public schools

VFoC's Presidents Day Fun Facts

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The public school system is failing. Ask any public school kid now a days to give you the names of every US President and they’d probably have a hard time coming up with even half of the 59 men who have served in this country’s highest office.

That is why we at Van Full of Candy take our role as keepers of the flame of history and smolderer of the embers of knowin’ stuff very seriously. And while you may know that Abraham Lincoln chopped down a rope bridge to escape cannibalistic tribesmen only to lose the artifacts he fought so hard to procure, or that George Washington would routinely refer to himself in the third person and was generally kind of a dick, there are so many interesting facts about those other ones too.

So it is with great pride and honor that we present to you on this day, Van Full of Candy’s President’s Day Fun Facts:

Smelled of Strong Man body oil.
Smelled of Strong Man body oil.

John Tyler, Jr. (March 29, 1790 – January 18, 1862) was the tenth President of the United States (1841–1845)

Before being elected the 10th President of the United States, John Tyler had many odd jobs, including, but not limited to, bee salesman, wooden indian, snake confuser, gypsy strangler, boat anchor, cart wheeler and wild dog tracker. Well into his second year in office President Tyler would, for a nickle, allow visiting dignitaries the opportunity to guess how many jellied sweets resided in the over sized jar that he kept on his desk.

Lost his neck to a shifty Frenchman.
Lost his neck to a shifty Frenchman.

James Knox Polk (1795-1849) was the 11th President of the United States (1845-1849)

President Polk isn’t one of the more famous Presidents, his face isn’t engraved on stone monuments, nor does it reside on any currency. He was, however, one of the hardest working Presidents in history, if not the hardest working, so much so, that he died three months after his Presidency ended. He was the “dark horse” candidate that surprised everyone by actually winning over Henry Clay of the rival Whig Party, which is surprising coincidence since Polk never wore a wig. No! He had gorgeous locks of long flowing hair, and he is actually the first President who declared an actual hairstyle, “The Mullet”. He was a barber’s nightmare, and a redneck’s hero. He loved his hair and was quite a vain individual. He was the first President to have an actual picture taken of himself. He took a self portrait of himself in a bathroom mirror. It was the beginning of the Facebook profile pic.

Once ate 3 1/2 bears.
Once ate 3 1/2 bears.

Rutherford Birchard Hayes (October 4, 1822 – January 17, 1893) was the 19th President of the United States

Ruthoford B. Hayes once famously wrestled the time traveling future ghost of Warren G. Harding in the Oval Office for thirth seven confusing minutes. Historians report that throughout the altercation the spector of Harding kept angrilly referring to President Hayes as “Taft” despite the President’s repeated assurances to the time displaced phantom that he neither was this Taft gentleman nor did he know of whom he was speaking.

Always called tails.
Always called tails.

Chester Allen Arthur (1829-1886) was the 21st President of the United States (1881-1885)

Known as Elegant Arthur for his expensive taste in clothes and home furnishings, Chester would like to prance around the streets of Vermont with a small dog in a fancy “shopping” bag. It is said that he once spent $17 for a pocket kerchief that was made entirely of the tears of Sitting Bull (in modern day currency values, the kerchief was worth $3,200). He was very smitten with the piano and writing poems. One of his poems was actually used verbatim for “The Whisper Song” by Ying Yang Twins. Not only was he a contributor to the music industry, but he was also the model for Quaker Oats oatmeal, and was the great great grandfather of Captain Kangaroo.

Isn't your grandpa.
Isn’t your grandpa.

Benjamin Harrison (1833-1901) was the 23rd President of the United States (1889-1893)

Lovingly referred to as “Old Man Ben”, or “Who’s that?”, Benjamin Harrison was in all actuality the 23rd President. It was during a time when the United States decided not to have a President anymore, and good ol’ Ben was accidentally elected when his bar tab was mistakenly dropped into an old ballot box that was supposed to be thrown away at Obadiah’s Tavern. He had a very low key term since nothing happened in America those four years, but one odd bit of history was that he got his face on a stamp in 1902.

Kicked a man to death in West Virginia on a dare.
Kicked a man to death in West Virginia on a dare.

Gerald Rudolph Ford, Jr. (born Leslie Lynch King, Jr.; July 14, 1913 – December 26, 2006) was the 38th President of the United States

The Emancipation Proclimation was an executive order enacted by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863, which in effect signaled the immediate end of slavery in the United Stated. Despite this though, it is a little known fact that Gerald Ford was the first US President to hold the office while not currently owning slaves. Ford sold his last fourteen slave only three months before Richard Nixon’s resignation. That streak of non-slave owning Presidents was of course broken in 2008 with the election of Barack Obama.

