Though the origin of Dunce Day is illusive, it seems to recognize Scotus of Duns, a scholar who lived in Scotland during the dark ages. He died November 8th, 1308, hence the fixed date for this holiday.
Duns has the dubious honor of being the creator of dunce caps. This medieval scholar was convinced cone shaped hats increased a student's learning potential. He believed wisdom and knowledge, floating invisibly in the air, would enter the tip of the hat to flow downward onto the head of the wearer, making that person smarter.
Of course, becoming more intelligent from wearing a pointy hat is impossible, so the perception of the cap as a way to acquire wisdom, eventually came to mean that the person wearing it was actually--well, a dunce!
In times past, teachers would make a miss-behaving student sit at the front of the classroom room wearing a dunce cap. Wearing such a hat became a punishment. Dunce caps became a tool to motivate students to work harder in order to be rid of the hat. Thank goodness, teachers don't make children wear dunce caps any longer.
So--Happy Dunce Day and a lovely Postcard Friendship Friday!
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