Mon 16 Dec, 2002 08:48 pm
Some of you may have seen this before. A2K is a good place for it to be reborn.
29th Street Gradeschool was a large white rectangular wooden building. Each classroom opened into the same space, which resembled a football field or military drill area. Here, we attended assemblies; by the way, there were no seats, just oily wooden boards. Also, each classroom had an outside door which opened to an eight by six-foot concrete porch. Every morning we received a bottle of milk, most of us got chocolate. I was thrilled if I was chosen to punch the aluminum top of the clear glass bottles.
My favorite teacher was Mrs. Hopkins. I vaguely remember this figure dressed in matching coat and skirt, which emitted a warm comfortable aura. We didn't get to spend much time with her; she was in an accident where her body was thrown out of the car and struck the street headfirst.
Christmas was an exciting time. All the classes would gather in the large enclosed space; familiar songs were sung and a bag of candy was given to each student. I remember the songs the most; there was an uplifting feeling, an excitement that stayed with me all my life, even today.
Then there was Rosemary in the first grade, bless her heart. She and some other students were working at the chalkboard when she raised her hand. She informed the teacher of the urgency to go to the bathroom; no, was the answer. A few minutes later, a pool of urine appeared on the oil coated floors; then it silently glided from Rosemary's feet to a lower point of the room.
What do you remember about your first years in school?
I remember fifth grade because my teacher gave me a bobbi pin one day. Seems she couldn't stand the fact that my hair kept flopping in my eyes (I liked it that way).
We lived in converted barracks on the beach of the Gulf of Arabia in Ras Tanura, this was in the late 40's and school consists of 4 rooms, the gound was nothing but sand covered with tar from the oil refinery and with the heat of usually around 120 you dare not walk over it least being burned. the other kids are from everywhere in the world you can think of Pakistan, India, China, Greece, Italy, Egypt and as many languages, but its all i have ever known and assume thats the way life is everywhere.i am six years old and i will not learn about concepts like racism and bigotry for many years yet. i had not yet learned to hate or judge. it was a good time.
and the best part was the kid that was next to me in school was from Hungary and i thought that was SOOOOOO funny to be from Hungary so i called him Thirsty. (it was my early attempt at a pun)
I spent much of the sixth grade at Airpoint, a one room school near Milpedas, CA. I have not thought of Milpedas in so long I bet I spelled it wrong. Before my family moved in, there were twelve students, ranging from the first to eighth grades. The Blythes caused enrollment to swell to seventeen. The principal/teacher did well to keep us engaged and making our grades. There was a kid named Barry who picked on one of my brothers. Barry was twice his size. So, when I saw him shove my brother I ran over and pushed him back. Then we squared off. That was when the teacher came out and seperated us. "If you want to fight, I'll let you do it. Try on these boxing gloves." He brought us into the classroom and put us in an area designated "the ring". We boxed, with me, the light skinny one, slipping past his gloves and peppering his face. Twice he rushed me and bulled me across the ring. In the end, I may have had the slight edge, but I am told we boxers always think that way. That was one of only two incidents of fighting another human being outside of my immediate family in 60 years.
On graduation day we put on a performance for our parents. The same brother I had defended and I put on clown makeup and pretended to be boxing. The big climax, where one of us threw a bucket's worth of confetti that was to miss and go into the audience, went haywire. Whichever one it was let go of the bucket also. It hit my Mom's foot. She sort of smiled and I never did know if it hurt her.
Because we moved around so much, we did not ever return to the school after that.
My hometown had only two schools and two first grades.
My first grade teacher in the Gifford school, was Mrs. Murphy.
One of my classmates was her son Richard. Richard and his mother and the rest of their family lived in the neighborhood served by the other school, ie. the Littlefield school. Nevertheless, he was allowed to attend the Gifford school and be in his mother's class.
Richard's mother insisted that her son call her, "Mrs. Murphy".
but, every once in awhile when she would scold him for some infraction or another, he would grumble or whine "...Aw Ma!"
and she would then scold him about that: "Richard! In school
I am Mrs Murphy!"
The rest of us thought it was pretty funny.
When I was in second grade, I was brought to the school psychologist several times because I wasn't paying attention. Turns out they weren't challenging me, so they had me do math and reading to try to figure out what my grade levels really were. I remember having to read parts of Pinnochio and pronouncing the ch like in cheese until the psychologist corrected me.
My parents were informed, of course, and they were asked about skipping me to the third grade. They felt that was a grand idea (the school was progressive, and known for doing this) and I was asked whether I wanted to skip before or after the first of the year. I was seven years old but I knew my own mind, for I said "After" pretty quickly and unequivocally. The adults asked why, and I informed them that I simply couldn't miss the second grade holiday party.
So I was a party animal even then. :-D