Victor Rivero's

Archive for the ‘Old School’ Category

Old School: McGuffey’s Reader

In Old School on December 3, 2009 at 11:08 am

THE BEST KNOWN SCHOOL BOOK in the history of American education? Ask someone under 20 this question, and if they’re clever, they might say “The Dictionary!” or perhaps, “The Bible!”  They wouldn’t be too far off. An estimated 120 million copies of McGuffey’s Readers sold between 1836 and 1960. Interestingly, William Holmes McGuffey (1800-1873), a Scottish immigrant to the United States, was already a teacher by the age of 14. The series consisted of stories, poems, essays and speeches. The first reader taught by way of phonics techniques. Their value isn’t entirely lost on new generations; they’ve still sold about 30,000 in reprints each year since, and if you really want to mix old school with new, for $2.99, check out McGuffey’s First Eclectic Reader, Revised Edition (Kindle Edition). Or, for the old-fashioned types out there,  Get The Actual Book


Old School: IBM Selectric III

In Old School on November 30, 2009 at 7:48 pm

WOW. DOES THIS BRING BACK memories! Hear the machine-gun key power at your fingertips. Feel the letter-like imprints on the backside of your paper. See the sleek new design of the casing. The 1980s were about the last time that anyone really got their fingers inky while writing a term paper. Featuring a 96-character typeball (now that was high tech!), this was the last hurrah of a bygone age of screenless wordprocessing–where you could still get under the hood of your machine and check out the parts. Kinda like looking over the insides of a Pontiac Trans Am. Do you really want to hear more?

Old School: Slide Rule

In Old School on November 26, 2009 at 6:11 pm

DEVELOPED IN THE 1600s, it was still the coolest calculation tool in the classroom way up until about 1974 when the scientific calculator made it largely obsolete. Before scientific calculators, students apparently had a greater conceptual understanding of mathematical operations. Many of you reading this right now might be cautious to comment here on any personal experiences with this implement lest you reveal your true age. $15 (1960s prices). Website