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Zach Donovan


Mrs. Hejl

15 September 2010

1. Education in colonial America was instituted for slightly different reasons than it is
today. Educational systems were first instigated in the colonies to enhance religious study
as well as to provide economic prosperity. Much like schools of today’s standards, most
towns in the new colonies strived to provide an educational institution for the children of
their community, but the content taught in schools often varied depending on one’s social
class. Upper-class citizens were permitted to step outside the basic subjects and branched
out to study things like Latin or Greek as college preparation in schools called grammar
schools. While the upper class citizens spent their days learning the Greek alphabet and
trying to decipher their favorite bible verses from Latin to English, the less fortunate
people of society were limited to learning how to read, write, work with numbers, and
understand their religion. Teachers had limited authority in the colonies because of their
education, seeing as teachers were the only well-educated adults in their society. Many
schools were selective to people only of their religion, but decided to be more tolerant of
different religions. Schools were usually limited to the education of white males, leaving
most African-Americans completely uneducated and women to attend Dame Schools
where they learned how to take care of her house and be a perfect house wife. As social
views on gender, race, and religious tolerance began to change, they drastically morphed
the limitations of education into what society has become all too familiar with.

2. Benjamin Franklin cared about the appearance of his behavior for very logical reasons.
Franklin was a fairly successful business-owner after opening his own printing house, but
on the contrary, he found himself tremendously in debt. Franklin explains, “In order to
secure my credit and character…I took care not only to be in reality industrious and
frugal, but to avoid all appearances to the contrary.” As a businessman, one would not
have a serious customer if the businessman appeared to be a lazy bum who does not care
what he does with your money after you support his business.

3. As most small-business owners do, Ben Franklin had sometime where he was not sure
what he was doing and encountered hardships. The most common of these comes in the
form of monies owed. This unfortunately can tear down the walls supporting the new
business. Another tough factor to Franklin’s businesses is the fact that books and
newspaper fall into the category of entertainment items which in the case of an economic
crisis could be considered unnecessary by some people.

4. Franklin’s notebook, although a reprint, offers a little sneak peek into his mind. From his
small chart of virtues, one can determine that Franklin was an organized thinker and held
his attitude towards others and towards life in highest regards. From the actual journals,
one learns that Franklin’s level of thinking was slightly more advanced, seeing as he can
find light in completely normal situations and can extract meaning, value, and virtue. He
was a down-to-earth man who saw any form of entertainment other than reading to be a
waste of funds. Although, he is not still living today to pass on his great wisdom, his
journals sure expose some interesting bits of information about this sage.

5. Franklin’s proverbs could most likely be considered timeless. So many of them relate to
everyday situations. For example, “Ill customs and bad advice are seldom forgotten.”
Notice how it does not say, “Ill customs and bad advice of the eighteenth century only are
seldom forgotten. “He that can compose himself is wiser than he that composes books.”
Neither of these demand to be destroyed at the end of the “time.” They all provide insight
and encourage hard work and pleasant interactions between people and none of the
situations are/can be outdated. Ben Franklin, although dealing with large amounts of
money problems, can still find time and effort to take his day and turn it into a brief
glimpse of hope for a complete stranger that could stay with them forever.