Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Wistful Wednesday: Grade School

The Grade School that I went to as a child was built and completed for the start of the 1957 school year when I was ready for First Grade…I was five when school started and turned six later that month….back then I think you had to be six years old by December 31st to go to school.

My parents had purchased a farm that was near a country school (Linnell School)…you could see it from our home. I would just have a short walk to school!

The building of the new school in Osage split the community…sometimes this split is still evident.  Some were in favor of a new school building and others thought the country school was good enough…and neither side spoke to the other side unless it was necessary.

Mrs. Pearl Sexton taught first grade, Mrs. Minnie Zauche taught second grade, Mrs. Lucille Stearns taught third grade, Mr. Oscar Vaadland taught fourth grade and was the principal.  He had a yard stick with a red bow on it and if you were misbehaving you got whacked with the stick.  The school nurse came out about once a week, not sure what she did other than keep track of who had their shots.  Each classroom had their own single bathroom and there were two other proper boys and girls bathrooms in the hallway.  Not sure why the classrooms were positioned as they were: 1st, 4th, 3rd and 2nd. There was a library room, an office, a milk room off the cafeteria ( it continually smelled like sour milk) a kitchen where Arvilla Nilson was the best school cook ever, and the cafeteria/gym.  Carl Nilson was the boiler operator, janitor and bus driver.

Everyone went outside after lunch.  In the winter we played king of the hill on the mountains of snow and in the spring and fall we would take turns swinging…there were maybe six swings and some monkey bars.

The last day of school we always had a whole school picnic with our parents invited and all kinds of fun games…sack and relay races.

I rode the bus to school, the bus driver was Ivan Siegford (he owned the hardware store in Ponsford and began his route with the Ritt’s girls over on Shell Lake.)  I got on the bus about 7:45 in the morning and got off at 3:45 in the afternoon.  For me it was not a long ride to school…about 7 miles. There were only a few stops after I got on. I loved a window seat on the bus so I could look out on the passing landscape and in the winter those frosty bus windows became a canvas for thumb print designs…and whatever else I could scratch into the frost.

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I took this photo the other day…it is now apartments and is owned by one of my cousins.

I learned to read ( See Dick, see Jane!), spell, write in cursive, how to add, subtract, multiply and divide.  Division was the worst for me in third grade…until one day “it clicked.”  I can still smell the thick white paste in the big jars and I remember how everyone smelled the purple mimeographed paper before beginning our work.

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22 comments:

  1. You have many of the exact same memories as I do. My school had grades 1-8 though. The most pungent memory you brought back was the "milk room" smell! Gack. I remember it way too well.

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  2. Awww sweet memories of See Dick, see Jane!, cursive writing and happy children who sometimes ate the paste:):) The good old days. Nice Hug B

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  3. What a memory you have! This brings back so many memories of my days in school. We did not have a milk room though. I am amazed that you remember all those names, even the cook and janitor!

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  4. What great memories you have and I too loved the mimeographed sheets smell!

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  5. Your memories were so razor sharp they brought back many of mine.
    I not only remember how the paste smelled, I remember how it tasted!

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  6. Your memory is a lot sharper than mine. I can still remember the schools I went to and that I walked 5 1/2 city blocks to school. I can vaguely remember the set up of classrooms, etc. But your details about the whole experience are fantastic. Think I'll spend some time this morning and see what else I can remember. Thanks for the memory jog.

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  7. I have absolutely no idea of the names of any of my grade school teachers, so I am impressed! When you described those smells, I could remember them, too. Isn't it interesting how much memories can be triggered by smells? :-)

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  8. I went to a load of different schools and I don't remember all the teachers. But when I was 7 there was Miss Hughes, then when I was 8 there was Mr Baum who didn't like me being left-handed and kept a slipper in his desk drawer. So I went to a new school when I was nearly 9 and there was Mrs Menzies (pronounced Ming-ies) and then Miss Pegram.
    We had white glue, very thick, in a low pot and a white plastic spatula which clipped to the lid of the pot. The spatula was for spreading the glue which was almost impossible to spread and mostly stuck our fingers together. I remember the smell very clearly.

