Friday, August 13, 2010

Flashback Friday # 9 ~ What do I remember about school?

[please click on the picture to make it a bit larger -- I am the boy in back]

All about our early schooling is what Linda wants from us this week. Linda asked several questions. Click her icon, right, if you want to read others or participate in this.
.She has a neat meme this week. Neater than for the amount of time I have to write it. But I will jot a few notes in again in the format that I used for last week. I sure can't remember a lot of detail on some of what she asked.

Did your family have any back-to-school traditions when you were growing up?
I always got a new pair of bib overalls to wear to school. And for the early years Mom would make me a couple of new shirts from feed sacks.

(My own family I generally got a picture of, getting on the bus, dressed nicely, etc, until the kids got too big for doing that. I don't remember Dad doing that. Mom didn't take pictures.)

Were you generally eager or reluctant to start school?
Our school was grades 1-8 and I loved going. I soon learned to listen to the big kids as they would do their reading classes. I have had far more read to me than I have read myself.

Was buying school supplies a big deal or did you order them through the school? Were there any school supplies you particularly loved?
A Big Chief white page tablet and some new pencils were about all I got. I had to use the ruler I got in the first grade for eight years. I liked new crayons too but often times they would come at Christmas time and not in the fall. I may have gotten them both times if I really needed them.
Did you take your lunch or buy it at school? Brown bag or lunch box/thermos?
They didn't sell lunch in the grade school or the first two years of high school.

Until the folks got me a box with a Thermos my mom packed my lunch in a silver colored syrup can with a wire bail handle. Like a paint can is now.

Does the first day of school from any grade stand out?
Yes. One day in the first grade (link) was quite memorable.

Another day we had a big tornado in the neighborhood and we all (seven or eight) went down into the storm cellar. My Uncle Howard (link) came up to be with us. He and the teacher would let us come up to the door to see, one at a time. Afterwards I still remember finding a big hailstone with a clock gear part frozen inside.
Did you ride the bus, walk, or go by car to school?

Grades one to eight I walked or rode my bike to school which was a mile away, and yes, up hills and down hills, in the snow and in the rain. I had to share the bike (link) with my sister, Lois (link).

I remember a few blizzarding days when Dad had to take us with the horses and two wheel trailer. We were snuckered down under a tarppolion. School was never cancelled because the teacher always boarded with neighbors just down the road. She always walked.

Grades nine and ten I rode my bike or our horse, Minnie. It was a three mile ride to this country school so it was way too far to walk. That school had two rooms, one for grades one to six. The other room was grades seven through ten. Both years I went there for high school there were three students in our class.

The two years for town high school, 14 miles from home, I drove Dad's 1949 Ford pickup. He bought it new, partly for me to drive to school. Previously he had gotten me a low mileage 1937 Ford Tudor which had been owned by a little old lady. But he decided that it was not safe for a 14-year old to be driving every day. It did not stop good with the old mechanical brake system and so he traded it in for the pickup.

I had four driving accidents with Dad’s truck. Only two were my fault. Once, on the way home from school, a drunk driver came into my lane. I couldn't get into the ditch because there was gravel piled about 18 inches high all along my side of the road.

Do you remember how early or late school began/dismissed each day?
I really don't remember exactly. Most times I feel was around four in the afternoon.

Did you go to kindergarten? Half-day or whole day?
Our country school did not have kindergarten so I started in the first grade. My parents made me wait a year so I could have another child in my grade. She left for parochial school in our third grade. She was also the principle in the cellar incident (link).
I might brag a little here. When I went to high school in town, Tekamah, Nebraska, for grades 11 and 12 they would not accept my grades as I had earned them. They were all "A"s but the new school said that would be too high for students coming from a country school. They 'discounted' them some, I don't know how much, to equalize with the town students.

Then in the BIG high school in town I again made all "A"s. They did not discount them but I could not be valedictorian or salutatorian with those earlier discounted grades on my record. I was in the top ten percent of our class of forty-eight and was eligible to take the University of Nebraska Regent's Exam. That was good for a tuition scholarship for me. The valedictorian got the only other one.

Mom said she could never remember me bringing homework home. That is why I had trouble academically at the University of Nebraska. I had not learned to study.

Enough of the bragging, Linda did not ask us to do that.

