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August 25, 2011

School is Sexy

By Nancy Pickard

 I LOVED going back to school, and might even still love it--for a day.  Loved the excitement of seeing the friends I hadn't seen all summer, the smell of chalk and cafeteria bread and sweaty kid bodies.  Loved recess.  Loved buying and opening the new books even when they (usually) weren't new.  Loved seeing my class schedule and who my teachers were.  Loved the textbook stores.  Loved the new clothes, even when there (usually) weren't many of them.   Greensweaters
One time my mom bought me a loden green slim wool skirt with matching twin set that was supposed to wait for freezing weather, and I insisted on wearing it the first day of school--in September, in Kansas City, when it was about 300 degrees in the shade. I sweated, but I felt cool.  Ridiculous, but cool.  I actually remember kids asking me, "Are't you hot in that?"  "No," I lied as sweat trickled down my sides.

It's a wonder I loved school so much, considering how inauspiciously it began. . .

I didn't love my kindergarten teacher, whoever she was.  I don't recall that she had a personality; perhaps she got a transplant later.  I only remember lying on mats in a darkened room for naps, and I hated naps and could never fall asleep.  Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, Kindergarten was nice.  No, it wasn't.

I hated my first grade teacher, Miss Fricke.  She was a mean old witch who was forever adjusting her bra straps.  We girls used to crawl under the bathroom stall doors and chatter while we took turns on the seat, and one time, thinking a little friend of mine was in one, I bent down, peeked under. . .and there was Ms. Fricke with her skirt pulled up and her panties down.  Ack!  Childhood trauma lasting a lifetime!

I adored my second grade teacher, Ms. Sudvarg, who was beautiful, but so utterly selfish as to get pregnant and leave us.  The nerve.  I'll bet she loved her child more than she loved me, too, the bitch.

Loved, loved, loved Miss Perry, my third grade teacher, who was big and plain-faced and as kind as a human being can possibly be, and I loved tiny, prissy Miss Perry who was my fourth and fifth grade teacher and who even made geography interesting, and I had a huge crush on Miss Wilhoit, my very cool sixth grade teacher, and I hated and felt sorry for Mrs. Katz, my seventh grade teacher, who wasn't as smart as we were and who didn't grasp the crucial, life-saving importance of recess and had us stay in when she didn't feel like going out.  Sad-chinese-baby
Okay, this photo doesn't show a seventh grader, but I love it and it perfectly captures how a kid feels when she's DEPRIVED OF RECESS.  I still haven't forgiven Mrs. Katz, may she eternally monitor the juvenile delinquent's playground in hell, and may it always be raining there, and may the monkey bars be greased, and may fights break out every few seconds, and may the bell never ring to return her to the classroom! 

Not that I ever felt strongly about it, or anything. 

I almost always got a ride to school with my mom on her way to her teaching job in another school, and I almost always walked home, which was a lot of fun, especially in high school when we walked in clumps of kids and stopped for Suicide Cokes at Parkview Drug Store, or soft ice cream cones  at Velvet Freeze, or little red and white paper bags of popcorn out of the automatic popcorn machine at TG&Y.  ( Strawstick Tizzy, Giddle & Yiddle, as the father of my best friend called it.) A Suicide Coke, for the sadly uninitiated, was a Coke into which the soda jerk squirted a bit of every other flavor at the fountain, including chocolate, cherry, vanilla, and root beer. From Southeast High School to my house was a mile and a half in sunshine or sleet, and swear to god, I really did walk home in a blizzard one time. . .

I loved going back to school. Of course, not everyone was so lucky.  Where did you fall on the love/hate scale?

p.s.  Today, I thought I'd be live blogging hurricane Irene, but fortunately for Florida, she snubbed us and whirled on toward some of the rest of you who ALSO have my sympathy.  How's it blowin' or shakin' where you are?



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I liked elementary school (public), then we moved and I had to go to Catholic school, which I didn't like much.

I do hold a lifelong admiration for the gym teacher, Sister Agatha, who taught basketball on an outdoor court, in south Louisiana, in head-to-toe black habit, headwings and all.

Junior high and high school, back to public school, and I had fun again. I still remember the agony of choosing what to wear the first day of school. Argh.

Our school start was often disrupted by hurricanes. Some things don't change.

I hated my school years with a passion that could not be matched by ten thousand angry devils.

Oddly enough, though, I quite enjoyed college. I came across a lot that I thought was utterly absurd, but I found it entertaining rather than insufferable.

Loved school--well, except for my really unpleasant 4th grade teacher and then my high school PE teacher from hell, Dr. Melcher. Really hated her. But, like you, Nancy, I loved all the newness--new pens and pencils and books and clothes and notebooks--and the fresh start September always represented to me. And, in lots of ways, it still does. Given that I spent 15 years teaching, it's definitely part of my psyche.

My kindergarten teacher was our neighbor---a wonderfully hilarious farm wife who came to our door on Halloween dressed in her husband's overalls, and I loved her. Adored her. My mother loved and adored her, too, and it was contagious. But after kindergarten, I was pretty much terrified of my teachers. I guess that was the culture back then? Be as intimidating as possible? How heartless that seems now.

