London, and the neighbors complained about the
        >cockerels waking them up.
        >
        >When she gave birth to me, the nurse walked down a line of babies
        >saying, "This one will be a policeman and this one will be a
        >footballer." When the nurse came to me, she said "Ah, but this one
        >has the face of a poet."
        >
        >My father, though, made me the man I am. He was playing bridge on the
        >night I was born. When he saw me the following morning, he said, "I
        >hope he never has to kill anyone."
        >
        >We had books in the house with titles such as "The Wonder Book of
        >Wonders" or "Chemical Amusements and Experiments," showing their age
        >with instructions directing you to buy "a shilling paper of Potassium
        >Permanganate." I read them all, and I'm lucky to have all my fingers.
        >We made bows and arrows every summer, cutting them green and hunting
        >in the local woods. We managed to trap a raven, though I think it
        >must have been ill. I had an idea about training it to attack so that
        >I would be the terror of the local park. Sadly, we found it cold and
        >stiff one morning in the chicken run.
        >
        >The Black Cat Club gathered in the garden to give it a warrior's
        >cremation. We used my father's lighter fluid and poured it over the
        >bird where it lay in a nest of bricks. We lit it and stood back with
        >our hands clasped in prayer. The flames roared, and I think we wept
        >until the flames died back down again and the bird was still there.
        >We poured more lighter fluid, and eventually realized we'd cooked the
        >bird instead of cremating it.
        >
        >When I had a son of my own six years ago, I looked around for the
        >sort of books that would inspire him. I was able to find some
        >practical modern ones, but none with the spirit and verve of those
        >old titles. I wanted a single compendium of everything I'd ever
        >wanted to know or do as a boy, and I decided to write my own. My
        >brother, now a theater director in Leicester, a city in the midlands
        >of England, was the obvious choice as co-writer. I had dedicated my
        >first book "To my brother Hal, the other member of the Black Cat
        >Club." It was official at last. I persuaded him to come and work with
        >me 12 hours a day for six months in a shed.
        >
        >We began with everything we had done as kids, then added things we
        >didn't want to see forgotten. History today is taught as a feeble
        >thing, with all the adventure taken out of it. We wanted stories of
        >courage because boys love those. We wanted stories about men like
        >Royal Air Force fighter pilot Douglas Bader, Scott of the Antarctic,
        >the Wright Brothers -- boys like to read about daring men, always
        >with the question: Would I be as brave or as resourceful? I sometimes
        >wonder why people make fun of boys going to science fiction
        >conventions without realizing that it shows a love of stories. Does
        >every high school offer a class on adventure tales? No -- and then we
        >complain that boys don't read anymore.
        >
        >We added sections on grammar because my brother once said, "If anyone
        >had told me there are only nine kinds of words, I'd have damn well
        >learned them." Boys like to see the nuts and bolts of language. Of
        >course they can empathize and imagine, but they need the structure as
        >well. Why should the satisfaction of getting something right be
        >denied to those who have been educated since the '70s?
        >
        >We filled our book with facts and things to do -- from hunting a
        >rabbit to growing crystals. As adults, we know that doors have been
        >closed to us. A boy, though, can be interested in anything.
        >
        >Finally, we chose our title -- "The Dangerous Book for Boys." It's
        >about remembering a time when danger wasn't a dirty word. It's safer
        >to put a boy in front of a PlayStation for a while, but not in the
        >long run. The irony of making boys' lives too safe is that later they
        >take worse risks on their own. You only have to push a baby boy hard
        >on a swing and see his face light up. It's not learned behavior --
        >he's hardwired to enjoy a little risk. Ask any man for a good memory
        >from childhood and he'll tell you about testing his courage or
        >getting injured. No one wants to see a child get hurt, but we really
        >did think the bumps and scratches were badges of honor, once.
        >
        >Since the book was published, I've discovered a vast group that cares
        >about exactly the same things I do. I've heard from divorced fathers
        >who use the book to make things with their sons instead of going out
        >for fast food and a movie. I've received e-mails from 10-year-olds
        >and a beautifully written letter from a man of 87.
        >
        >I thought I was the only one sick of non-competitive sports days and
        >playgrounds where it's practically impossible to hurt yourself. It
        >turned out that the pendulum is swinging back at last. Boys are
        >different from girls. Teaching them as though they are girls who
        >don't wash as much leads to their failure in school, causing trouble
        >all the way. Boys don't like group work. They do better on exams than
        >they do in coursework, and they don't like class discussion. In
        >history lessons, they prefer stories of Rome and of courage to
        >projects on the suffragettes.
        >
        >It's all a matter of balance. When I was a teacher, I asked my head
        >of department why every textbook seemed to have a girl achieving her
        >dream of being a carpenter while the boys were morons. She replied
        >that boys had had it their own way for too long, and now it was the
        >girls' turn. Ouch.
        >
        >The problem with fighting adult gender battles in the classroom is
        >that the children always lose.
        >
        >I expected a backlash. If you put the word "boys" on something,
        >someone will always complain. One blog even promoted the idea of
        >removing the words "For Boys" from the cover with an Exacto knife so
        >that people's sons wouldn't be introduced to any unpleasantly
        >masculine notions such as duty, honor, courage and competence.
        >
        >The dark side of masculinity may involve gangs and aggression, but
        >there's another side -- self-discipline, wry humor and quiet
        >determination. I really thought I was the only one who cared about
        >it, but I've found many thousands who care just as much.
        >
        >I know there are women who can lift heavier weights than I can, but
        >on the whole, boys are more interested in the use of urine as secret
        >ink than girls are. We wanted to write a book that celebrated boys --
        >with all their differences and geeky love of knowledge, skills and
        >stories. There just isn't anything wrong with trying to do that.
        >
        >We all care about our sons -- scabby knees, competitive spirits and
        >all. It's about time we let our schools and governments know how much
        >we care. Let the pendulum swing.
        >
        >
        >

