Saturday, August 26, 2006

Back to School Friday Five

It's Saturday, so I'm a little late, but I couldn't resist playing the RevGalBlogPals Friday Five. Who doesn't have a blog full of early school memories just crying out to be shared? Here goes:

1. What is your earliest memory of school?

I do remember kindergarten, but not much of it. I clearly remember my first day of first grade. I thought the teacher told us we were all going to the laboratory and I got pretty excited. Science! What a letdown when she took us to a place where there were sinks and toilets. Turns out she said lavatory, not laboratory.

2. Who was a favorite teacher in your early education?

I don't remember any particular favorites until fifth grade, when we had Miss Carter. She took a small group of kids who did well in social studies to New York City (just a train ride away from my suburban home). It seems likely my parents had already taken us to the top of the Empire State Building, because they were big on stuff like that, but this is the trip I remember, probably because it was really windy up there and Miss Carter had a hard time keeping her skirt from blowing up around her face. We went to the UN, too; I remember the tour guide showing us a Persian carpet and explaning that the person who made it intentionally wove in at least one imperfection because only God is perfect.

3. What do you remember about school “back then” that is different from what you know about schools now?

Parents of other kids in my children's classes were horrified at the thought of class sizes over 20. I remember one year when we had 48. You know where those kids are now? The ones I am in touch with mostly have PhDs. Go figure.

4. Did you have to memorize in school? If so, share a poem or song you learned.

Any Catholic kid of my generation is going to answer the same way. Of course we had to memorize: Who made you? God made me. Why did God make you? God made me to know, love, and serve Him in this world and to be happy with him in the next ... It doesn't seem like a very profound way to teach religion, but the funny thing is, when you get right down to it, "know, love, and serve" does pretty much sum it all up, doesn't it? Half a century later, I'm still working on those same three things.

5. Did you ever get in trouble at school? Were there any embarrassing moments you can share?

Did I get in trouble? Almost never. Were there times I should have? I remember hanging out in a bathroom cutting a class when a teacher walked in and started writing everybody up for being out of class. I walked over to the sink, washed my hands, said excuse me, walked past her, and left. Not typical because I didn't usually have that much chutzpah, but it does demonstrate what self-confidence will get you.


At 7:41 PM, Blogger Songbird said...

Lavatory. That must have been a real bummer!
Thanks for playing!!

At 8:29 PM, Anonymous Cathy said...

Yes, I remember a dear friend who said she once had over 50 in her 1st grade classroom. I can't even imagine that many kids in a classroom today, but they did.

Times sure are different today.


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