More sign fun, and some Do Not Disturb variations

We've had our share of sign fun on this site, and we're still riding Ransom's recent sign post wave, so why not more? Signs of the most popular genus: "For Sale"; "Help Wanted"; "Beware of Dog" are, naturally, a dime a dozen, and we've all used them or can at least concede their usefulness. Then there are the weird signs, as mentioned by Higgins, rarer signs, the collectibles. My friend just got the best gift--a packet of vintage signs his mother-in-law picked up at a yard sale. They were bleached from sitting in the backseat of someone's '72 Shelby, the owner of which fortunately never found himself in a situation that merited an insert in the windshield such as "send POLICE" and "need PUSH."

The latter might be kind of cute, the former more foreboding; anyone who heeds a "send POLICE" sign is likely to find a rather marinated disaster, no?

My favorite mechanic always gives me a giant billfold that doubles as an all-caps, 24-pt SEND HELP insert. It's so fetching that I usually just leave it around the house for guests to stumble upon. SEND HELP. How disconcerting but so wonderfully straightforward? I know someone else who leaves one of these signs on her prayer alter, which seems apt.
And then there are the "Do Not Disturb" signs, which will either (if you're staying at the Sea World Holiday Inn Express--holla!) be completely ignored, or, sure, curt and effective. Though hopefully not disturbing. There has been a fair amount of silliness in the pursuit of spicing up "Do Not Disturb" signs, with results like:

  • "I'm Hittin' the Hay"--a Marriott in Louisville, KY
  • "Grrrr. Caution, you are entering the temporary habitat of a very special creature"--Kimpton Hotels of Chicago
  • "You Keep Knockin' But You Can't Come In." Little Richard-inspired; House of Blues in Chicago
  • "There's a Good Reason for You NOT to Knock Right Now"--Embassy Suites, who also ran their own DND sign contest; winners announced next month

So do you have a weird sign story, or have a sign you think should be in syndication? Or maybe you'd like to scoop the Embassy Suites contest results and tell us what you think the best Do Not Disturb sign should be...

College Board Wants to Erase Thousands of Years From AP World History, and Teachers Aren't Happy

One would be forgiven for thinking that the Ides of March are upon us, because Julius Caesar is being taken out once again—this time from the Advanced Placement World History exam. The College Board in charge of the AP program is planning to remove the Roman leader, and every other historical figure who lived and died prior to 1450, from high school students’ tests, The New York Times reports.

The nonprofit board recently announced that it would revise the test, beginning in 2019, to make it more manageable for teachers and students alike. The current exam covers over 10,000 years of world history, and according to the board, “no other AP course requires such an expanse of content to be covered over a single school year.”

As an alternative, the board suggested that schools offer two separate year-long courses to cover the entirety of world history, including a Pre-AP World History and Geography class focusing on the Ancient Period (before 600 BCE) up through the Postclassical Period (ending around 1450). However, as Politico points out, a pre-course for which the College Board would charge a fee "isn’t likely to be picked up by cash-strapped public schools," and high school students wouldn't be as inclined to take the pre-AP course since there would be no exam or college credit for it.

Many teachers and historians are pushing back against the proposed changes and asking the board to leave the course untouched. Much of the controversy surrounds the 1450 start date and the fact that no pre-colonial history would be tested.

“They couldn’t have picked a more Eurocentric date,” Merry E. Wiesner-Hanks, who previously helped develop AP History exams and courses, told The New York Times. “If you start in 1450, the first thing you’ll talk about in terms of Africa is the slave trade. The first thing you’ll talk about in terms of the Americas is people dying from smallpox and other things. It’s not a start date that encourages looking at the agency and creativity of people outside Europe.”

A group of teachers who attended an AP open forum in Salt Lake City also protested the changes. One Michigan educator, Tyler George, told Politico, “Students need to understand that there was a beautiful, vast, and engaging world before Europeans ‘discovered’ it.”

The board is now reportedly reconsidering its decision and may push the start date of the course back some several hundred years. Their decision will be announced in July.

[h/t The New York Times]

North America: East or West Coast?


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