Schooling in 1940

How would you describe school today? Long, tiresome, for the most part uneventful. Now, how do you think school was in 1940s?

In the year 2014, the most common word to describe school is stressful. Students are overwhelmed and overtired and beyond stressed out because of school. One of the biggest causes of the stress is the homework load that students receive on the nightly basis, and if you ask most of the students at Pentucket they would probably admit to getting unhealthy hours of sleep due to excess homework.

“School is becoming even more stressful now with mid-terms coming up,” said Taylor Hebert “I am always busy and stressed out.”

Beebe Jackson said “I would describe school as long, and painful, and we learn some things that are unnecessary but others stuff that is useful. Also the amount of homework we have is outrageous.”

It seems all students do now is homework and stress out over school work, but how do you think students were in the 1940’s?

Our journalism class recently traveled to Nicholas Village to meet and interview some of the residents who live there.

Mary Clark was one of the resident s that I interviewed during our trip there. Growing up in a very small town Mrs. Clark estimated that there were about 30 kids in her graduating high school class, which was the class of 1946.  “I did ok in school, I liked the sciences like biology and chemistry,” said Mrs. Clark “after high school I went to a nursing school in Philadelphia to become a nurse.”

“College was out of the question really because the depression had just ended,” said Mrs. Clark. It was interesting to hear her say that comment about college especially growing up in this time period where college is really the only way to get most jobs now.

Another comment that Mrs. Clark said that was interesting was how she described what they did after school. She described how they usually walked around town after school to the ice cream parlor or to the movie theater, which were really the only attractions in town; no one had a car so they had to walk everywhere. Now almost every senior student has a car at Pentucket and most of the juniors as well, but also after school on school days most students either have sports or hours of homework to do after school. So there is really not much time for students to just hang around town.

Her husband, Walter Clark who graduated high school in 1942, was drafted into the army when he was about 18 years old. World War II was still going on during the time the Clarks were in high school, and both joined the Air Force after high school.

Mr. Clark said he enjoyed english and history while in high school and held many jobs after school. He was drafted into the Air Force after high school and served in World War II. After the war he was able to go to college at Texas A&M, his education paid for by the Air Force.

Overall, students’ lives now compared to the 1940’s are very different. Back in the 1940’s obviously a lot more in the world was going on and school was not exactly the primary focus. Students were much more laid back it seems compared to now where students are very overwhelmed and much more focused on school.