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School Days, School Days

School days, school days

Dear old Golden Rule days

'Reading and 'riting and 'rithmetic

Taught to the tune of the hick'ry stick

What are your memories of your own first days of school? I have only a generalized memory of elementary school opening days. I remember feelings of excitement mixed with anxiety.

I always had a new “first day of school dress”. I remember red plaid dresses. I loved the smell of my new crayons and pencils. I loved my new pencil box. I remember the joy of putting new school supplies into their proper places. (I still like things that go into a specific place.) I remember feeling anxious about doing really well and not falling behind.

Isn’t this funny? After 19 years of school, this is all I can remember of the first day.

Let me see what else I can remember about all those years of school. I remember that my friend got me into trouble in kindergarten and I had to sit in the corner for sticking out my tongue. (It was her fault.) I remember when my 4th grade teacher made me stay after school all the time to practice writing with my right hand. (I am a lefty and the only thing I do with my right hand is bat. The last time I played softball was 6th grade when, I want to tell you, I was the star pitcher on the Pony Tail League.) I remember loving grammar in 5th and 6th grades, and getting those A’s. (I did not say I was a cool kid.) I remember when I got into the Safety Patrol.

In middle school (It was jr. high then.) I remember being in the bleachers cheering on various teams.

In high school I remember writing funny notes to my friends. I remember going to football games wearing my Bermuda shorts and knee socks. (I looked cool. Really I did.) I especially remember the day my history teacher – a big, burly guy - came into the class crying. That was the day President Kennedy was killed. I also remember many Saturday nights driving with my friends up and down Main St. looking for boys to honk at.

So let’s see….how much taxpayer money went into my public education….and this is what I remember?!

I am not going to go into memories of college and grad school. It was the late 60s and early 70s. That’s all you need to know.

Do you have more precise memories than I? I sure wasn’t much of a Noticer back then, I guess. After all, you can’t remember what you don’t Notice in the first place.

 So let me just wish all families, including those of us without young kids, a school year that will generate many great lifetime memories.

©2016 Margery Leveen Sher

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Reader Comments (4)

Since we're the same age I share many of the same memories - Crayolas, safety patrol (did you ever march in the spring safety patrol parade on Independence Ave in DC? it was SO exciting).Remember the under-the-desk nuclear war drills?I also remember such antiquated concepts as singing Christmas carols in public school and girls wearing nothing but dresses!

September 8, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterkatherine morrison

Katherine, I grew up in NJ so I wasn't in your parade, but we also had drills where we had to sit under our desks, we certainly wore dresses, and I still sing all the Christmas carols I learned in school. They make for a happy shower experience. Doesn't matter that I am Jewish. :-)

September 8, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMargery

Yes, I had some of the same levels of happy anticipation and anxiety, but much of mine centered around being the "new kid" every year as my Dad was in the Navy and we moved--a lot! I attended half a dozen (yes, that is six!) schools in 4th grade and still have trouble with fractions. I remember in my fifth school that year, my first day, the teacher made me stand with my nose in a circle drawn on the chalkboard because I couldn't solve a fraction problem. Pretty mortifying for my first day.
I've recently discovered that students today do not know the words to the Star Spangled Banner, God Bless America (the God part could be dropped today I guess), America the Beautiful...there is no time in school to learn anything about patriotism. I wonder what that will mean to these students when they are adults?

September 8, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterPam

Well Pam, your nose in the cicle story is the worst i've heard yet. Yikes!
Yes I think civics is sorely missing in schools and i think many adults today have no clue about how our government is supposed to work and what democracy is about. Sad and scary.

September 8, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMargery

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