TEACHER: "What does B.C. stand for?"

SCHOLAR: "Before...
See more details below

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
BN.com price




TEACHER: "What does B.C. stand for?"

SCHOLAR: "Before Christ!"

TEACHER: "Good! Now what does B.A. stand for?"

SCHOLAR: "Before Adam!"

It is not to be denied that the life of the schoolmaster is always exacting, usually tedious, and occasionally irritating. It is not to be denied that long-enduring patience, untiring perseverance, and philosophical resignation are only the first three of the many qualities essential to success. But still the drudgery of teaching has its compensations. And they are the more acceptable because of their rare charm. There, in the schoolmaster's keeping, is the youthful mind. What may he not do with it? What forgetfulness of the dreary round of toil the very contemplation of the situation compels! And when his task is achieved, and the finished product of his labour has passed out into the world, with what quiet and ineffable satisfaction the schoolmaster reflects upon the part he played in the making of men. In the days of my schoolmastering I fell into this mood always—gently carried thence by some beneficent ministering angel—when wearied and worried at the close of the long day's toil; and in that mood was more balm than in many sedatives and more sereneness than in much repose. This is the schoolmaster's first great compensation.

But there is that other. There is the agreeable amazement that the working of the fresh child-mind is always provoking. And in this the schoolmaster is regularly furnished with food for pleasant reflection and for engaging conjecture day by day throughout the whole of his pedagogic career. "Child-study" and "Psychology" have in recent times taken severely scientific shape, and have fallen under the ægis of Government Departments and into Government Syllabuses. Good! But the least observant and the least interested of all the schoolmasters of the land, long before the Board of Education ever added "Child-study" to its quaint if not exactly terrifying terminology, have never failed to arrive empirically at certain broad conclusions with regard to the child-mind which have been reached by practical and altogether delightful daily experiences. Heaven forbid that I should unduly weary the reader with disquisitions on these conclusions. But, at any rate, I may acceptably rehearse some of the experiences.

Now I admit at once that very many of the artlessly amusing things which are alleged to have been uttered by that prime unconscious humorist, the schoolboy, are quite apocryphal. They have been ingeniously excogitated by their unabashed and artful elders for the purpose of creating a laugh. They used to say that quill pens survived in the office of the Board of Education in order that the Inspectors and other officials, in the operation of persistently trimming them, might never be without something to do. That is absurd. There is always the profitable preoccupation of manufacturing funny puerile answers to inspectorial hypothetical questions. Why not? The proceeding is innocent enough. But it does tend to make one incredulous. For example, I was once told that a London Board School child defined "a lie" as "an abomination in the sight of the Lord, but a very present help in time of trouble." It is possible, remotely possible. But it is extremely unlikely. Then when I am told that a youngster described "the liver" as "an infernal organ," I see visions of a not fully-occupied civil servant suffering acutely from an attack of chronic indigestion which has put him badly off his drive. So, too, when I am told that a Bristol youngster once wrote, "The bowels are five in number, namely a, e, i, o and u," like the Scotsman, "I hae ma doots!" Then there is the classic answer to the question: "What proof have we from the Bible that it is not lawful to have more than one wife"—"Because it says no man can serve two masters!" No child ever said that. And belonging to the same category is the following. The teacher asked: "If one man walking at the rate of three miles an hour gets half an hour's start of another man walking at the rate of four miles an hour, when will the second man overtake the first?" The allegation is that the small boy replied: "Please, sir, at the first public-house!" But I know that small boy. He is a wag, it is true; but he doesn't wear knickerbockers.

So far as possible, therefore, I will endeavour to reject the apocryphal in favour of the authentic, giving the former the benefit of the doubt, of course, if on its merits the humour of the anecdote seems to condone the illegitimacy of its origin.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940015067309
  • Publisher: OGB
  • Publication date: 8/29/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 431 KB

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)