        _________________________________________________________________
        Who's that on the Red Carpet? Play & win glamorous prizes.
        http://club.live.com/red_carpet_reveal.aspx?icid=REDCARPET_hotmailtextlink3
      • Bob Rosebrough
        Nope - three sons only. If I had daughters, I would throw them in the same pile with the guys. I might get a female lab or golden, however. Daughter(s) would
        Message 3 of 6 , Jun 26 7:36 AM
        • 0 Attachment
          Nope - three sons only. If I had daughters, I would throw them in
          the same pile with the guys. I might get a female lab or golden,
          however. Daughter(s) would get the same shotguns, backpacking stuff
          and racing bikes as the guys. I dig on super competent, agressive
          gals with a tinge of alpha male in them!
          BobR

          --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com, "cynthia vaillancourt"
          <CynthiaVaillancourt@...> wrote:
          >
          >
          > I love how much Bob R loves boys - they are fascinating and
          wonderous
          > creatures - and I ask this question without the slightest hint of
          any
          > agenda... Bob, do you have any daughters?
          >
          > Cindy V.
          >
          > >From: "Bob Rosebrough" <bobrosebrough21045@...>
          > >Reply-To: howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com
          > >To: howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com
          > >Subject: [howardpubliced] In times of yore
          > >Date: Mon, 25 Jun 2007 15:36:39 -0000
          > >
          > >In Praise of Skinned Knees and Grubby Faces
          > >
          > >By Conn Iggulden
          > >Sunday, June 24, 2007; B01
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >LONDON When I was 10, I founded an international organization known
          > >as the Black Cat Club. My friend Richard was the only other member.
          > >My younger brother, Hal, had "provisional status," which meant that
          > >he had to try out for full membership every other week. We told him
          > >we would consider his application if he jumped off the garage
          roof --
          > >about eight feet from the ground. He had a moment of doubt as he
          > >looked over the edge, but we said it wouldn't hurt if he shouted
          the
          > >words "Fly like an eagle!" When he jumped, his knees came up so
          fast
          > >that he knocked himself out. I think the lesson he learned that day
          > >was not to trust his brother, which is a pretty valuable one for a
          > >growing lad.
          > >
          > >I wrote "The Dangerous Book for Boys" as a handbook for boys with
          > >scenes like that from my childhood in mind. I wasn't trying to
          please
          > >anyone else. I was just trying to free boys to be themselves again,
          > >the way we were when my brother and I were growing up.
          > >
          > >Back in the 1970s, our father was a schoolmaster and part of his
          job
          > >was caning boys. He was prepared to do this on the job, but the
          only
          > >time he ever brought his work home was when I stole money from him
          > >and somewhat naively put it in my moneybox. Perhaps because that
          > >punishment was a unique event, I've never stolen anything from
          anyone
          > >since that day.
          > >
          > >Looking back, I realize now that my father was an incredibly
          patient
          > >man. He loved wood, and whenever a school threw out an oak table or
          > >mahogany benches, he would rescue them and bring them home. One
          day,
          > >my brother and I took all that wood and nailed it to the tree in
          the
          > >front garden. It was perhaps the ugliest treehouse ever built, and
          my
          > >father was not impressed. In fact, I think he was close to tears
          for
          > >a moment.
          > >
          > >He was born in 1923. He has seen a different world -- one before
          > >television, before mobile phones and before the Internet. He flew
          in
          > >Bomber Command during World War II, and when he tells stories,
          > >they're always grim, but funny at the same time. He lost half a
          > >finger in one bad crash, and at various times in our childhood, he
          > >told us that he'd worked in a sausage factory and pushed the meat
          too
          > >far into the grinder, resulting in the best sales the factory had
          > >known; that a German sniper had recognized him flying overhead and
          > >thought, "That's Mr. Iggulden, I'll just fire a warning shot"; or
          > >that he was the new Bionic Man, but the British government could
          > >afford to replace him only a bit at a time.
          > >
          > >His generation understood the cars they drove, could hang wallpaper
          > >and fix just about anything. In his 80s, he is still an immensely
          > >practical man, but at the same time, he still quotes poems he
          learned
          > >as a boy, demonstrating that a man can love a good line as much as
          a
          > >good dovetail joint.
          > >
          > >Of course, my mother was important to our childhood. An Irish
          > >Catholic, she gave us a faith that endures today, as well as an
          > >appreciation for literature that made me want to be a writer from a
          > >young age. She kept chickens in a garden no more than 30 feet
          square
          > >in a suburb of London, and the neighbors complained about the
          > >cockerels waking them up.
          > >
          > >When she gave birth to me, the nurse walked down a line of babies
          > >saying, "This one will be a policeman and this one will be a
          > >footballer." When the nurse came to me, she said "Ah, but this one
          > >has the face of a poet."
          > >
          > >My father, though, made me the man I am. He was playing bridge on
          the
          > >night I was born. When he saw me the following morning, he said, "I
          > >hope he never has to kill anyone."
          > >
          > >We had books in the house with titles such as "The Wonder Book of
          > >Wonders" or "Chemical Amusements and Experiments," showing their
          age
          > >with instructions directing you to buy "a shilling paper of
          Potassium
          > >Permanganate." I read them all, and I'm lucky to have all my
          fingers.
          > >We made bows and arrows every summer, cutting them green and
          hunting
          > >in the local woods. We managed to trap a raven, though I think it
          > >must have been ill. I had an idea about training it to attack so
          that
          > >I would be the terror of the local park. Sadly, we found it cold
          and
          > >stiff one morning in the chicken run.
          > >
          > >The Black Cat Club gathered in the garden to give it a warrior's
          > >cremation. We used my father's lighter fluid and poured it over the
          > >bird where it lay in a nest of bricks. We lit it and stood back
          with
