Throwback Thursday #7 – School Daze

Throwback Thursday Memory Blog Hop is mine this week. Lauren and I take turns posting this challenge every Thursday.

Participation is easy. Write your own post sharing your memories and leave a pingback to this post in the comments. You can use the photo above in your post and tag it with #TBTMemory or #IRememberWhen to make it easier for others to find. If you do not wish to write your own post, feel free to tell your story in the comments below!

This week’s prompt is: School Memories – Take this prompt wherever it leads you. Here are some suggestions to consider.

Who was your favorite teacher? What about your worst? Were you a member of any clubs? Did you attend homecoming or the prom? What was your favorite subject? Were you the perfect student or a troublemaker? What clothes were in style when you were in school? How did you get to school? Bus, walk, drive? Any extracurricular activities? What did you do for lunch? Did you attend football games or other sports? Did you attend school when corporal punishment was applied? Have a school photo you wish to share?

My post follows.

I loved school – well, most of the time. There was no kindergarten when I started school so we went right into first grade. I loved my first-grade teacher. Miss B was a tall, well-dressed, and soft-spoken teacher. She was kind and years after we moved away, I would call her every time we came to visit my grandparents. She was always kind. Recently, I saw her obituary all these years later and it made me so emotional. In my mind, she was always the same, in that same classroom, teaching new students year after year. Of course, I also had a major crush on the boy who sat across from me – Gordon. First grade was wonderful!

We moved from Tennessee to Florida and that was a culture shock. We walked to our classrooms and lunchrooms OUTSIDE instead of through inside hallways! There were vending machines from which we could buy orange juice. We went outside to watch the rocket launches from Cape Canaveral. There were televisions in the classroom and we were learning Spanish, but since we only lived there for about a year I didn’t learn much Spanish.

From Florida, we went to Virginia where I spent most of my elementary school years in the small rock schoolhouse where my father attended school years earlier. Those were great years, too. We rode the bus to school and it was a long ride since we lived way out in the country. In the winter, we all piled in front of the television in hopes we would hear our county’s name as they read the list of school closures. As long-time followers know, I lived in a valley and often the bus could not make it up the hill and out of the valley in the winter months when there was snow on the ground. We loved that. Back then, we never had to worry about making up missed school days. Those days meant we got to go home, don our cold-weather gear and go sledding.

Corporal punishment was very common when I went to school. Teachers had paddles made of rubber, or some had wooden paddles with holes drilled in them. I received one whack in elementary school. We had all gathered for assembly and my friend was sporting a brand new very cool charm bracelet. On this charm bracelet there hung a tiny pair of functioning scissors. I was fascinated by them and used them to cut a single strand of my friend’s hair. When we returned to the classroom, I received a swat with the paddle on the side of my thigh for ‘playing during assembly’. That was my one and only experience with a teacher’s paddle.

If you are of a certain age, you will remember the look of the purple ink and the smell of mimeograph paper. It was the only reason we found to like handouts or tests. Every kid in the classroom would have that paper in their face inhaling as deep as they possibly could. Check out this clip from “Fast Times at Ridgemont High”.

By the time I started sixth grade we had moved from Virginia to Ohio where my parents went to find work. I went to school there until I graduated and then joined the Air Force. I ran track – and I was fast! I did well in short runs, relays, and the standing broad jump.

The year I was to move from elementary school to high school, junior high schools were just being introduced. They built a brand new junior high school which meant we had to go to school half-days rotating with the high school students until the building was completed. For about six months, we had someone call in a bomb threat to the school at least once a week. At first, everyone liked getting out of school, but it got old fast. I’m not sure if they ever caught who was calling them in, but it did finally stop. Moving into a brand new school was great. Everything was clean and painted bright colors. I loved it.

I joined the band and began playing flute in the concert band and carrying a flag in the color guard in the marching band. Our band director, Mr. M, was strict. We had to practice 30 minutes a day and our parents had to sign off that we practiced. If we missed a day, we got a swat with a rubber paddle for every day we did not practice. During the summer, we traveled all over the country with the band – as far as Canada. What great memories. I learned much later in life that he was really mean to a fellow student who was gay and I lost all the respect I had for him.

Take Latin they said. It will serve you well they said. What they didn’t say was my Latin teacher would be a little off the wall. If he wanted you to answer a question in class, Mr. B would just come up and kick your chair. If a student replied with an answer he considered ‘stupid’ he would go to the front of the class and bang his head against the chalkboard. He did let us have toga parties occasionally and on Fridays, he would tell us very funny stories about the gods and goddesses. I do not recall much actual Latin though.

This was the era when boys took shop class and girls took home economics. I never remember a girl in shop class or a boy in home economics. I enjoyed home-ec because we cooked, we learned to sew, learned about interior design, and we even drew up house plans for our future dream home.

My favorite classes were art, band, and English. One of my art teachers (Mrs. M) drove a corvette. That’s when I learned they were made of fiberglass – someone hit her car in the parking lot. She was young and lively and oh so very cool. My other art teacher was Mrs. E – they were polar opposites of each other. Mrs. E was funny and very chubby and not quite so cool, but we loved her just the same. Her classroom was a safe haven for everyone. I remember the year we made a movie by painting blank filmstrips. That was the coolest project.

My last few years got harder. My siblings all moved away from home. My mother was diagnosed with cancer and somehow, school became less important in the big scheme of things. I still did well, but I did not enjoy it as much as I once had. Overall, however, I loved school and my teachers, and the ability to learn.

High School Trends and Fashions: Bell bottoms, short skirts, culottes, hot pants, empire waist dresses, dotted Swiss fabric, peasant blouses, tent dresses, paper (yes paper) dresses, jeans with patches and frayed hems, choker sweaters, hot roller hair, and the cool phrase was everything was “Boss”.