I started reminiscing about my early school years yesterday. Recess was not a structured activity and we pretty much allowed to do what ever we wanted to amuse our selves while one poor teacher was assigned recess duty. That had to be the loneliest assignment. This was back in the day of no cell phones, so that in the event of an injury another student would be dispatched to the teachers lounge for additional help.
The teachers lounge. Now that was a magical place that we all speculated about. Rumor had it that there was actually a "coke machine" in there. On those rare occasions that we would "just happen" to be nearby waiting to see the door open (hoping for a glimpse inside) a cloud of cigarette smoke would puff out. This lounge had air conditioning! Those lucky teachers were in there enjoying a tall bottle of ice cold coke and a cigarette in the artificially cool air. The principle's office was also air conditioned. The class rooms were like ovens and we weren't allowed to wear shorts to school in those days. Dresses and skirts, no pants.
Recess in hot weather would be spent in any spot of shade we could find. This was South Georgia with 90% humidity and tons of pine trees. the swing sets were in partial shade, but hard to grab a swing unless you were the first one out the door when the bell rang. The girls would usually gravitate towards the trees. We would gather pine straw and use it to "build " a house by marking the boundaries with the straw. We would get very elaborate, adding more "rooms" while imagining our future families. We would name our children to be and assign them bedrooms, marking the placement of the imaginary furniture. It sounds so primitive even as I write this. Those were times of great contentment to me. No stress other than completing the assigned classwork, or maybe having a tooth come out and worrying that I would lose it before I got home to place it under my pillow for the nickle or dime that would magically appear the next morning. I enjoyed the structure and the repetition involved in the process of learning math facts and grammar rules, so that the class work was not something that seemed like work to me.
Today, it would seem that everything is rushed. Hurry to finish one task to move on to the next. Toys leave little to the imagination. Really, you can hardly call them toys. I can't even operate some of them. Whatever happened to plain old board games? I would drag out the monopoly game as a child and play by myself if I couldn't convince my sister to play with me. She always said I was different. I don't think she meant it as a compliment, but I am glad that I can entertain myself with very little. Does this make me simple? Maybe........