Note: In the picture above I was the boy in the rear. My cousin, John, on the right front was the other boy. My sister, Lois, was on the front left and another cousin, Ione, was to her right. Lois was probably in the second grade as she started school when she was four. That would put me in the sixth grade. This is the only school picture I could find today. I do have a few others somewhere.

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Lots of parallels here. I didn't go to kindergarten either. There was no such thing. Grade school was 1-8 and then high school after that. It wasn't a fashion contest for the most part either. Things were much different then and far more simple.

Have a terrific day. Big hug. :)
Interesting to read about the American school system after ww 2. You must have been far better off, than the rest of the world.

Even nowadays most children bring a lunch packet and a thermos for school.

Books and equipment are and have always been free until 11th grade.

So far I've never hear of a weapon incident on a Norwegian school.

In my youth America was the land of milk and honey. Your schooling system and way of life was far beyond our imagination.

Car import was limited till 1958.
Which meant that only people who could document special needs,like a vet or a doctor were permitted importing cars.

I was privileged. My granddad owned a Dodge taxi, and my two eldest uncles had inherited my granddad's bus company.

Now I think that the most valuable qualities both in school and elsewhere are qualities, that cannot be bought for money.

I bet you too was a happy child with your horse and can lunchbox!
Wow, Jim. Your story certainly pointed out one thing clearly -- you're OLD! LOL!

My Gram taught in a country school like the one you attended. She told me many similar stories. She taught for 20+ years and kids from her classroom went on to be doctors (one of them saved my life), lawyers, teachers, musicians (they couldn't all be reputable), etc. However, in the mid-1950's Gram was "retired" from her classroom because she had never been to college herself and couldn't obtain a certified teaching certificate.
Great story Jim! I've heard of the lunch pail, but that was before my day. LOL
I think it's sad that they discounted your grades for being from a country school, but isn't that so typical?
I have a son who is also very smart, and he never brought home any homework in school either. Like you, he hadn't learned to study in high school, so college was a wakeup call for him. Interesting parallel..
LOL the bragging comment at the end! Sounds like it's well-deserved.

Walking and riding your horse to school. . .in the snow right?! Did you tell your kids that when they complained?!

Fun memories. When I was doing my post, I looked for a picture of my elementary school (Brookline, on the south loop near Broad) and they have just practically rebuilt it. It doesn't look anything like it used to! How fun that you remember that catwalk too!
I bet that ruler was nicked and pocked after 8 years.

These school related flashbacks are fun.
I think the not learning to study is a common trait among "naturally bright" students. My mom was valedictorian of her Nebraska high school (having attended the "big high school" for all four years after she got done with her grade-school one-room schoolhouse). She went to the University on a Regent's scholarship and promptly lost the scholarship--she tells us, because she never learned to study.

I wonder if higher education has just decreased its standards or if I chose an easy field or whatever--because I still don't think I have much by way of study skills (and I'm a thesis away from a Master's degree!)
I enjoyed this so much, Jim! Reading about your limited school supplies, riding a horse to school, new bib overalls (which my dad wore too!) for school all make me ashamed of what we think we "need" these days. I should ask my dad about his school days. All I know of his are some things from high school, and they're not very flattering for my dad! ;)
Loved reading this :) Feel free to brag :p
I'm enjoying the picture you just put up. I was glad to see that you had at least ONE other boy in school with you!
Hi, Jim, thanks for stopping by my blog! This was fun to picture -- a regular "country school!" With a literal lunch pail! I remember those Big Chief tablets, too.
back in my day, no one had horses yet, hadn't been invented, of coarse no eating was allowed in school till the fifth grade...SNOW was 12 fweet high and i wlaked over a 11 foot high fenc3 everyday to school in those boots you had to clasp up to your waiste>>>we didn't have paper to use.>>>NEEDED TO REMEMBR everything in our heads,and our teaqchers were indians off the reservations which got nothing for their pay
Hi Jim ~ It was interesting reading
about your early days at school. It
sure was different when we were young, No kinder, No Preps, long walks to school with Mum yo a one room school with about 10 or12 pupils Both Peter and I had to start at 4 & 1/2 to keep it open.
I hope you and your wife enjoy your trip to Canada. Are you checking it out in case your sons says "go there?" I am glad you enjoyed all the jokes.
I am looking forward to seeing Peter and Warren next week and I am sure we will all enjoy that.
And yes we are all friends of yours
Take care my friend, Regards, Merle.

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