What social studies teachers do with their time

The Gadfly invites your “local color” photos and reflections of this sort

Martha A Larkin is a lifelong learner, linguist, caffeine connoisseur, and country road commuter. She has found her teaching home in a rural community in the northwest corner of the LV that we call Tiger Country. She attended and graduated from Bethlehem schools (K-M.Ed.). Bethlum is where she resides.
Larkin rule 1


Gadfly: While on my morning walk, I noticed the flag at half-mast. I took a moment; it always catches my eye, my thoughts, and sometimes my heart. I had to pause to catch my breath because I wanted to cry, no, scream, no . . . I don’t know. Here I am again at another flag, at a different high school, and in my hometown.

Larkin flag

I haven’t had a flag at my house since the last ceremonious disposal. So, I procured a new US flag. I was hanging it, and my neighbor asked me if it was some sort of protest. I responded, “No. A sign of distress. I don’t know the answers.” He recognized the distress signal from being in the Navy. He agrees, we’re in distress. He’s on his way to get a new flag too.

Larkin Hate

We then spoke with another neighbor.

For me, for this morning, maybe that was the answer, talking to my neighbors.


One thought on “What social studies teachers do with their time

  1. This was written quite a few years ago by a 12-year-old in Maine:

    What the American Flag Stands For

    by Charlotte Aldebron

    The American flag stands for the fact that cloth can be very important. It is against the law to let the flag touch the ground or to leave the flag flying when the weather is bad. The flag has to be treated with respect. You can tell just how important this cloth is because when you compare it to people, it gets much better treatment. Nobody cares if a homeless person touches the ground. A homeless person can lie all over the ground all night long without anyone picking him up, folding him neatly and sheltering him from the rain.

    School children have to pledge loyalty to this piece of cloth every morning. No one has to pledge loyalty to justice and equality and human decency. No one has to promise that people will get a fair wage, or enough food to eat, or affordable medicine, or clean water, or air free of harmful chemicals. But we all have to promise to love a rectangle of red, white, and blue cloth.

    Betsy Ross would be quite surprised to see how successful her creation has become. But Thomas Jefferson would be disappointed to see how little of the flag’s real meaning remains.

    Charlotte Aldebron wrote this essay in 2002, when she was 12,

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