Thursday, June 3, 2010

Cold War Deja Vu

When I was in elementary school, mostly in the 1950s, we were "fighting" the Cold War against Communist Russia, mostly involving political and cultural tensions between us and them.

Every month we held drills where an alarm would go off in the school, we would all file into the hallways, and we would kneel down against the walls and lockers with one hand-and-arm in front of our foreheads and one over the nape of our necks. This position would protect us in case Russia dropped "the bomb" on us. Many schools used the "duck-and-cover" method.

Children were also told stories about how the poor Russian people lived and two of them stuck with me.

First, all Russian people had to carry government identification cards. If a policeman or a soldier asked for your card you had to produce it or you would be taken away. [Can you say Arizona?]

Second, young children - even babies - were sent to schools or nurseries while their mothers and fathers had to go to work.

Have you looked around Hillsborough at the mushrooming nursery school industry? We may have reached the point where we have more pre-schools than pizzerias. And for Central Jersey that's a real feat.

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