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Posts Tagged ‘school days’

It’s 2:30 in the morning and I can’t sleep. I was going over in my head what I plan to do for the first day of the writing class I’m teaching at the charter school. The first day will be next Tuesday and it will be a group of 5th through 7th graders. I was wondering what I should have them call me. It seems like the only thing anyone calls me is Nana but that’s not really appropriate for a class to call me. It crossed my mind that I could joke with them and tell them to call me  Hey You then my mind jumped backward to the time I was in kindergarten. I got dismissed before my siblings but we were all supposed to walk home together so when I got out of class I would sneak into the building where the other classes were but then I got caught and they said I couldn’t wait there so I would then go downstairs in the same building to my sister’s class. She was in first grade. Her teacher, Mrs. Baker, would let me come into the classroom and wait for my sister then when she got out, Mrs. Baker would let us both stay in her room until our older brother got out then we would all walk home together.

I liked Mrs. Baker. She was nice to us and she would let us help her clean the chalk board and  put the chairs up on the tables so the floor could be swept. She told me I should not be shy and that I should call her Mrs. Baker but somehow I couldn’t call her that so I would just say “hey” until I got her attention. She used to laugh and she would say that if I didn’t start calling her Mrs. Baker, she would start calling me Joey. I used to use my middle name at the time. My middle name is Joy. So Mrs. Baker started calling me Joey every time I said “hey” to her. I would tell her “My name is not Joey, it’s Joy.” She would answer, “My name is not Hey, it’s Mrs. Baker.” Eventually, I caught on and called her Mrs. Baker and she called me Joy.

That ancient memory brought a big smile. I had all but forgotten it over the past 50 plus years. I’m glad I remembered it.

The #WeeklySmile is a weekly blog linkup hosted by Trent at Trent’s World The Blog. Go on over and take a look. Share a smile with us!

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Blogging ideas sometimes come out of nowhere. That’s what happened this weekend. I was on Facebook participating in a group for a giveaway for LuLaRoe clothing. The topic was something like “tell a funny school story.” At first I couldn’t think of anything funny then out of the blue comes this memory that cracked me up. I had forgotten all about it but I was glad that my memory was jogged!

I loved school. I always have and always will. I get excited about all kinds of learning; all kinds of schools. I never wanted to miss a day of school. But then one day…

It was in eighth grade. Social Studies class, which was my favorite class. It was right after lunch. I had a cold and had been sniffling and sneezing. I was ready to go into class and do something fun; learn something new and interesting. When we got into class, the teacher, Mrs. Newt, announced that almost everyone in the class had failed the unit test so she was going to give everyone ten minutes to look over their notes and then take the test again. There were only three or four people who had not flunked it. I had gotten an A. So what were we going to do, I wondered. She answered before I could ask. She said those of us who had passed could take it over for a higher grade or we could sit and read or do homework while others took the test. Well, I had gotten 100 per cent. Couldn’t do better than that. I didn’t want to sit and read. I didn’t have homework with me because it was in my locker.

Just then, I sneezed again and as I blew my nose, I noticed that the balled up tissue in my hand was red. My red felt tip marker had bled into the tissue and it looked like blood. The light bulb went on! I can’t believe I did it but with the next sneeze, I wiped my nose, making sure the red marks on the tissue were showing and I kept the tissue at my nose. I raised my hand and when the teacher looked at me, I pointed to the tissue covering my nose. Mrs. Newt said, “Oh! Your nose is bleeding! Here, go to the nurse!” and she handed me a hall pass.

Off I went. The nurse had me lay down on the bed then she called my mom who sent my brother to pick me up. I got to go home. I didn’t intend that but it was okay because the only other class after that was Reading in which the teacher (who I still believe was senile) wanted us to read Les Miserables but the school didn’t have a class set so she had us sit and listen as she read the book aloud to us. So I didn’t mind missing that class.

I had seen that it was fairly easy to get out of class and even to be sent home. It didn’t hurt that I was one of the good kids and was well liked by the teachers and the nurse. I never did anything like that again. I still can’t believe that I pulled that and that it worked!

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The #WeeklySmile is a blog linkup hosted by Trent. Come on over and have a laugh or two!

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Yesterday I told you about Mr. Clark, my seventh grade math teacher. He was pretty awesome. Today, I’ll tell you about Rudy Del Rio. Well, he was really Mr. Del Rio and I called him that all the time but with other students, he was Rudy. And when talking about him to students, he was Rudy. I think he got a kick out of the students that called him Rudy. He would kind of “half laugh” when anyone did that. He was a good guy. He taught Civics to the seniors but I was lucky enough to have him for four years of Journalism. He taught me a lot. He inspired.

And up until about five or so years ago, I was still in touch with him even though I graduated from high school in 1974. I still have his email address and I know he lives in Bend, Oregon. I just haven’t had occasion to contact him although I’m thinking I might do so the next time we go to Bend. I think I’ll email him and see if I can have a cup of coffee with him…or more likely a beer because Bend is home to some really good breweries!

I remember him walking into a classroom, always easy going but once in awhile he would have something serious to talk to us about so he would walk in…all five foot zero inches of him…and for some reason, his goatee which made him look super cool on most days, would make him look somber…my mom said he looked evil…and we could do nothing but pay attention and hope it was not one of us that had gotten him upset! Not a big man in stature, he was respected.

I don’t think I would be who I am today if it were not for Rudy Del Rio!

