Monthly Archives: December 2015

Where are you going, where you end up

Photo0947Because of boring reasons I need to cut this year short, so this is my last post before January. To all of you, Happy Holidays of your choice and a Happy New Yearr too.

You know me and books- I just won’t shut up about them. But this one is a bit different. We have a copy of World Ways Geographies: Book 3, The Regions of The World, which is a part of a series of books designed to be handbooks for schoolchildren. Most of the series was published in the middle of the 60’s and our copy was donated in ’75 by the author himself who was our student in 1921-23.
The book itself is what you’d expected for a geography handbook. It contains basic info about different parts of Earth, Asia, Africa, both Americas. It would explain and illustrate how and why we have changing seasons, why we need longitude and latitude and even have activities that would test your newly gained skills with puzzles and crosswords. In short, it is that kind of book that you’d get just before the academic year start and that you’d already finished reading before you had your first classes (I can’t be the only one that did that, right guys?…)
But the thing I found interesting was that there isn’t much about the author- S.B Vickers. All my google-fu skills turned out nothing. So, I decided to do some digging on my own.
S.B is figuring in our registers as Steve Burton Vickers born in Gainsborough 1903. Something interesting must have happened to him after he obtained his teacher’s diploma, because he seemed to land as far from the profession and the fields he studied as he could. Apparently, while at St.John’s Steve didn’t have a single thing in common with geography. His listed subjects include physics, chemistry, Latin, French and woodworking. I am really curious how do you change chisel to a compass?
Maybe it was due to Mr Cooper, the assessor, writing less than glowing reports on his teacher’s practice. He said that Steve was ‘afraid of the class’ , ‘does too much, teaches too little’ and in general lacks ‘fire’ in the way he teaches. But knowing Mr Cooper, he would probably tell Jesus that he is too mild and his lessons are too cryptic:-)
So I’d probably say that Vickers is a case of where you want to go is not necessary where you’d end up. And sometimes it is a good thing.

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