          > >our hands clasped in prayer. The flames roared, and I think we wept
          > >until the flames died back down again and the bird was still there.
          > >We poured more lighter fluid, and eventually realized we'd cooked
          the
          > >bird instead of cremating it.
          > >
          > >When I had a son of my own six years ago, I looked around for the
          > >sort of books that would inspire him. I was able to find some
          > >practical modern ones, but none with the spirit and verve of those
          > >old titles. I wanted a single compendium of everything I'd ever
          > >wanted to know or do as a boy, and I decided to write my own. My
          > >brother, now a theater director in Leicester, a city in the
          midlands
          > >of England, was the obvious choice as co-writer. I had dedicated my
          > >first book "To my brother Hal, the other member of the Black Cat
          > >Club." It was official at last. I persuaded him to come and work
          with
          > >me 12 hours a day for six months in a shed.
          > >
          > >We began with everything we had done as kids, then added things we
          > >didn't want to see forgotten. History today is taught as a feeble
          > >thing, with all the adventure taken out of it. We wanted stories of
          > >courage because boys love those. We wanted stories about men like
          > >Royal Air Force fighter pilot Douglas Bader, Scott of the
          Antarctic,
          > >the Wright Brothers -- boys like to read about daring men, always
          > >with the question: Would I be as brave or as resourceful? I
          sometimes
          > >wonder why people make fun of boys going to science fiction
          > >conventions without realizing that it shows a love of stories. Does
          > >every high school offer a class on adventure tales? No -- and then
          we
          > >complain that boys don't read anymore.
          > >
          > >We added sections on grammar because my brother once said, "If
          anyone
          > >had told me there are only nine kinds of words, I'd have damn well
          > >learned them." Boys like to see the nuts and bolts of language. Of
          > >course they can empathize and imagine, but they need the structure
          as
          > >well. Why should the satisfaction of getting something right be
          > >denied to those who have been educated since the '70s?
          > >
          > >We filled our book with facts and things to do -- from hunting a
          > >rabbit to growing crystals. As adults, we know that doors have been
          > >closed to us. A boy, though, can be interested in anything.
          > >
          > >Finally, we chose our title -- "The Dangerous Book for Boys." It's
          > >about remembering a time when danger wasn't a dirty word. It's
          safer
          > >to put a boy in front of a PlayStation for a while, but not in the
          > >long run. The irony of making boys' lives too safe is that later
          they
          > >take worse risks on their own. You only have to push a baby boy
          hard
          > >on a swing and see his face light up. It's not learned behavior --
          > >he's hardwired to enjoy a little risk. Ask any man for a good
          memory
          > >from childhood and he'll tell you about testing his courage or
          > >getting injured. No one wants to see a child get hurt, but we
          really
          > >did think the bumps and scratches were badges of honor, once.
          > >
          > >Since the book was published, I've discovered a vast group that
          cares
          > >about exactly the same things I do. I've heard from divorced
          fathers
          > >who use the book to make things with their sons instead of going
          out
          > >for fast food and a movie. I've received e-mails from 10-year-olds
          > >and a beautifully written letter from a man of 87.
          > >
          > >I thought I was the only one sick of non-competitive sports days
          and
          > >playgrounds where it's practically impossible to hurt yourself. It
          > >turned out that the pendulum is swinging back at last. Boys are
          > >different from girls. Teaching them as though they are girls who
          > >don't wash as much leads to their failure in school, causing
          trouble
          > >all the way. Boys don't like group work. They do better on exams
          than
          > >they do in coursework, and they don't like class discussion. In
          > >history lessons, they prefer stories of Rome and of courage to
          > >projects on the suffragettes.
          > >
          > >It's all a matter of balance. When I was a teacher, I asked my head
          > >of department why every textbook seemed to have a girl achieving
          her
          > >dream of being a carpenter while the boys were morons. She replied
          > >that boys had had it their own way for too long, and now it was the
          > >girls' turn. Ouch.
          > >
          > >The problem with fighting adult gender battles in the classroom is
          > >that the children always lose.
          > >
          > >I expected a backlash. If you put the word "boys" on something,
          > >someone will always complain. One blog even promoted the idea of
          > >removing the words "For Boys" from the cover with an Exacto knife
          so
          > >that people's sons wouldn't be introduced to any unpleasantly
          > >masculine notions such as duty, honor, courage and competence.
          > >
          > >The dark side of masculinity may involve gangs and aggression, but
          > >there's another side -- self-discipline, wry humor and quiet
          > >determination. I really thought I was the only one who cared about
          > >it, but I've found many thousands who care just as much.
          > >
          > >I know there are women who can lift heavier weights than I can, but
          > >on the whole, boys are more interested in the use of urine as
          secret
          > >ink than girls are. We wanted to write a book that celebrated
          boys --
          > >with all their differences and geeky love of knowledge, skills and
          > >stories. There just isn't anything wrong with trying to do that.
          > >
          > >We all care about our sons -- scabby knees, competitive spirits and
          > >all. It's about time we let our schools and governments know how
          much
          > >we care. Let the pendulum swing.
          > >
          > >
          > >
          >
          > _________________________________________________________________
          > Who's that on the Red Carpet? Play & win glamorous prizes.
          > http://club.live.com/red_carpet_reveal.aspx?
          icid=REDCARPET_hotmailtextlink3
          >
        • Karen Bradley
          Kudos. I ve heard about that book and hope to get it for my nephews. I grew up in the 70 s and 80 s. I was one of those girls who was in touch with both my
          Message 4 of 6 , Jun 26 8:06 AM
          • 0 Attachment
            Kudos. I've heard about that book and hope to get it for my nephews.
             
