School Days, School Days
With school back in session, I notice a number of my Facebook friends posting pictures of their grand kids heading off to school once again. It's only been in the last few years that I've realized that I really really enjoyed my few years in a two room country school. I seem to remember so much. In kindergarten I have two vivid memories. One was that I'd pick up everything off the playground and stuff it in my pockets. I'd waddle off the bus like a blue ribbon hog at the fair. Rocks, pieces of glass, bottle caps, gum wrappers, you name it, I'd stuff it in my pants pockets and bring it home. Why? Beats me. One day in particular I remember, that was the day Billy was absent and Mrs.Wilson caught me pulling the fibers out of his nap rug and shoving them in my mouth. I explained to her that I always did that . I was chewing gum!! She made me stop. I suppose these days I'd be labeled "hyperactive" Back then it was "nervous and naughty"
On to first grade.. Wagon Landing... 6 grades in two rooms. My class was the biggest ever with 17..The first day of school I told my friend Randy that if he went to the back of the room and waved his hands and screamed the teacher would like him. Poor Randy.. he did as I told him and wound up in the corner .We did things that certainly wouldn't be allowed today. The school was surrounded by pasture with a sheep net fence. Good!! Just perfect for weaving in tall grass and making a fort. The girls would be the slave girls and gather the grass from the ditch and bring it to the Masters(the boys) and we'd make our grass forts. I remember my friend Randy even hauled two feed sacks full of weeds onto the bus when the ditch grass at school was running low. Later, we'd put jump ropes around the girls waists and run after them as the girls were now our horses. Once a month a student would have to give up his noon recess and help Mrs. Moe wash the dishes.. That wasn't any fun. However, it seemed I was being punished at least one recess a week anyway.. The punishment would consist of spending the recess with your head on the desk or the teacher would draw a circle in the chalkboard and you'd have to stand on your tiptoes with your nose in the circle for the entire recess time. I talked and ran around a lot. One time though, I was unjustly punished. Patty had an accident and the teacher took her downstairs to clean her up. When the teacher returned, she demanded "who laughed"? No one had said Boo. Then good friend Wayne points at me and said, "Loren did". What? I didn't say anything. I got the ultimate punishment. Nothing was lower, nothing was worse. I was banished for the rest of the school day to the GIRLS hallway. And the girls would laugh and make fun of me when they dressed for recess..To be forced to sit in the hall of the opposite sex was the worst it could get(at least when you're in first grade)
A date I'll always remember... Mrs Sine comes in from the upper room and announces that President Kennedy had been shot. All of us lower graders got to go into the upper room and watch on the black and white TV. I thought that was really something, watching TV at school..
The old country school had burned many years before and the newer one was a bit further north.... so one wet spring day I found a bonanza!!!! The old chemical toilet hole from the prior school. The rain had made a dip in the ground and I began digging out the old toilet hole. I got in there pretty deep and then the teacher came out... Back to the nose in the chalkboard thing. I should explain that the old toilets were actually deep holes inside the school and chemicals were put in the holes..Looking back that was pretty gross, digging out a toilet hole!! Hey, I was a first grader. The buses provided many stories as well. I remember rough housing with my best friend Lonnie Stensvold when my boot buckle got stuck in his nostril. He began to bleed and boy did he get mad at me. It was just an accident! After 4th grade it was time to shut down the country schools and go to the big city of 2,000. The parents of the students said they didn't want to give anymore of their school money to the city than they had to, so they threw a party to mark the closing of the school. I drank 7 bottles of pop. That wasn't much compared to Frankie Smith who downed 15. The rest of my school days in the bigger city school were fine but it didn't compare with the fun of going to a country school.