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VFoC’s Presidents Day Fun Facts

Posted on Updated on

The public school system is failing. Ask any public school kid now a days to give you the names of every US President and they’d probably have a hard time coming up with even half of the 59 men who have served in this country’s highest office.

That is why we at Van Full of Candy take our role as keepers of the flame of history and smolderer of the embers of knowin’ stuff very seriously. And while you may know that Abraham Lincoln chopped down a rope bridge to escape cannibalistic tribesmen only to lose the artifacts he fought so hard to procure, or that George Washington would routinely refer to himself in the third person and was generally kind of a dick, there are so many interesting facts about those other ones too. 

So it is with great pride and honor that we present to you on this day, Van Full of Candy’s President’s Day Fun Facts:

Smelled of Strong Man body oil.
Smelled of Strong Man body oil.

John Tyler, Jr. (March 29, 1790 – January 18, 1862) was the tenth President of the United States (1841–1845)

Before being elected the 10th President of the United States, John Tyler had many odd jobs, including, but not limited to, bee salesman, wooden indian, snake confuser, gypsy strangler, boat anchor, cart wheeler and wild dog tracker. Well into his second year in office President Tyler would, for a nickle, allow visiting dignitaries the opportunity to guess how many jellied sweets resided in the over sized jar that he kept on his desk.

Lost his neck to a shifty Frenchman.
Lost his neck to a shifty Frenchman.

James Knox Polk (1795-1849) was the 11th President of the United States (1845-1849)

President Polk isn’t one of the more famous Presidents, his face isn’t engraved on stone monuments, nor does it reside on any currency. He was, however, one of the hardest working Presidents in history, if not the hardest working, so much so, that he died three months after his Presidency ended. He was the “dark horse” candidate that surprised everyone by actually winning over Henry Clay of the rival Whig Party, which is surprising coincidence since Polk never wore a wig. No! He had gorgeous locks of long flowing hair, and he is actually the first President who declared an actual hairstyle, “The Mullet”. He was a barber’s nightmare, and a redneck’s hero. He loved his hair and was quite a vain individual. He was the first President to have an actual picture taken of himself. He took a self portrait of himself in a bathroom mirror. It was the beginning of the Facebook profile pic.

Once ate 3 1/2 bears.
Once ate 3 1/2 bears.

Rutherford Birchard Hayes (October 4, 1822 – January 17, 1893) was the 19th President of the United States

Ruthoford B. Hayes once famously wrestled the time traveling future ghost of Warren G. Harding in the Oval Office for thirth seven confusing minutes. Historians report that throughout the altercation the spector of Harding kept angrilly referring to President Hayes as “Taft” despite the President’s repeated assurances to the time displaced phantom that he neither was this Taft gentleman nor did he know of whom he was speaking.

Always called tails.
Always called tails.

Chester Allen Arthur (1829-1886) was the 21st President of the United States (1881-1885)

Known as Elegant Arthur for his expensive taste in clothes and home furnishings, Chester would like to prance around the streets of Vermont with a small dog in a fancy “shopping” bag. It is said that he once spent $17 for a pocket kerchief that was made entirely of the tears of Sitting Bull (in modern day currency values, the kerchief was worth $3,200). He was very smitten with the piano and writing poems. One of his poems was actually used verbatim for “The Whisper Song” by Ying Yang Twins. Not only was he a contributor to the music industry, but he was also the model for Quaker Oats oatmeal, and was the great great grandfather of Captain Kangaroo.

Isn't your grandpa.
Isn't your grandpa.

Benjamin Harrison (1833-1901) was the 23rd President of the United States (1889-1893)

Lovingly referred to as “Old Man Ben”, or “Who’s that?”, Benjamin Harrison was in all actuality the 23rd President. It was during a time when the United States decided not to have a President anymore, and good ol’ Ben was accidentally elected when his bar tab was mistakenly dropped into an old ballot box that was supposed to be thrown away at Obadiah’s Tavern. He had a very low key term since nothing happened in America those four years, but one odd bit of history was that he got his face on a stamp in 1902.

Kicked a man to death in West Virginia on a dare.
Kicked a man to death in West Virginia on a dare.

Gerald Rudolph Ford, Jr. (born Leslie Lynch King, Jr.; July 14, 1913 – December 26, 2006) was the 38th President of the United States

The Emancipation Proclimation was an executive order enacted by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863, which in effect signaled the immediate end of slavery in the United Stated. Despite this though, it is a little known fact that Gerald Ford was the first US President to hold the office while not currently owning slaves. Ford sold his last fourteen slave only three months before Richard Nixon’s resignation. That streak of non-slave owning Presidents was of course broken in 2008 with the election of Barack Obama.