            I grew up in the 70's and 80's. I was one of those girls who was in touch with both my feminine and masculine sides (and still am). I could go from playing barbies and/or "beauty parlor" with my sisters and gal pals to getting rough and dirty with the neighborhood boys in a heartbeat. I enjoyed building forts and treehouses, making mud pies, playing with GI-Joes and Evil Kinevil action figures, big wheel races, "War" games, wrestling, doing experiments, climbing trees, all sorts of activities involving animals, etc. One activity we enjoyed was "salamander hunting and races". We'd find salamanders and put them in a wagon - hold them, then let them go and see who won - then let them go in the wild again.
             
            Now I go camping and still enjoy "building" things.
            :-)
             
            Cheers!
            K


            Bob Rosebrough <bobrosebrough21045@...> wrote:
            Nope - three sons only. If I had daughters, I would throw them in
            the same pile with the guys. I might get a female lab or golden,
            however. Daughter(s) would get the same shotguns, backpacking stuff
            and racing bikes as the guys. I dig on super competent, agressive
            gals with a tinge of alpha male in them!
            BobR

            --- In howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com, "cynthia vaillancourt"
            <CynthiaVaillancour t@...> wrote:
            >
            >
            > I love how much Bob R loves boys - they are fascinating and
            wonderous
            > creatures - and I ask this question without the slightest hint of
            any
            > agenda... Bob, do you have any daughters?
            >
            > Cindy V.
            >
            > >From: "Bob Rosebrough" <bobrosebrough21045 @...>
            > >Reply-To: howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com
            > >To: howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com
            > >Subject: [howardpubliced] In times of yore
            > >Date: Mon, 25 Jun 2007 15:36:39 -0000
            > >
            > >In Praise of Skinned Knees and Grubby Faces
            > >
            > >By Conn Iggulden
            > >Sunday, June 24, 2007; B01
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >LONDON When I was 10, I founded an international organization known
            > >as the Black Cat Club. My friend Richard was the only other member.
            > >My younger brother, Hal, had "provisional status," which meant that
            > >he had to try out for full membership every other week. We told him
            > >we would consider his application if he jumped off the garage
            roof --
            > >about eight feet from the ground. He had a moment of doubt as he
            > >looked over the edge, but we said it wouldn't hurt if he shouted
            the
            > >words "Fly like an eagle!" When he jumped, his knees came up so
            fast
            > >that he knocked himself out. I think the lesson he learned that day
            > >was not to trust his brother, which is a pretty valuable one for a
            > >growing lad.
            > >
            > >I wrote "The Dangerous Book for Boys" as a handbook for boys with
            > >scenes like that from my childhood in mind. I wasn't trying to
            please
            > >anyone else. I was just trying to free boys to be themselves again,
            > >the way we were when my brother and I were growing up.
            > >
            > >Back in the 1970s, our father was a schoolmaster and part of his
            job
            > >was caning boys. He was prepared to do this on the job, but the
            only
            > >time he ever brought his work home was when I stole money from him
            > >and somewhat naively put it in my moneybox. Perhaps because that
            > >punishment was a unique event, I've never stolen anything from
            anyone
            > >since that day.
            > >
            > >Looking back, I realize now that my father was an incredibly
            patient
            > >man. He loved wood, and whenever a school threw out an oak table or
            > >mahogany benches, he would rescue them and bring them home. One
            day,
            > >my brother and I took all that wood and nailed it to the tree in
            the
            > >front garden. It was perhaps the ugliest treehouse ever built, and
            my
            > >father was not impressed. In fact, I think he was close to tears
            for
            > >a moment.
            > >
            > >He was born in 1923. He has seen a different world -- one before
            > >television, before mobile phones and before the Internet. He flew
            in
            > >Bomber Command during World War II, and when he tells stories,
            > >they're always grim, but funny at the same time. He lost half a
            > >finger in one bad crash, and at various times in our childhood, he
            > >told us that he'd worked in a sausage factory and pushed the meat
            too
            > >far into the grinder, resulting in the best sales the factory had
            > >known; that a German sniper had recognized him flying overhead and
            > >thought, "That's Mr. Iggulden, I'll just fire a warning shot"; or
            > >that he was the new Bionic Man, but the British government could
            > >afford to replace him only a bit at a time.
            > >
            > >His generation understood the cars they drove, could hang wallpaper
            > >and fix just about anything. In his 80s, he is still an immensely
            > >practical man, but at the same time, he still quotes poems he
            learned
            > >as a boy, demonstrating that a man can love a good line as much as
            a
            > >good dovetail joint.
            > >
            > >Of course, my mother was important to our childhood. An Irish
            > >Catholic, she gave us a faith that endures today, as well as an
            > >appreciation for literature that made me want to be a writer from a
            > >young age. She kept chickens in a garden no more than 30 feet
            square
            > >in a suburb of London, and the neighbors complained about the
            > >cockerels waking them up.
            > >
            > >When she gave birth to me, the nurse walked down a line of babies
            > >saying, "This one will be a policeman and this one will be a
            > >footballer. " When the nurse came to me, she said "Ah, but this one
            > >has the face of a poet."
            > >
            > >My father, though, made me the man I am. He was playing bridge on
            the
            > >night I was born. When he saw me the following morning, he said, "I
            > >hope he never has to kill anyone."
            > >
            > >We had books in the house with titles such as "The Wonder Book of
            > >Wonders" or "Chemical Amusements and Experiments, " showing their
            age
            > >with instructions directing you to buy "a shilling paper of
            Potassium
            > >Permanganate. " I read them all, and I'm lucky to have all my
            fingers.
            > >We made bows and arrows every summer, cutting them green and
            hunting
            > >in the local woods. We managed to trap a raven, though I think it
            > >must have been ill. I had an idea about training it to attack so
            that