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Picture Day

I found a blog post a couple of days ago that made me think that I wanted to write about it but I hadn’t gotten around to it. Then just a few minutes ago, my niece posted a picture of her daughter’s hairdo for picture day on Facebook that reminded me so I had to come write it.

The post was called Picture Dayyy by Unoriginalblogger. She’s a young high school blogger that I just discovered while participating in the Blogging 101 exercise that WordPress is doing. I like that she is young and innocent and honest. She seems to be very open minded, too. I’m following her blog for now, and even when I don’t comment on her blog, she’s making me think!

The post is about it being picture day at her high school. It reminded me of all the picture days of my school years and, then later, the picture days of my own children. One of the first things we looked for when we got our school year schedules at the beginning of the year was the date of picture day. And then we started planning what we would wear and how we would fix our hair. Luckily, picture day was usually right at the start of the school year, the first or second week. Had it been any later in the year the stress would have been unbearable. We thought about it that much. In my family, with four girls spaced five years apart, we wore each others clothes so we had to make sure we all understood who was going to wear which outfit for picture day or there might be a mini war when the day arrived! How would we fix our hair and which jewelry would we wear? My high school years were in the early 70’s. We had long dangly earrings and chokers and tinted granny glasses. We had “ratted” hair, hair in braids, long stringy straight hair, hair done in a ‘fro (we called it a “natural” in those days) and all sorts of hair that was in style. Which would we choose? Just a couople of years before, in middle school, wiglets were in style so most of the girls added a wiglet full of curls at the back of their hair then we had to worry about it falling off! Talk about stressful!

Once the picture day had come and gone, we were left biting our nails until we got our pictures back. How had they turned out? Of course, even when they turned out great, we weren’t happy! Then we would start scheming on how to get onto the list for the “Make up Picture Day” which was really for those who had missed picture day the first time around but if you knew how to do it, you could get onto the list and have a re-do of picture day and hope for a better outcome!

Such stress. Such excitement. Such anticipation. Such memories. How did we survive?

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The School Bus

Early this morning I had to take my car in to the dealer for scheduled maintenance. As I was driving over there, I passed a number of kids, each at their own driveway, waiting for the school bus.  It reminded me of the days when my sister and I rode the school bus home from school.  We could have ridden it to school in the morning, and we did so on some days but for the most part, my dad drove us to school.  However, after school, we had to ride the bus.  We did our share of walking home.  It was just under two miles in each direction.  Sometimes we walked home because we missed the bus which left about eight minutes after the sixth period bell rang.  If we took too long at our lockers or if we had to stay after to talk to a teacher, then we would miss the bus and we would have to walk home.  At times we chose to “miss the bus” so we could walk home if the weather was particularly wonderful or if we wanted to avoid someone on the bus or walk home with someone in particular.

Our house was the closest that the bus would pick up at.  Actually, there was ours and across the street lived the Powers family who had three girls, one who rode the bus to and from school.  However, the Powers lived on the side of the street that the bus picked up first. We had to wait until it did all its pickups, turned around, and came back down the hill and picked us up.  We were the last ones on the bus in the mornings.  In the afternoons, we were also the last ones off the bus, for the same reason.

Riding the bus was filled with a lot of social pressure and emotions.  First, there was the problem of finding a seat on the bus.  If you weren’t there first, you would end up sitting with someone that no one wanted to sit next to.  In grade school, this was usually Kevin.  Kevin had multiple sclerosis and most of the kids tried to avoid him.  He was my age and in my class.  He was very bright, he just looked different and couldn’t always control what his limbs did.  On days when I was one of the last ones on the bus, I would have to sit with Kevin and while that was okay with me, everyone would make it not okay because they would start laughing and pointing and asking Kevin if I was his girlfriend and prodding him to kiss me!  This was grade school.  I’m sure you know the routine.  At times, it got so bad that Mrs. Cash, the bus driver, would have to come and scold the other kids and make them stop jeering.  Grade school fun.

Later, in high school, it was fun to ride the bus and be the last ones off because it meant that it stalled the time we would arrive home.  Home was not always a place we wanted to be so if we could stall a bit, that was sometimes good.  It also gave us the chance to see where the other kids lived and how they lived.  By high school, Kevin didn’t ride the bus anymore.  By high school, a lot of the kids wanted to come sit next to my sister and I when there was room next to us.  Some would even move to our seats after some of the kids had gotten off.  It was a good feeling to be one of the ones that others wanted to sit next to.

Sometimes, if we had asked ahead, we could get off with one of our friends.  Usually we would have to give Mrs. Cash a note from our mom that said it was okay for us to get off at a different stop.  And sometimes, if we had a friend coming home with us, they got to ride the bus home with us even if they didn’t normally ride it.

By the time I got to eleventh grade, my sister was driving so we didn’t have to ride the bus anymore.  That was sometimes good.  In fact, it was mostly good.  However, sometimes I wished that I could still ride the bus so I could see the color the Krause’s house had been painted or the flowers blooming near the Cunningham’s.  Or how much project had been made on the boat in being built in the yard of the Ericson’s house.

I miss those days.  The school bus.  Friends.  Mrs. Cash.  Kevin.  Being able to visit at others’ houses.  Bringing friends home to our house.   My school bus days are over.  In fact, all those school days are over.  It was fun, even if we didn’t know it when it was happening.

When I go get my car in the morning, I’ll pass a lot of those same kids waiting for the bus and I’ll remember, again, those school bus riding days.

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