You call THAT parenting? "F-"

Posted on

Wake up sleepy head, time to crush your soul.
Wake up sleepy head, time to crush your soul.

You wake up every morning at 4:30 am. Creeping quietly through your small, leaky two bedroom apartment, you put together lunches for your two children, girl child, age six and male boy kid, age 8, both students at the same central Florida elementary school. Packing them into the family hand me down station wagon which now runs solely on your prayers that today isn’t the day it breaks down, you hurry them to Humid Elder Gator Elementary (Go Fighting Sweat!) just in time for them to participate in the free breakfast program for low-income families (assuming those even exist any more) and rush off to your first job of the day.

After putting in your eight hours washing dishes at Admiral Tasty’s Sea Food Eatery (where Admiral Tasty likes his fish like he likes his women, battered!) you rush back to Humid Elder Gator (Sweat it out! Sweat it out! WAAAY OUT!) to be just in time for your kids to have only had to wait a little over a half hour after their last class in the principal’s office for your arrival. Absorbing a disdainful look of contempt you then hurry your family to your second job, a four hour shift at the snack bar in Splitz Lanes Bowling Center (home of the “Splitz Coup”: convert any split and you get a 25 cents off coupon for a Junior Banana Split at Lickity Splitz, the ice creamery attached to the arcade) which sits conveniently only two counties away. The kids keep themselves entertained and maybe do some homework in the daycare center next to the pro shop while you try not to suffocate on the shoe spray fumes from the up wind front desk.

Sneaking a couple of hot dogs that’ve been spinning on the rollers since before you came in for your shift and a rubbery soft pretzel for dinner on the road you haul the kids back home just in time to put them to bed and collapse into yours, all ready to get right back to it again tomorrow morning, a sweet, luxurious six whole hours from now.

And if you’re lucky, your kids’ might bring home a “needs improvement” parent grade from their teacher on their next report card.

Right now, on it’s way through the Florida legislature is a bill that may require public school teachers to grade parents of Kindergarten through third grade students, adding a parent’s grade of “satisfactory”, “unsatisfactory” or “needs improvement” to the child’s report card. The criteria that these grossly negligent monsters will be graded on will be —

— “a child should be at school on time, prepared to learn after a good night’s sleep and have eaten a meal”

— “a child should have the homework done and prepared for examination”

— “there should be regular communication between the parent and teacher”

Again, as stated before I’m not yet a parent, (that any court in the world can prove!)  but I did do my time in the government minimum security juvenile detention system known as “public school” for the entirety of my schooling years. I’ve seen over stuffed classrooms, thirty plus kids to a class in temporary portable buildings that have since become permanent fixtures. Portables that you were so happy to find out you were going to be in for any time because they actually had working heat or air. And here’s a secret for you. Do you know why most children are in public schools? Because their parents can’t afford to send them to private schools.

"That's right, your mother doesn't love you enough."
"That's right, your mother doesn't love you enough."

And now Florida is planning to saddle public school teachers (a paradoxical profession that is simultaneously touted as one of the most important in our society, while at the same time being one of the more commonly acceptably shit upon and neglected professions), with the additional responsibility of telling parents, just shy of total collapse, that they just don’t want it enough? The only thing this will do is shame those who are struggling most to do their best.

Most of those who will be graded superbly will puff up their chests at what a spectacular parent they really are, momentarily hiding their disdain for the nanny that raises their child for them. While many of those graded poorly will either not see it because they don’t give a shit and even if they did are well beyond the point of being shamed by an afterthought addition to an elementary school report card. Or they will in still many other cases, take it as a welcome opportunity to indignantly question if you’re trying to tell them how to raise their child. It’s the working poor who bust their ass every day that will be the most effected and they really don’t need one more outlet telling them how they’re failing their children by making sure they’re not homeless.

Just to be clear, I completely agree that parents have some responsibility for their child’s education. And until we can have algebra and regionally stilted versions of history injected directly into our face by sexy robot school nurses, it’s up to parents to help children temporarily retain enough facts and figures for them to be let loose on the adult world whether or not they’ve actually learned anything applicable to said world or not. Public schools are less a place of education now a days than a holding pen to keep our wild off spring from running rough shot through our food courts and amusement centers for the day with the after effect of begrudgingly teaching them the basics grunts and clicks of their local language, you know, since they’re there any way.

I blame child labor laws.

But in the end, the only person benefitting in any way from something like this will be the legislator who introduced it in the first place. She gets to say that she’s an education candidate, a champion for the little children and that she cares more about you and your family and the future of the human race than her opponent. Ultimately, that’s exactly all that is going to come out of something as hollow and pointless as this idea is. Class dismissed.

