Monday, April 9, 2012

School Days--Lola

School Days is a reoccurring feature in which I ask people about their early memories of school. Everyone has a story to tell about this and I hope to give them a voice here. 

Here is Today's Story

Lola started school during the mid-1970's in first grade at age seven. She went to a public school in the small town of Markelsheim, Germany.

Lola's school in Markelsheim, Germany

Tell me about starting school or an early school memory.
My elementary school was situated on top of a hill. The school part used to be a cloister from 1250-1408. One of the buildings was used for classrooms and one was used for sports. There was a large bell tower inbetween and the old church was next to us.
You were at a public school even though your school was part of a church complex? 
Yes. We went to the church
for special occasions and sometimes for classes as a whole class (like before first communion, etc.) We were taught religion in school. It belonged to a regular class schedule until age 14.

When did you start school? 
In Germany you start kindergarten as soon as you get old enough that you don't wet your pants. There was a morning session and an afternoon session of kindergarten. I never liked the afternoon session. Formal school starts with grade one when you are about 7. 
Schultuete  are often 2'-3' long.

I remember that on my first day of school, I was excited because I knew that I would get a schultuete (school bag) as a surprise. A schultuete is a large, cone-shaped colorful bag. It is filled with school supplies such as paper and pencils and candy. Mine was metallic blue. They also had one at school with a hedgehog on it that they took everyone's picture with. 
Herr Braun was the director of the school and was really mean. We tried to avoid him. One day when we were learning macrame with our really old craft teacher, she let us go into the hallway to hang our pieces on the coat hooks so we could work on them. As soon as we got out of the classroom, we ran all over the school. We tiptoed past Herr Braun's office so he wouldn't hear us.

Another time Herr Braun was filling in for the music teacher. We were supposed to memorize a song perfectly and he was testing us on it. Several of the girls, including me, and several of the boys had not memorized it. He made us all stand. However the girls only had to stand beside their chair, but the boys had to go to the front of the class. Herr Braun was yelling very loudly and a lot. He made one of the boys bend over the table and he took a yardstick and slammed it very loudly on the table next to the boy. That scared all of us. He didn't hit the boy because he wasn't allowed to. I am sure he wanted to very much though.

I have lots more memories for another time. 

Note: Lola grew up to be a glass lampwork artist. See some of her things at Color Ignited.