            > >I would be the terror of the local park. Sadly, we found it cold
            and
            > >stiff one morning in the chicken run.
            > >
            > >The Black Cat Club gathered in the garden to give it a warrior's
            > >cremation. We used my father's lighter fluid and poured it over the
            > >bird where it lay in a nest of bricks. We lit it and stood back
            with
            > >our hands clasped in prayer. The flames roared, and I think we wept
            > >until the flames died back down again and the bird was still there.
            > >We poured more lighter fluid, and eventually realized we'd cooked
            the
            > >bird instead of cremating it.
            > >
            > >When I had a son of my own six years ago, I looked around for the
            > >sort of books that would inspire him. I was able to find some
            > >practical modern ones, but none with the spirit and verve of those
            > >old titles. I wanted a single compendium of everything I'd ever
            > >wanted to know or do as a boy, and I decided to write my own. My
            > >brother, now a theater director in Leicester, a city in the
            midlands
            > >of England, was the obvious choice as co-writer. I had dedicated my
            > >first book "To my brother Hal, the other member of the Black Cat
            > >Club." It was official at last. I persuaded him to come and work
            with
            > >me 12 hours a day for six months in a shed.
            > >
            > >We began with everything we had done as kids, then added things we
            > >didn't want to see forgotten. History today is taught as a feeble
            > >thing, with all the adventure taken out of it. We wanted stories of
            > >courage because boys love those. We wanted stories about men like
            > >Royal Air Force fighter pilot Douglas Bader, Scott of the
            Antarctic,
            > >the Wright Brothers -- boys like to read about daring men, always
            > >with the question: Would I be as brave or as resourceful? I
            sometimes
            > >wonder why people make fun of boys going to science fiction
            > >conventions without realizing that it shows a love of stories. Does
            > >every high school offer a class on adventure tales? No -- and then
            we
            > >complain that boys don't read anymore.
            > >
            > >We added sections on grammar because my brother once said, "If
            anyone
            > >had told me there are only nine kinds of words, I'd have damn well
            > >learned them." Boys like to see the nuts and bolts of language. Of
            > >course they can empathize and imagine, but they need the structure
            as
            > >well. Why should the satisfaction of getting something right be
            > >denied to those who have been educated since the '70s?
            > >
            > >We filled our book with facts and things to do -- from hunting a
            > >rabbit to growing crystals. As adults, we know that doors have been
            > >closed to us. A boy, though, can be interested in anything.
            > >
            > >Finally, we chose our title -- "The Dangerous Book for Boys." It's
            > >about remembering a time when danger wasn't a dirty word. It's
            safer
            > >to put a boy in front of a PlayStation for a while, but not in the
            > >long run. The irony of making boys' lives too safe is that later
            they
            > >take worse risks on their own. You only have to push a baby boy
            hard
            > >on a swing and see his face light up. It's not learned behavior --
            > >he's hardwired to enjoy a little risk. Ask any man for a good
            memory
            > >from childhood and he'll tell you about testing his courage or
            > >getting injured. No one wants to see a child get hurt, but we
            really
            > >did think the bumps and scratches were badges of honor, once.
            > >
            > >Since the book was published, I've discovered a vast group that
            cares
            > >about exactly the same things I do. I've heard from divorced
            fathers
            > >who use the book to make things with their sons instead of going
            out
            > >for fast food and a movie. I've received e-mails from 10-year-olds
            > >and a beautifully written letter from a man of 87.
            > >
            > >I thought I was the only one sick of non-competitive sports days
            and
            > >playgrounds where it's practically impossible to hurt yourself. It
            > >turned out that the pendulum is swinging back at last. Boys are
            > >different from girls. Teaching them as though they are girls who
            > >don't wash as much leads to their failure in school, causing
            trouble
            > >all the way. Boys don't like group work. They do better on exams
            than
            > >they do in coursework, and they don't like class discussion. In
            > >history lessons, they prefer stories of Rome and of courage to
            > >projects on the suffragettes.
            > >
            > >It's all a matter of balance. When I was a teacher, I asked my head
            > >of department why every textbook seemed to have a girl achieving
            her
            > >dream of being a carpenter while the boys were morons. She replied
            > >that boys had had it their own way for too long, and now it was the
            > >girls' turn. Ouch.
            > >
            > >The problem with fighting adult gender battles in the classroom is
            > >that the children always lose.
            > >
            > >I expected a backlash. If you put the word "boys" on something,
            > >someone will always complain. One blog even promoted the idea of
            > >removing the words "For Boys" from the cover with an Exacto knife
            so
            > >that people's sons wouldn't be introduced to any unpleasantly
            > >masculine notions such as duty, honor, courage and competence.
            > >
            > >The dark side of masculinity may involve gangs and aggression, but
            > >there's another side -- self-discipline, wry humor and quiet
            > >determination. I really thought I was the only one who cared about
            > >it, but I've found many thousands who care just as much.
            > >
            > >I know there are women who can lift heavier weights than I can, but
            > >on the whole, boys are more interested in the use of urine as
            secret
            > >ink than girls are. We wanted to write a book that celebrated
            boys --
            > >with all their differences and geeky love of knowledge, skills and
            > >stories. There just isn't anything wrong with trying to do that.
            > >
            > >We all care about our sons -- scabby knees, competitive spirits and
            > >all. It's about time we let our schools and governments know how
            much
            > >we care. Let the pendulum swing.
            > >
            > >
            > >
            >
            > ____________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _
            > Who's that on the Red Carpet? Play & win glamorous prizes.
            > http://club. live.com/ red_carpet_ reveal.aspx?
            icid=REDCARPET_ hotmailtextlink3
            >



