Thursday, March 26, 2009
It's All Elementary
The arrival of Flat Stanley has me reminiscing about my grade school days. Unlike high school, I loved my early years of education. I didn't go to kindergarten and had been away from my mother only a few times that I can remember. On the first day of school she walked me into my first grade class. I was painfully shy anyway and when it became apparent that she was not staying I started crying. Not just some tears, but that open mouth bawling. I wasn't the only one, but my mother took me back home with her. I might have thought I had gotten out of going, but the next morning my grandfather put me on the bus and firmly peeled my clinging hands off of his arms and sternly told me not to cry. I cried the whole way, mouth agape. I don't remember the bus driver; but he had to have had nerves of steel. We were at the beginning of the route and lived a good 30 minutes from the school. I do remember my teacher, Mrs. Lee. Upon delivery of her crying charge she scooped me into her arms and sat down in a rocker and proceeded to read and conduct class all the while holding me. I wasn't the only child to receive this care from her. She managed to make us all feel secure. I met my first friend. Jeannie Loop. I wanted to be her more than anything. We started out trading names. I would be Jeannie and she would be Kathy. Mrs. Lee allowed us to pretend like this. Soon we would swap our sweaters and coats until time to go home. One day we traded dresses in the restroom. The older children in our school had to use the bigger facilities labeled "girls room" and boys room", but the first graders had a restroom in the classroom. Jeannie and I pretended to be each other that entire school term until a day of reckoning came upon us. The restroom was occupied this day, so we decided to do our clothes swap at recess. I guess it never occurred to us that we could go to another restroom, but we went behind the wing that housed our grade and were caught disrobing by another teacher! She told us we were in trouble and I think she was going to take us to the dreaded Principal's office, but Mrs. Lee intervened and we were never punished. We did cease our clothes swapping activities, though. Geez, I wonder what ever happened to Jeannie Loop. Hmm, bet we aren't the same size anymore.