Another school semester will soon begin. If you’re in school, are you looking forward to starting classes? If you’re out of school, what do you miss about it — or are you glad those days are over?
Photographers, artists, poets: show us LEARNING.
I always enjoyed school. The picture above is from around 1956. Our school at that time consisted of three grades: 4th, 5th, and 6th. Facing the teacher the 4th grade was seated on the right, 5th grade in the middle, and 6th grade on the far left. Same teacher for all three grades. I walked to this school. I only lived about a half mile away. Our neighborhood consisted of about 8 houses within a square mile. I only had four close friends I attended school with. Leon, who lived just down the road. Sara, who lived across the road (a gravel road at that) and down one house, and Ginger and Sandra who lived directly across the road. I had crush on Ginger for a long time. On the next road lived Joanna, Kent, and Jim. Oh, and Junior Childs, who used to bully me relentlessly. When we played baseball and Junior pitched for the opposing team he would always tell his fielders to move in because “batter can’t hit” in reference to me. When I did get a hit past the infield I felt like had hit a home run in the World Series. This same Junior Childs that called me out of my house and accused me of taking his baseball bat (I was innocent). He stood there looking like it was HIS yard. We started to fight and I ran back into the house and told my dad I was fighting with Junior but he would not hold still so I could hit him. I don’t know where those other kids in the picture came from. Anyone living more than two miles away was a curiosity.
I have always loved books. My wife kids me my that my mother was in labor so long because I had not finished my latest book. I remember my very first day at school; my mother meeting with the teacher and going over the required forms. Me sitting beside her and looking at all these new faces that my mother told me would become my friends. After my mom left and I was directed to my seat I just sat there frozen. I didn’t understand any thing the teacher was saying. I remember walking home around 10 and when my mother saw me a few minutes later she said “Why are you home so early?” I told her school must be over because everyone got up and started to leave. She said “That’s recess silly”, now go back to school. That afternoon I raised my hand to indicated I had to go to the bathroom. And yes, raising one finger indicated you only had to pee and would be right back; two fingers meant it may be some time before I return; and raising three fingers meant…well you really don’t want to know. The bathroom was also a hat and coat room. As I began to seat myself on the toilet I looked down….and down…and down. It must have been 60 feet before any turd you released finally made waterfall.
All through school I was considered a “book-worm.” I liked just about every subject that our school taught except physics. I ended up taking wood shop instead! No real outside activities, although I was considered a fair basketball player but I was too short at 5′ 8″. Which hurt me because behind our house was the new elementary with an outside basketball court. I would spend hours shooting free throws. I could make 75 or 80 out of 100. One time I caught my ring in the net (they were lower than the pros and were made out of wire mesh and not nylon), and just about severed my index finger.
In Junior College I found out that it required two semesters of math to be able to transfer to the four year university. I found out that I could instead take two years of a foreign language and that would satisfy the requirement. So I took two years of German. Today I can proudly say “Hello”, “Good By”, “How are you”, and “bring me the newspaper” in German. All of this comes in real handy today 🙂 I went on to a four year university and received my degree.
I had planned on continuing my learning experience but something called Viet Nam came up that prevented that. I never served but they took away the student deferments.
My learning continued in my professional career as many positions required certain certifications.
This is the school today.