            Be a PS3 game guru.
            Get your game face on with the latest PS3 news and previews at Yahoo! Games.

          • Roger Lerner
            Right! The deal is everybody gets to choose for themselves without being fitted into predetermined roles imposed from the outside. Eisenhower liked to cook,
            Message 5 of 6 , Jun 26 8:37 AM
            • 0 Attachment

              Right!  The deal is everybody gets to choose for themselves without being fitted into predetermined roles imposed from the outside. 

               

              Eisenhower liked to cook, Churchill liked to paint, DeGaule liked to dress up in women’s cloths (not true, just a little Monty Python joke). 

               

              Girls and boys got swords and mitts and soccer balls around here, but went on to pick and  choose for themselves: some apparently genetic driven, some cultural.

               

              All well and good but what Bob and Conn Iggulden (some name)  are talking about is different.  It is the ability to live free and accept risk—really to assess and seek out risk-- and that seems to me to have been lost, for both boys and girls, to everyone’s detriment. 

              Roger

               

              Roger J. Lerner

               

              (o) 410-750-6907

              (f)  410-750-6909

              (m) 202-262-0420

               

               

               


              From: howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com [mailto:howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Karen Bradley
              Sent: Tuesday, June 26, 2007 11:06 AM
              To: howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: Re: [howardpubliced] Re: In times of yore

               

              Kudos. I've heard about that book and hope to get it for my nephews.

               

              I grew up in the 70's and 80's. I was one of those girls who was in touch with both my feminine and masculine sides (and still am). I could go from playing barbies and/or "beauty parlor" with my sisters and gal pals to getting rough and dirty with the neighborhood boys in a heartbeat. I enjoyed building forts and treehouses, making mud pies, playing with GI-Joes and Evil Kinevil action figures, big wheel races, "War" games, wrestling, doing experiments, climbing trees, all sorts of activities involving animals, etc. One activity we enjoyed was "salamander hunting and races". We'd find salamanders and put them in a wagon - hold them, then let them go and see who won - then let them go in the wild again.

               

              Now I go camping and still enjoy "building" things.

              :-)

               

              Cheers!

              K



              Bob Rosebrough <bobrosebrough21045@ yahoo.com> wrote:

              Nope - three sons only. If I had daughters, I would throw them in
              the same pile with the guys. I might get a female lab or golden,
              however. Daughter(s) would get the same shotguns, backpacking stuff
              and racing bikes as the guys. I dig on super competent, agressive
              gals with a tinge of alpha male in them!
              BobR

