Write Again . . . It’s just how it is

Published 3:13 pm Monday, January 2, 2017

Well, now. I was checking out of the clinic back in December following a wellness visit, and the young woman was setting up my next appointment.

This process went something like this: “Let’s see. How about June 6?”

“Fine with me,” I said. “I’m not meeting with the President that day.”

No smile. Okay.

“Would you prefer morning or afternoon?”

“It doesn’t really matter. Morning will be fine, though.”

“Let’s schedule it for June 6 at 10:30 in the morning.”

“That’s fine. June 6. Do you know the significance of that date?”

Blank face. No recognition.

“D Day. You know, D Day, the 6th of June.”

Blank face.

“The invasion of Normandy. The largest land and sea military action in the history of the world.”

Blank face.

“Do you know when World War II took place?”

“No. I’m not good at history. I didn’t like it in school.” (Why am I not surprised?)

I sensed her office associates listening to our exchange.

“Do you know when World War I took place?”


“Do you know when the Korean War occurred?”


Then I said something like “I’ll bet you could name some popular rock bands.”

“I probably could.”

“Thanks for setting up my next appointment. I’ll see you June 6th, if not before. Have a good Christmas.”

“You too.”

Now. You probably think I’m going to go off on some lament about history illiteracy, or such. About how schools aren’t really doing a good job and so forth.

Well, no. I’m not. I’m now too far removed from the school experience to have an informed, valid perspective.

Or, you may think that I think this clerical employee isn’t too sharp.

Not so. I know better. I’m sure she can easily eclipse my meager computer skills. And I suspect there are many other areas in which her knowledge, capabilities, far exceed mine.

I also suspect, know, that she isn’t by herself in her lack of knowledge as regards our country’s history, much less the world’s.

And, if any of those with such a paucity of both knowledge and understanding of such history really worry about this I would be surprised.

That, friends, is simply the way it is.

APROPOS — “We can chart our future clearly and wisely only when we know the path which has led to the present.”

— Adlai Stevenson