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Valentines day in Canadian schools in the 1950's

Discussion in 'Personal' started by TCSC47, Feb 14, 2017.

  1. TCSC47

    TCSC47 Star commenter

    Way back in the 1950's I was in elementary school in Montreal, Canada. Coming up to Valentines Day, we would have a big red box in the class room to post Valentine cards to each other. The cards were pretty basic and uniform, consisting of a folded red heart and we would send them to the opposite sex with "from guess who" written on them. On Valentine's Day the teacher would pass out the contents of the box to the class and we would line them up on our desks, showing very clearly who was popular and who was not!!!

    The most popular got between 15 to 20 cards and the, ummm-m, lesser popular got 1 card. Of course shame of shames, if you only got one card, everybody knew it was from the teacher. I have to admit I used to get about 5 cards or so, so somebody liked me! However, as I write I am shuddering at the remembrance of how I felt those 60 years ago!

    And I remember my shock when somebody told me that some kids sent them to themselves!

    Can you conceive of anything more gross and unpleasant in the classroom!? Anybody know if it still happens anywhere nowadays?
    stupot101 and nomad like this.
  2. InkyP

    InkyP Star commenter

    That kind of popularity contest in schools is horrible and must leave the less popular children with deep mental scars. I don't think it has ever been the custom to send Valentine's cards to friends or to children in the U.K. When I was a child there wasn't the hype there is now with big displays in shops and special offers spuriously connected to Valentine's Day, people sent cards to their current or hopeful loved one - usually anonymously.
    stupot101 and TCSC47 like this.
  3. palmtree100

    palmtree100 Lead commenter

    So can we blame you North Americans for importing another annual ritual that we don't need? Just like Halloween. Now Black Friday. Will we soon have Thanksgiving? :mad:

    Sorry no offence intended. I love Canadians!
    InkyP likes this.
  4. TCSC47

    TCSC47 Star commenter

    Like many things, I'm afraid, if you look at the past 50 years. Not the least being our (I'm actually English) slow but certain drift to the right. And now we have Trump!!! Pass the pills please.
    palmtree100 likes this.
  5. palmtree100

    palmtree100 Lead commenter

    Yes. Tuition fees, perhaps soon NHS fees, school fees...
    TCSC47 likes this.
  6. TCSC47

    TCSC47 Star commenter

    Coming back to the UK in my teens and having to endure the dislike and scorn of my teachers because I hadn't followed the same curricula as here in England, was quite tough, but I thoroughly enjoyed the different atmosphere of my school and school mates. There was much less emphasis on social conformity and fashion. Sports were there to be enjoyed rather than be successful at. Children here were not treated with the same cotton wool that we were treated with in Canada and with the over presence of adults in our lives. Kids in Canada were sort of older than they needed to be, wearing makeup and expressing - I'm trying to think how to describe this -- adult style social thoughts. Kids in England were much more down to Earth and were not grown up before their time. The Valentine cards are a classic example of this. I think I remember it happening in grade 1 !!! but I may be wrong. It certainly happened in all the years that followed.

    Of course the swinging 60's were just getting under way here and all things were changing, particularly with the growing emphasis on fashion, showing the creep over from USA culture. We think of the 60's as Brits leading the world, but in my opinion, and I was there to observe, we were simply following the Americans with a slightly different style and emphasis.

    And when you hear Trump saying not paying his taxes makes him smart, and then looking at our present plutocratic governing class, you know I am right. Back in the 50's and 60's we were still governed by people who had fought and lived through the war. They had come back from Europe with the dreadful images of the battles and the concentration camps and they felt a duty to make things better for society rather than just themselves.

    Then along came the ones who hadn't been touched sufficiently by WW2 such as Thatcher with "greed is good" and you have the downhill slide to Brexit, UKIP and, again I mention Trump, with their lack of empathy with refugees and people in hardship.
  7. Jude Fawley

    Jude Fawley Star commenter

  8. foxtail3

    foxtail3 Star commenter

    I worked in a school where they sold ribbons on Valentine's Day. They were different colours for friendship, love, admiration, and probably some others as well. I hated it for the same reasons as the OP. The embarrassment if they didn't get one must have been crushing and worst of all, the ribbons were pinned to the uniform, so the gloating and shame factors were there for all to see, all day.