              --- In howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com, "cynthia vaillancourt"
              <CynthiaVaillancour t@...> wrote:
              >
              >
              > I love how much Bob R loves boys - they are fascinating and
              wonderous
              > creatures - and I ask this question without the slightest hint of
              any
              > agenda... Bob, do you have any daughters?
              >
              > Cindy V.
              >
              > >From: "Bob Rosebrough" <bobrosebrough21045 @...>
              > >Reply-To: howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com
              > >To: howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com
              > >Subject: [howardpubliced] In times of yore
              > >Date: Mon, 25 Jun 2007 15:36:39 -0000
              > >
              > >In Praise of Skinned Knees and Grubby Faces
              > >
              > >By Conn Iggulden
              > >Sunday, June 24, 2007; B01
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >LONDON When I was 10, I founded an international organization known
              > >as the Black Cat Club. My friend Richard was the only other member.
              > >My younger brother, Hal, had "provisional status," which meant that
              > >he had to try out for full membership every other week. We told him
              > >we would consider his application if he jumped off the garage
              roof --
              > >about eight feet from the ground. He had a moment of doubt as he
              > >looked over the edge, but we said it wouldn't hurt if he shouted
              the
              > >words "Fly like an eagle!" When he jumped, his knees came up so
              fast
              > >that he knocked himself out. I think the lesson he learned that day
              > >was not to trust his brother, which is a pretty valuable one for a
              > >growing lad.
              > >
              > >I wrote "The Dangerous Book for Boys" as a handbook for boys with
              > >scenes like that from my childhood in mind. I wasn't trying to
              please
              > >anyone else. I was just trying to free boys to be themselves again,
              > >the way we were when my brother and I were growing up.
              > >
              > >Back in the 1970s, our father was a schoolmaster and part of his
              job
              > >was caning boys. He was prepared to do this on the job, but the
              only
              > >time he ever brought his work home was when I stole money from him
              > >and somewhat naively put it in my moneybox. Perhaps because that
              > >punishment was a unique event, I've never stolen anything from
              anyone
              > >since that day.
              > >
              > >Looking back, I realize now that my father was an incredibly
              patient
              > >man. He loved wood, and whenever a school threw out an oak table or
              > >mahogany benches, he would rescue them and bring them home. One
              day,
              > >my brother and I took all that wood and nailed it to the tree in
              the
              > >front garden. It was perhaps the ugliest treehouse ever built, and
              my
              > >father was not impressed. In fact, I think he was close to tears
              for
              > >a moment.
              > >
              > >He was born in 1923. He has seen a different world -- one before
              > >television, before mobile phones and before the Internet. He flew
              in
              > >Bomber Command during World War II, and when he tells stories,
              > >they're always grim, but funny at the same time. He lost half a
              > >finger in one bad crash, and at various times in our childhood, he
              > >told us that he'd worked in a sausage factory and pushed the meat
              too
              > >far into the grinder, resulting in the best sales the factory had
              > >known; that a German sniper had recognized him flying overhead and
              > >thought, "That's Mr. Iggulden, I'll just fire a warning shot"; or
              > >that he was the new Bionic Man, but the British government could
              > >afford to replace him only a bit at a time.
              > >
              > >His generation understood the cars they drove, could hang wallpaper
              > >and fix just about anything. In his 80s, he is still an immensely
              > >practical man, but at the same time, he still quotes poems he
              learned
              > >as a boy, demonstrating that a man can love a good line as much as
              a
              > >good dovetail joint.
              > >
              > >Of course, my mother was important to our childhood. An Irish
              > >Catholic, she gave us a faith that endures today, as well as an
              > >appreciation for literature that made me want to be a writer from a
              > >young age. She kept chickens in a garden no more than 30 feet
              square
              > >in a suburb of London, and the neighbors complained about the
              > >cockerels waking them up.
              > >
              > >When she gave birth to me, the nurse walked down a line of babies
              > >saying, "This one will be a policeman and this one will be a
              > >footballer. " When the nurse came to me, she said "Ah, but this one
              > >has the face of a poet."
              > >
              > >My father, though, made me the man I am. He was playing bridge on
              the
              > >night I was born. When he saw me the following morning, he said, "I
              > >hope he never has to kill anyone."
              > >
              > >We had books in the house with titles such as "The Wonder Book of
              > >Wonders" or "Chemical Amusements and Experiments, " showing their
              age
              > >with instructions directing you to buy "a shilling paper of
              Potassium
              > >Permanganate. " I read them all, and I'm lucky to have all my
              fingers.
              > >We made bows and arrows every summer, cutting them green and
              hunting
              > >in the local woods. We managed to trap a raven, though I think it
              > >must have been ill. I had an idea about training it to attack so
              that
              > >I would be the terror of the local park. Sadly, we found it cold
              and
              > >stiff one morning in the chicken run.
              > >
              > >The Black Cat Club gathered in the garden to give it a warrior's
              > >cremation. We used my father's lighter fluid and poured it over the
              > >bird where it lay in a nest of bricks. We lit it and stood back
              with
              > >our hands clasped in prayer. The flames roared, and I think we wept
              > >until the flames died back down again and the bird was still there.
              > >We poured more lighter fluid, and eventually realized we'd cooked
              the
              > >bird instead of cremating it.
              > >
              > >When I had a son of my own six years ago, I looked around for the
              > >sort of books that would inspire him. I was able to find some
              > >practical modern ones, but none with the spirit and verve of those
              > >old titles. I wanted a single compendium of everything I'd ever
              > >wanted to know or do as a boy, and I decided to write my own. My
              > >brother, now a theater director in Leicester, a city in the
              midlands
              > >of England, was the obvious choice as co-writer. I had dedicated my
