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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
But the other day I was thinking about the difference between the schools of today and the schools of yesteryear (the ones I went to).

We received homework and "assignments". An assignment was something that usually involved students challenging themselves by working with it. My English teacher in Junior High loved to hand out assingments. And they were usually fair and fun as well.

One time she handed out poety for students to memorize and recite in class. I think my favorite one was a poem she challenged us with and I was the one kid that took it seriously. So, when it came time to fess up in the classroom, I was the only one who had completed the assignment. So I stood up and recited:

The Village Blacksmith
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Under a spreading chestnut-tree
The village smithy stands;
The smith, a mighty man is he,
With large and sinewy hands;
And the muscles of his brawny arms
Are strong as iron bands.

His hair is crisp, and black, and long,
His face is like the tan;
His brow is wet with honest sweat,
He earns whate'er he can,
And looks the whole world in the face,
For he owes not any man.

Week in, week out, from morn till night,
You can hear his bellows blow;
You can hear him swing his heavy sledge,
With measured beat and slow,
Like a sexton ringing the village bell,
When the evening sun is low.

And children coming home from school
Look in at the open door;
They love to see the flaming forge,
And hear the bellows roar,
And catch the burning sparks that fly
Like chaff from a threshing-floor.

He goes on Sunday to the church,
And sits among his boys;
He hears the parson pray and preach,
He hears his daughter's voice,
Singing in the village choir,
And makes his heart rejoice.

It sounds to him like her mother's voice,
Singing in Paradise!
He needs must think of her once more,
How in the grave she lies;
And with his hard, rough hand he wipes
A tear out of his eyes.

Toiling, -rejoicing, -sorrowing,
Onward through life he goes;
Each morning sees some task begun,
Each evening sees its close!
Something attempted, something done,
Has earned a night's repose.

Thanks, thanks to thee, my worthy friend,
For the lesson thou hast taught!
Thus at the flaming forge of life
Our fortunes must be wrought;
Thus on its sounding anvil shaped
Each burning deed and thought.


(below Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 1807-1882)

5,055 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·

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Not everything is there to download but it sure is an amazingly long list. Take a look at the site and check out the possibilities.

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