Monday, October 1, 2012

School Days--Irene

 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's Today's Story
 Irene started school  in the mid-1960s when she was six years old. Her school was in a small town in West Virgina and contained grades one through eight.

Tell me about starting school or an early school memory.
I remember my mother took me to a meet the teacher day when it was time to sign up for first grade. I met the three first grade teachers, Miss Stemple, Mrs. Pettit, and Mrs. Dawson. Miss Stemple let me draw on her blackboard and I really liked that. Mrs. Dawson had a very different room. She had a big cage in the middle that had a squirrel in it. She also had a snake. She had a piano and the bench for it opened up to reveal penny candy that you could buy. I don't remember much about Mrs. Petitt, but she may have let me draw on the blackboard also.

After we had met all of the teachers, my mother asked me what teacher I wanted. She asked me if I wanted the room with the snake in it. I thought about it for a little while and decided that I wasn't crazy about the snake. She then signed me up for Miss Stemple's class. In retrospect, I think that's where she wanted me all along because that is who my sister had.

Did you like Miss Stemple? Was she a good choice?
Sure. I didn't really have any other teacher or school experience to compare her to except my mother who taught me how to read before I began school.

What else do you remember?
I remember that we learned Roman Numerals in first grade. We spent a lot of time each day writing them until we reached one hundred. Also, for most of the year, I played every day with Jimmy and Debbie on the playground. We were in different classes, so we would meet at the merry-go-round at recess. One day I couldn't find them and was quite worried and started to cry. I don't remember if I found them that day or not.

Thanks for sharing some of your memories. I hope another time we have time to hear more of your stories.