So far after three weeks of grad school, I’ve learned that my grades may be about what they were 15 years ago (hey, I’m still a B student, I haven’t lost my touch for slightly above-average work!) and that some teachers back in the day had it rough.
Take this hilarious (in hindsight) document my professor gave us the other night. It’s a 1922 Teacher’s Contract for women. For the salary of $75 per month, this is what women had to agree to (My comments in italics)
1. Not to get married. This contract becomes null and void if the teacher marries.
2. Not to have company with men.
3. To be at home between the hours of 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. unless in attendance at a school function (what if they had to go to the store to buy milk?)
4. Not to loiter downtown in ice cream stores (by far my favorite stipulation. What the hell was going on at ice cream stores in the 1920s? Were they bootlegging liquor or selling cocaine or something? Man, that Baskin-Robbins has always been known as a drug haven)
5. Not to leave town any time without the permission of the Chairman of the Trustees.
6. Not to smoke cigarettes.
7. Not to drink beer, wine or whiskey (but vodka was OK, apparently)
8. Not to ride in a carriage or automobile with any man except her brother or father (so not only no husbands, but no boyfriends either?)
9. Not to dress in bright colors.
10. Not to dye their hair.
11. To wear at least two petticoats (TWO? What if it’s 85 degrees in May, they’ve still got to be all bundled up? Cruel and unusual punishment. UPDATE: I’m an idiot for not knowing what a petticoat is. An alert female reader friend of mine, A.T., tells me it’s an undergarment for a skirt. Apologies for the mistake. Still, I think it’s crazy that they had to wear two.)
12. Not to wear dresses more than 2 inches above the ankle.
13. To keep the schoolroom clean, including scrubbing the floor weekly with soap and hot water.
14. Not to wear face powder, mascara or to paint lips.
So there you go. Obey all 14 of those items, and you, too could’ve been a 1922 teacher.
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**Jon Stewart was on his game again Wednesday night, calling out the blatant hypocrisy (and really, it’s more than hypocrisy. There needs to be a stronger word than hypocrisy here) of the Republicans crying victimhood. During the last Sean Hannity quote of this sketch, I really thought Jon Stewart’s head might explode: