I so enjoyed Delinda Korrey’s article (8-21-18) titled School is Cool. Her recollections of loving all aspects of school, plus me sending one granddaughter off to her first year of college and watching two grandsons start kindergarten and preschool, conjured up my own memories.
My kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Schmidt, after an class art project, said, “You are a very good cutter!” I don’t know why I remember that moment, but I know I sat a little straighter.
In the fourth grade, my oldest sister went to college and I cried hysterically. In my concrete mind, I thought I would never see her again. From our shared room she packed all her things and left. I thought she died.
In the fifth grade, the band instructor sent a note home to my mother stating, “I don’t think Jennifer will ever be a clarinet player.” (All my older sisters played the clarinet.) I felt inadequate, but deep down, I was relieved, because I didn’t like playing the reeded instrument.
In the sixth grade, Marlene held hands with Stanley on the playground. In the seventh grade, Mrs Jackson bragged about my embroidered peacock pillow cases, and Mrs. Foree, the math teacher, twisted my ear and hit my hand with the edge of a ruler. Ouch! I don’t remember what I did to displease her.
I blame the classroom setup for my adult incompetence in reading maps. If the top of the map was north, why wasn’t the front of my desk facing the north windows? In the classroom, east was north, north was west, west was south, etc. How’s a kid to comprehend?
High school was a social event. I paid attention to people; who said what, when, and why. Memories are full of positive accolades – none of which are academic. School was fun.
My freshman year of college was a vertical learning curve about life, family, true friends, and discrepancies in social class.
Interviewing women for my dissertation who had only sisters and no brothers is the strongest memory of my Doctoral degree. They all lived in northeast Colorado and their stories remain with me today. I also remember my computer crashing along with all my files. It made me appreciate those before me who didn’t have a computer, and typed their research on a typewriter.
Yes, school is cool! My memories, although varied from Delinda’s, contributed a large part to who I am today.
Good and bad, how did school help mold YOU?
Until the next time: Live while you live.
Jennifer Goble, Ph.D., LPC, is the author of “My Clients…My Teachers,” and the blogger and writer of Rural Women Stories: www.ruralwomenstories.com.
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