It's As Easy as "Washington and Jefferson made many a joke" Monologue
|It's As Easy as "Washington and Jefferson made many a joke" by Beth Blair|
|Character:||Harriet, the history buff|
|Age (range):||50 - 60|
Background: Harriet, a product of "old school" memorization (and mind tricks to aid memorization of history facts), now gets a lot of her news from Yahoo, and she is appalled to read about a current alleged lack of knowledge afoot in our country. Harriet, recalling her education, thinks she has an answer --that if widely known-- could fill this particular ignorance gap.
Harriet: It's As Easy as "Washington and Jefferson made many a joke"
Well, this is embarrassing---on top of not knowing the difference between Iraq and Iran, Yahoo! News informs America today that only seven percent of us can name the first four presidents of our country. Oh, sure, most of us can cite George Washington, but we are stumped on the three that follow him. And, I'm guessing the numbers get much worse if you push the respondents to name more than the first four.
Yahoo! News probably just didn't have the stomach to do that. The ignorance is even more glaring when you realize we have a whole political party that specializes in celebrating our revolutionary roots, The Tea Party. Trust me, our first four presidents were very familiar with all that rabble rousing so the Tea Partiers should know about them. Aren't more than seven percent of the country proud card carrying members of this party? It sure sounds like it sometimes.
What makes this situation even worse is that this problem could be so easily solved. All we need are some of the elementary teachers I used to have. They specialized in fear tactics, wore unstylish black shoes, and taught us silly jingles to master all difficult memorization problems.
One of the jingles I learned as a fourth grader from one of these teachers addresses this embarrassing lack of presidential knowledge Yahoo! News exposed today. Just repeat it after me and then tell ten friends on Facebook. The first letter of the first seven presidents' last names is found in the first seven words of the jingle: Washington And Jefferson Made Many A Joke. If I also have to translate the jingle for you into Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Adams, and Jackson---the country's in real trouble!
Published with permission from Beth Blair.