You call THAT parenting? “F-“

Posted on

Wake up sleepy head, time to crush your soul.
Wake up sleepy head, time to crush your soul.

You wake up every morning at 4:30 am. Creeping quietly through your small, leaky two bedroom apartment, you put together lunches for your two children, girl child, age six and male boy kid, age 8, both students at the same central Florida elementary school. Packing them into the family hand me down station wagon which now runs solely on your prayers that today isn’t the day it breaks down, you hurry them to Humid Elder Gator Elementary (Go Fighting Sweat!) just in time for them to participate in the free breakfast program for low-income families (assuming those even exist any more) and rush off to your first job of the day.

After putting in your eight hours washing dishes at Admiral Tasty’s Sea Food Eatery (where Admiral Tasty likes his fish like he likes his women, battered!) you rush back to Humid Elder Gator (Sweat it out! Sweat it out! WAAAY OUT!) to be just in time for your kids to have only had to wait a little over a half hour after their last class in the principal’s office for your arrival. Absorbing a disdainful look of contempt you then hurry your family to your second job, a four hour shift at the snack bar in Splitz Lanes Bowling Center (home of the “Splitz Coup”: convert any split and you get a 25 cents off coupon for a Junior Banana Split at Lickity Splitz, the ice creamery attached to the arcade) which sits conveniently only two counties away. The kids keep themselves entertained and maybe do some homework in the daycare center next to the pro shop while you try not to suffocate on the shoe spray fumes from the up wind front desk.

Sneaking a couple of hot dogs that’ve been spinning on the rollers since before you came in for your shift and a rubbery soft pretzel for dinner on the road you haul the kids back home just in time to put them to bed and collapse into yours, all ready to get right back to it again tomorrow morning, a sweet, luxurious six whole hours from now.

And if you’re lucky, your kids’ might bring home a “needs improvement” parent grade from their teacher on their next report card.

Right now, on it’s way through the Florida legislature is a bill that may require public school teachers to grade parents of Kindergarten through third grade students, adding a parent’s grade of “satisfactory”, “unsatisfactory” or “needs improvement” to the child’s report card. The criteria that these grossly negligent monsters will be graded on will be —

— “a child should be at school on time, prepared to learn after a good night’s sleep and have eaten a meal”

— “a child should have the homework done and prepared for examination”

— “there should be regular communication between the parent and teacher”

Again, as stated before I’m not yet a parent, (that any court in the world can prove!)  but I did do my time in the government minimum security juvenile detention system known as “public school” for the entirety of my schooling years. I’ve seen over stuffed classrooms, thirty plus kids to a class in temporary portable buildings that have since become permanent fixtures. Portables that you were so happy to find out you were going to be in for any time because they actually had working heat or air. And here’s a secret for you. Do you know why most children are in public schools? Because their parents can’t afford to send them to private schools.

"That's right, your mother doesn't love you enough."
"That's right, your mother doesn't love you enough."

And now Florida is planning to saddle public school teachers (a paradoxical profession that is simultaneously touted as one of the most important in our society, while at the same time being one of the more commonly acceptably shit upon and neglected professions), with the additional responsibility of telling parents, just shy of total collapse, that they just don’t want it enough? The only thing this will do is shame those who are struggling most to do their best.

Most of those who will be graded superbly will puff up their chests at what a spectacular parent they really are, momentarily hiding their disdain for the nanny that raises their child for them. While many of those graded poorly will either not see it because they don’t give a shit and even if they did are well beyond the point of being shamed by an afterthought addition to an elementary school report card. Or they will in still many other cases, take it as a welcome opportunity to indignantly question if you’re trying to tell them how to raise their child. It’s the working poor who bust their ass every day that will be the most effected and they really don’t need one more outlet telling them how they’re failing their children by making sure they’re not homeless.

Just to be clear, I completely agree that parents have some responsibility for their child’s education. And until we can have algebra and regionally stilted versions of history injected directly into our face by sexy robot school nurses, it’s up to parents to help children temporarily retain enough facts and figures for them to be let loose on the adult world whether or not they’ve actually learned anything applicable to said world or not. Public schools are less a place of education now a days than a holding pen to keep our wild off spring from running rough shot through our food courts and amusement centers for the day with the after effect of begrudgingly teaching them the basics grunts and clicks of their local language, you know, since they’re there any way.

I blame child labor laws.

But in the end, the only person benefitting in any way from something like this will be the legislator who introduced it in the first place. She gets to say that she’s an education candidate, a champion for the little children and that she cares more about you and your family and the future of the human race than her opponent. Ultimately, that’s exactly all that is going to come out of something as hollow and pointless as this idea is. Class dismissed.