    One of the TAs was shameless in her pursuit of the ribbons and pretty much insisted that the students gave them to her. It was vile. Fortunately, it came to an end pretty quickly. I cannot imagine how anyone ever thought it would be a good idea.
    stupot101 and TCSC47 like this.
  9. TCSC47

    TCSC47 Star commenter

    Sounds dreadful, foxtail. You wonder how these sort of things can arise. How can the adult world so lose contact and memory of a child's world? And they have been through it, one presumes!
  10. neddyfonk

    neddyfonk Lead commenter

    Many adults presume that everyone likes what they like and send cards for every occasion to everyone for no particular reason, extol the virtues of newborn babies, praise the football / rugby team they support and go into raptures over the latest opera / musical event they attended.
    TCSC47 likes this.
  11. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    I'm reminded of the weekly humiliation of team picking in PE. Teacher would choose two jocks to be team captains, then they'd inflict their personal order of preference/approval on the rest of the group until the last of us were left with Tweedledum and Tweedledee the two overweight kids and the wheezy Jeffrey the asthmatic. "Oh I suppose we'd better have you then..." - thanks a bunch you vacuous self-important ****, it's only a bloody game.

    Another occasion was when I was teaching. There was a sudden influx of younger staff one year and they inevitably formed a clique, accompanied by a few older staff who went trailing around after them with metaphorical jump leads to try and recapture their lost youth. On some residential trip or other that a lot of them attended they very stupidly decided to compile a Fantasy League of their colleagues in school. The list and all the ratings were leaked shortly afterwards, and one of the older ones had to fall on his sword and publicly apologise to the rest of us. Grown adults and professionals eh? Pathetic.
    wordsworth and TCSC47 like this.
  12. NewToTeachingOldToMaths

    NewToTeachingOldToMaths Lead commenter

    When I was 11, in 1979, I had my first encounter with that utter abomination - the anonymous valentine card sent by a parent.

    I had never heard of this ... and my mother compounded the sin my encouraging me to try to guess who it might have been from. My thoughts, naturally, turned to the girls in my class (top junior), prompting me to make a complete and utter t*t of myself in trying to reciprocate the affection of a non-existent admirer.

    My mother meant well, I am sure ... but I do wish she had just left well alone, and not meddled in a way that could only end badly for me!
    stupot101, TCSC47 and magic surf bus like this.
  13. TCSC47

    TCSC47 Star commenter

    Ned, MS, and NTTOTM -- my sympathies go out to you!
  14. wordsworth

    wordsworth Senior commenter

    Apropos younger staff in the staffroom, I remember once one young teacher on her mobile to another member of staff, before the school day began. She said 'hurry up, there's no-one here'. I was sitting in the same room :(

    ...and newby, you sound like you are straight out of the 1950s but you are actually younger than me!
    stupot101 likes this.
  15. stupot101

    stupot101 Established commenter

    I often feel like i should have been born in a different decade too!:(
  16. stupot101

    stupot101 Established commenter

    This has happened to me on more than one occasion as well.:(
  17. stupot101

    stupot101 Established commenter

    Around about the same time, I was in my first year at the comprehensive school. Up until that point, knew nothing about Valentines Day either. I certainly don't remember anything about in primary school - certainly not like the fuss made today.
    I was given a 'valentiine card' - with the 'admirers' name written inside. It was meant as a joke (or rather a P**s take) :(
  18. stupot101

    stupot101 Established commenter

    A very good analyses.:)
    The 'powers that be' wanted to turn back the tides of socialism:(
  19. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    A common staff room experience when you're a supply teacher and the only regular staff member present answers the internal phone.
    stupot101 likes this.

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