Sunday, June 5, 2011

School Days

These pictures of Dad and Mom on Mickey and Eric's living room wall were taken in the Summer of 1943.
That was the summer before I started school at Chenango Forks. Miss Ginsberg was my first grade teacher. I wrote with my left hand and with my right hand. She told me to use the hand which was easiest. So I'm a lefty.
The next year Charlotte Kenyon was my teacher. She just mumbled under her breath and allowed me to write with my left hand. My friend Bertha Leonard wasn't so lucky. The other second grade teacher Mrs. Kinney made her switch to using her right hand.
Second grade opened up the wonderful world of reading to me. Thank you, Mrs. Kenyon.
Mrs. Kenyon had two rows of second graders and the rest of the large room was third grade. It was interesting to hear her scold a boy in third grade because he declared he would have no use for arithmetic after he left school. He told her he would become a ditch digger. She stopped him in his tracks by asking "How will you know how much money you will make if you can't do sums?" It was fun to listen to the third graders' recite. I think I learned a lot from being in that room.
Mrs. Kenyon was also my third grade teacher. We didn't have any second graders with us that year.
In fourth grade Mrs. Sparks was the teacher. We loved recess that spring. We went down to the far end of the playground and picked violets in the small trees along the riverbank. Then when the weather got warmer we decided to wade in the river. That came to a screeching stop when an older girl who had been held back several times pushed Bert and me in the river. We went back to class wet to the waist. After that we were strictly forbidden to go to that end of the playground.
I remember the other students pointing at the water puddles on the floor under us that day. They had the nerve to insinuate that we wet our pants.
I hurried off the bus that afternoon, changed out of my school dress and shoved it in the bottom of the hamper so Mom wouldn't see it. She never knew about this until I was an adult.
Mrs. Sparks became the librarian at the Mary Wilcox Library in Whitney Point after she retired. She later moved to Connecticut with her son and started oil painting. A schoolhouse scene hung in the library. It was of her first school, King Street School in Barker.


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