A Nation Of Uneducated

Yesterday was National Pi Day, so I asked Jean’s 20 something Caregiver, “What is Is Pi?” 
She had no clue, and I didn’t expect her to get all of the questions I had recently seen asked to unconscious college students.

I asked the same question to my High School Junior Great Grandson, and he quickly said, correctly, “Pi is 3.14159.” Of course he is going to a STEAM school (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) public school.

I asked the Caregiver, “who is the nation’s Capitol City, Washington D.C. named for?” 

My Caregiver had no clue, but my GreatGrandson knew it was George Washington.

Neither knew who won the Civil War, Not good, but I had brought home my GreatGrandson from school with the flu.

I then asked what I thought would be the easiest question: “From whom did we we win our independence?” The Caregiver answered, “Russia?”

My GreatGrandson answered, “Britain!” and finished three for four, while the Caregiver was zero for four.

I had asked questions that college students missed when interviewed by various videos on Facebook.

A minute later, I gave the 20-something Caregiver a bonus question based on what we were watching on TV, a report on the stars of the Broadway Show “Alexander Hamilton.” I asked: “Where did Alexander Hamilton begin his entry into politics?” 

She did not know, nor did my GreatGrandson know when asked, later. Nor did I expect either to know that Hamilton was Washington’s Cannoneer, and Hamilton was with the remnants of Washington’s Army as it snuck across the Delaware river in the dead of night on Christmas Eve, and trudged through a massive snowstorm — leaving bloody footprints in the snow because many had no shoes, and had wrapped their feet in rags — and Hamilton set his cannons down the main streets of Trenton.

(I cannot imagine the hungry, tired men, with horses dragging those cannons miles and miles through driving snow! I have never forgotten their sacrifice.)

Sleeping German Hessian crack troops had not even set guards, believing no army, let alone Washington’s ragged troops, (known mostly for retreating) could attack on Christmas morning during a massive snowstorm.

Wrong! Washington’s men fired shots, and as the Hessians piled out of the commandeered private homes, pulling on their boots and uniforms, Hamilton’s grapeshot-loaded cannons, slaughtered the best mercenaries the British could buy. 

Hamilton’s political career was set, but he was not alone — future president James Monroe and future Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall were among his troops.

(I mentioned to my 16 year old GreatGrandson that most college students missed most of the questions, and he dourly said, “Yes, but they don’t have you as a GreatGrandfather.”

My Plebe year made me what I am — Upper Classmen asked questions of Plebes at every meal. The questions were a flood, and the Upper Classmen were relentless.

Oh, did you know that Pi (3.14) viewed in a mirror looks almost exactly like “Pie?”

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