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  9. Pretty much a "ditto" here as to memories of the old grade school. Mine has been torn down to make way for an apartment building.

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  10. I remember 1st grade and the only reason is the teachers name was Miss Rogers and I was sure in my mind
    she was kin to Roy Rogers. (Dale Evans was from our town but I didn't know that until years later.)
    Thanks for all your prays and happy emails.

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  11. I can't stand the smell of milk in a carton because of elementary school memories. We were given milk following afternoon recess, and it always coated my mouth and felt sticky. I'm still not a fan of milk. Ahh yes, the big jars of white paste - I remember it curled the paper and came off the paper in huge flakes when it dried. I loved the smell of mimeograph fluid and the dampness of the paper the teachers brought into the room. Remember the big pencils we had to use in the lower grades?

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  12. I don't remember what kind of container our white paste came in but I sure remember how it tasted. Interesting to learn that I wasn't the only one who tasted the paste! Ha ha - we were so naughty! I remember many names of my teachers even at this advanced age of 86. "They" do say we remember the old things better than what happened recently.

    Shirley H.

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  13. I loved the smell of the mimeograph and also the sound as it ran copies :-).

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  14. Since I grew up in Chicago, everyone walked to school, and had to walk home for lunch as well. We had two fenced playgrounds. One on each side of the school. One for boys and one for girls. We never got to play together on school days.

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  15. Hi! I'm playing catch up with reading blogs. I finally got my commenting issue solved. What a great post to read! I have some of the same memories: same paste, same milk,same Dick and Jane. Wasn't Spot the name of the dog? I walked to and from school. The difference is my teachers were nuns. :- /

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  16. Wonderful memories . I also remember my grade school it was a large school that went from Kindergarten to grade 8 and was in the country where I lived on the farm and I had to be bused . I to liked the window seat for the same reason as you , one of my bus drivers was Mr Elan and the other for the most part who was also a farmer across from the school was Mr Dodds I remember some teachers names not all though , I also remember play day at the end of each school year before summer vacation when we all had fun and games the entire day , had to brown bag it or lunch box it for lunch then but each class had to order milk at the beginning of every morning and it would be delivered by lunch time , I still like the chocolate milk in the little cartons and read the same book as you to . Thanks for sharing and bringing back the memories for me to ! Have a good day !

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  17. Good memories, good times. It doesn't matter where we were at that age life was great. I did go to the one room school to the end of gr. nine.

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  18. I can still remember when we had three schools in a town that only had around 4500 people in it. The first school was pre-school to 5th grade, then the school that was 6th grade thru 8th grade then a school for 9th to graduation. It is hard to believe now that same town has only one school and they share a school with other towns. Great and bad memories for me. I was so glad to be out of school.

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  19. Love all the memories. I have some of those old Dick and Jane readers. So cute.

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  20. Wow! What a memory for names you have. I admire that because I never have been good at that--ever.
    That's why I couldn't get into first grade in public school when I was five--because I didn't turn six until the end of March. My mom couldn't wait to get me out of the house and got me into a parochial school--LOL! After second grade I was tested again in order to go to public school in third grade. I read Dick and Jane, too, and loved the smell of mimeographed paper! LOL! Ah--memories. Yours sound clearer than mine, though. ;)

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  21. That was a fancy building for them to build. I know towns wanted to hold there population together by keeping their schools going. I remember when the country schools were closing and being bused was a fun deal. We still have small towns that consolidated with larger cities and they begged to keep their small school going. They bus a couple of grade levels to it and justify the consolidation.

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  22. I love your memories. My sis who lives in IN has found some Dick/Jane books to read to her 6 yr old granddaughter. These are the first books that the little girl has actually been interested in. She gets 10 cents for each book read!!! You should hear her list of things she will buy with ALL THAT $$ lol

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Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your comments! If you have a question I will try to answer it here. Connie