Monday, April 30, 2012

School Days--Wendy

 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

Wendy started school at age 4 ½ in the mid 1940's in a small town 30 miles outside of London. 

Tell me about starting school or an early school memory.

The school I started in was around the corner from where my parents had a pub. It was in a poorer part of town and somewhat rough. When I was in first grade, I got a twin doll carriage for Christmas. A twin carriage was quite special. One day in first grade, I took it to school on toy day with my baby dolls and the other girls were jealous. They wanted it, and a fight ensued. When I went home with my hair literally pulled out from the other girls fighting for my carriage, my mother said that I was not going another day to that school.

She enrolled me in a private school run by the two Miss Mitchells. One of the sisters was quite big, and we called her Big Miss Mitchell. She taught Latin. The other sister was quite small, and we called her Little Miss Mitchell. Little Miss Mitchell taught tennis. It was a coed school and had about 150 students in all 12 grades. We kept the same classroom and got a new teacher every year. I liked to talk and got moved around. I ended up with a desk in the corner by myself that I liked.

It was also a finishing school. When we studied art, our teacher came from the London School of Water Colors and when we studied music, we had teachers from the London Symphony. In the older grades, we had a formal dining room where we learned how to plan menus, set tables, and instruct servants.

That's a very different school experience than I am familiar with. I hope that we can learn more about it another time.