              > >first book "To my brother Hal, the other member of the Black Cat
              > >Club." It was official at last. I persuaded him to come and work
              with
              > >me 12 hours a day for six months in a shed.
              > >
              > >We began with everything we had done as kids, then added things we
              > >didn't want to see forgotten. History today is taught as a feeble
              > >thing, with all the adventure taken out of it. We wanted stories of
              > >courage because boys love those. We wanted stories about men like
              > >Royal Air Force fighter pilot Douglas Bader, Scott of the
              Antarctic,
              > >the Wright Brothers -- boys like to read about daring men, always
              > >with the question: Would I be as brave or as resourceful? I
              sometimes
              > >wonder why people make fun of boys going to science fiction
              > >conventions without realizing that it shows a love of stories. Does
              > >every high school offer a class on adventure tales? No -- and then
              we
              > >complain that boys don't read anymore.
              > >
              > >We added sections on grammar because my brother once said, "If
              anyone
              > >had told me there are only nine kinds of words, I'd have damn well
              > >learned them." Boys like to see the nuts and bolts of language. Of
              > >course they can empathize and imagine, but they need the structure
              as
              > >well. Why should the satisfaction of getting something right be
              > >denied to those who have been educated since the '70s?
              > >
              > >We filled our book with facts and things to do -- from hunting a
              > >rabbit to growing crystals. As adults, we know that doors have been
              > >closed to us. A boy, though, can be interested in anything.
              > >
              > >Finally, we chose our title -- "The Dangerous Book for Boys." It's
              > >about remembering a time when danger wasn't a dirty word. It's
              safer
              > >to put a boy in front of a PlayStation for a while, but not in the
              > >long run. The irony of making boys' lives too safe is that later
              they
              > >take worse risks on their own. You only have to push a baby boy
              hard
              > >on a swing and see his face light up. It's not learned behavior --
              > >he's hardwired to enjoy a little risk. Ask any man for a good
              memory
              > >from childhood and he'll tell you about testing his courage or
              > >getting injured. No one wants to see a child get hurt, but we
              really
              > >did think the bumps and scratches were badges of honor, once.
              > >
              > >Since the book was published, I've discovered a vast group that
              cares
              > >about exactly the same things I do. I've heard from divorced
              fathers
              > >who use the book to make things with their sons instead of going
              out
              > >for fast food and a movie. I've received e-mails from 10-year-olds
              > >and a beautifully written letter from a man of 87.
              > >
              > >I thought I was the only one sick of non-competitive sports days
              and
              > >playgrounds where it's practically impossible to hurt yourself. It
              > >turned out that the pendulum is swinging back at last. Boys are
              > >different from girls. Teaching them as though they are girls who
              > >don't wash as much leads to their failure in school, causing
              trouble
              > >all the way. Boys don't like group work. They do better on exams
              than
              > >they do in coursework, and they don't like class discussion. In
              > >history lessons, they prefer stories of Rome and of courage to
              > >projects on the suffragettes.
              > >
              > >It's all a matter of balance. When I was a teacher, I asked my head
              > >of department why every textbook seemed to have a girl achieving
              her
              > >dream of being a carpenter while the boys were morons. She replied
              > >that boys had had it their own way for too long, and now it was the
              > >girls' turn. Ouch.
              > >
              > >The problem with fighting adult gender battles in the classroom is
              > >that the children always lose.
              > >
              > >I expected a backlash. If you put the word "boys" on something,
              > >someone will always complain. One blog even promoted the idea of
              > >removing the words "For Boys" from the cover with an Exacto knife
              so
              > >that people's sons wouldn't be introduced to any unpleasantly
              > >masculine notions such as duty, honor, courage and competence.
              > >
              > >The dark side of masculinity may involve gangs and aggression, but
              > >there's another side -- self-discipline, wry humor and quiet
              > >determination. I really thought I was the only one who cared about
              > >it, but I've found many thousands who care just as much.
              > >
              > >I know there are women who can lift heavier weights than I can, but
              > >on the whole, boys are more interested in the use of urine as
              secret
              > >ink than girls are. We wanted to write a book that celebrated
              boys --
              > >with all their differences and geeky love of knowledge, skills and
              > >stories. There just isn't anything wrong with trying to do that.
              > >
              > >We all care about our sons -- scabby knees, competitive spirits and
              > >all. It's about time we let our schools and governments know how
              much
              > >we care. Let the pendulum swing.
              > >
              > >
              > >
              >
              > ____________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _
              > Who's that on the Red Carpet? Play & win glamorous prizes.
              > http://club. live.com/ red_carpet_ reveal.aspx?
              icid=REDCARPET_ hotmailtextlink3
              >

               

               


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            • Allen Dyer
              part of what separates our children from those of yore is the continuing expansion of formal education. home work, the rapidly disappearing summer vacation,
              Message 6 of 6 , Jun 27 11:19 AM
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                part of what separates our children from "those of yore" is the
                continuing expansion of formal education.  home work, the
                rapidly disappearing summer vacation, and organized sports
                really make it tough for young people to pursue individually
                choosen activities.
                 
                and, unfortunately, with two wage owner families the rule,
                there will probably be continuing pressure for the schools to
                take over responsibility for an increasing percentage of the
                day/year.
                 
                too much time shaping the cogs.
                 
                allen
                 
                p.s. for my niece & nephews in seattle, today is the last
                day of school.  UGH!
                 
                 
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