Within the icy clinic of his mind a tiny spark endures,
Encompassed by a wall of puerile trash.
He sees a child-and to his clinic comes a view envisioned by the wall.
The wall:So thickly cluttered with the garbage
Of a thousand empty verbal cans that jangle in his brain.
And round this pile the vile stench of jargon permeates and cloys.
The spark flickers, but still breathes.
The wall responds-and from this mess erupts the plaintive babble:
Evaluate, structure, socialize, ready, organize, label-and pass on.
The precious spark glows wanly in the gloom.
Louder now the cacophony of verbalism in his sterile world
Drowns out the faint sound of the pure breath of air.
He sees another child.-The spark quickens to evoke the paralyzing evolution of a thought.
But through the clanging fetid hole no fruit is born.
Once more the wall responds and does its hollow job.
The label pinned-the spark goes out.
The garbage heap will rot for years to come
And to this steaming pile will children come to learn.
Written by my father George Hartford in 1956 when he attended a post-secondary course on special education in Syracuse New York. My dad hated educational jargon throughout his 38 year long career as high school math and physics teacher, special ed teacher, school and central office administrator.