Monday, October 22, 2007

The Times They Are A-Changin'--For The Better

When my grandfather Eber married his wife, Gertrude Lamb, they kept it a secret for a couple of years, so she could keep her job as a schoolteacher. Apparently, there was something unwholesome about the presence of a married woman in a classroom, even into the 20th Century.

When I was in junior high, my social studies teacher disappeared in the middle of the year. I had no idea why--being dangerously naive. The more savvy kids in the class whispered "She had to leave because she was pregnant." There was never any official announcement, or anything. She was, in fact, married--single motherhood just DID NOT happen back in those days--but she never told us she was going on leave, and the substitute teacher for the rest of the year never mentioned it either.

So, in only 50 years, more or less, we moved from the unenlightened barring of married women from the classroom to the only slightly less unenlightened silence about married women and babies.

Pony came home today and said that she had a shared advisory (like homeroom) with another class, and both their teachers brought in chocolate croissants--a huge treat. "And we didn't just bring them in for no reason," said one.

"It's not because you are rich?" asked a student.

Oh, yeah--those teacher salaries are well known for being lavish. Pony looked at me with such a sparkle in her eyes and such joy on her face and said "They are both having babies!"

I think life is getting better, don't you?

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