One purpose of education should be to instill a sense of humor in the individual.
Many successful individuals attribute their rise in the world partly to their ability to see things through rose-splattered glasses - to put troubles into proper perspective as part of the process of living.The best teachers I've watched in action have a strong sense of fun. They laugh with their students and help them to see the humor in situations and in people as they interact. A light touch can take the sting out of discipline and brighten the task at hand.
We all need a humor-fix now and again. So - right up front - here it comes: a just-for-fun column of educational bloopers compiled by Richard Lederer and repeated in Verbatim, the Language Quarterly. It's a history as written by children who thought they knew whereof they spake:
"The inhabitants of ancient Egypt were called mummies. They lived in the Sarah Dessert and traveled by Camelot. The climate of the Sarah is such that the inhabitants have to live elsewhere, so certain areas of the dessert are cultivated by irritation.
"The Bible is full of interesting caricatures. In the first book of the Bible - Guinesses - Adam and Eve were created from an apple tree.
"David was a Hebrew king skilled at playing the liar. He fought with the Philatelists, a race of people who lived in biblical times. Solomon, one of David's sons, had 500 wives and 500 porcupines.
"Without the Greeks, we wouldn't have history. The Greeks invented three kinds of columns - Corinthian, Doric and Ironic. They also had myths. A myth is a female moth. One myth says that the mother of Achilles dipped him in the River Stynx and he became intollerable.
"Eventually, the Ramons conquered the Geeks. History calls people Roman because they never stayed in one place for long. Julius Caesar extinguished himself on the battlefields of Gaul. The Ides of March murdered him because they thought he was going to be made king. Nero was a cruel tyranny who would torture his poor subjects by playing the fiddle to them.
"Then came the Middle Ages. King Alfred conquered the Dames, King Arthur lived in the Age of Shivery, King Harold mustarded his troops before the Battle of Hastings, Joan of Arc was cannonized by Bernard Shaw and victims of the Black Death grew boobs on their necks. Finally, Magna Carta provided that no free man should be hanged twice for the same offense.
"The government of England was a limited mockery. Henry VIII found walking difficult because he had an abbess on his knee. Queen Elizabeth was the Virgin Queen. As a queen, she was a success. When Elizabeth exposed herself before her troops, they all shouted `Hurrah.' Then her navy went out and defeated the Spanish Armadillo.
"Later, the Pilgrims crossed the ocean and this was known as Pilgrim's Progress. When they landed at Plymouth Rock, they were greeted by the Indians, who came down the hill rolling their war hoops before them.
"Abraham Lincoln became America's greatest Precedent. Lincoln's mother died in infancy and he was born in a log cabin which he built with his own hands. When Lincoln was president, he wore only a tall silk hat."
And so on. Now, don't you feel better? I do.