I'm almost Undine's polar opposite. I liked school okay, then disliked college. I was ready to be on my own, I guess.

Sorry you missed the hurricane, Nancy!

Except for 6th grade and a sadistic teacher who loved to paddle the poorer kids whose parents wouldn't stand up to her, I loved school. Here in the waning days of August, I want to go buy yellow pencils and Blue Horse notebooks and I almost want that big yellow schoolbus to stop for me. (Because of budget constraints though, our county buses will no longer go into cul-de-sacs, but high school students won't be required to walk more than half a mile to bus stops, Nancy -- it was a full mile when I was a kid.)

I hated naps too (life is too interesting to sleep through it). My early school career included first grade (with Mrs. Buckley) in a converted stable that also had a kitchenette. Fourth grade (Mrs. Scattergood) was in a converted Victorian home--that year we made the classroom into a ship, complete with a crow's nest and signal flags. We also made bread, starting with grinding our own wheat (we found a dead mouse in the bag of wheat, luckily before grinding!).

One more fourth grade project: we wrote a class fan letter to Laura Ingalls Wilder (we read the whole Little House series that year), and received a nice packet from her. At least, we thought it was her--turns out she had been dead for a couple of years by then.

Irene is due here Sunday.

Mrs. Scattergood??? Sheila, that is too good! I couldn't even use that in a book. She sounds fabulous. Glad you didn't grind the mouse, though. And speaking of dead, that's pretty funny about LIW.

Blue Horse notebooks? Never heard of them, Margaret. I'll go look them up.The things I learn here!

Nancy, that's so awful that you only felt good with your K teacher! That would make Mrs. Scattergood sad. (We're getting rain and dark, but that's all, I expect.)

Undine, I didn't even mention high school or college teachers. I had only one college teacher who stood out in a good way, but I loved going there. I guess I gobbled up school and got full, because I've never wanted to do more of it.

"school disrupted by hurricanes" Hard for this Kansas girl to imagine, Ramona. We call off school because of heat now, but never did back then when we had no a.c. If it was called off for anything, I would have wanted it called on account of hay fever.

I too loved school, in spite of an auspicious beginning. In our small town, we didn't have kindergarten, so we jumped right into 1st grade (and we didn't even have Sesame Street,let alone a tv). !st grade teacher, Miss Hord made misbehaving students lie down in the middle of the tables where we sat. But it was smooth sailing on to 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade. Then in 5th grade we sent that teacher, Mrs. Herndon to the mental hospital (really). And 6th grade brought my first man teacher, Mr. Payne, whom I really liked. After graduating from college, I taught in my home school district and Mr. Payne and I were on the same teaching team in jr. high. This time of year, I always remember the smells of new pencils, new clothes, and a fresh start once again. It wasn't bad to have do-overs each fall, was it?

Yeah...it's just sprinkling a tad in Miami. Pity. I really wanted a new roof.
It's good to have a dress rehearsal in case one of those puppies out there actually comes and blows your house down.
Now I'm going to fret for my son in Boston and Hank. Hope it's all going to be okay!

Linda, that teacher of yours was already reeeeely crazy! In high school, two of my favorite teachers were men--and the proof of how much I liked them is that one taught algebra and the other taught geometry, and I was terrible at math. They both had twinkles in their eyes--Mr. Roitman was especially funny--and they were gentle and kind to this math moron. It was NOT bad to have do-overs. :) )A little sense of humor in a teacher goes a long, long way with me.

xena, lol, my hosts wanted a new skylight.

Xena, I'm in the Gables and it's pretty sodden here. Last night was oddly beautiful with the breeze that was created. I'm grateful Irene went by, and hope she fizzles before making real landfall. Conditions are right, however, for her to keep going.

I'm from here and my first was when I was in kindergarten. We lived in an concrete block and stucco (most of the area) house and it was going to stand no matter what. We got out of going to school and had candles and my mom cooked on a Sterno stove--don't even know if they still exist! My parents had hurricane games ready to play. The aftermath was really bad, though. A neighbor, high-school aged, died from an unseen downed electric wire. People have to be so careful.

Heather, we had a lovely evening here, too. Cool breeze, intermittent rain drops, pretty clouds. Florida clouds are gorgeous.

Geez, hurricanes as home remodeling tools. Who knew? Wouldn't it be less stressful to just have it done, instead of waiting until all your neighbors are also missing roofs, and your name is wa-a-ay down the list?

In senior year I took a weird new class called Distributive Education, DE, meant for students who were not bound for college, but who wanted a head start in the world of work. No one in my family had ever gone to college, so since I didn't think that was an option for me, I took DE. It was two classes a day with Mr. DeAngelo, who was a second year teacher with enough enthusiasm for the whole rest of the faculty. We also had to take two other classes to round out our state requirements, and then we were dismissed around lunchtime to go to jobs, which also counted towards graduation.

Mr. D still teaches at my high school, 44 years later, and he still remembers everyone in our class and can tell little bits of events about each of us. He taught us salesmanship, and was only the second teacher I ever had who required us to write a paper. (Mine was on fibers in the home dec industry.) He was such a good, generous teacher; I did not know until a couple years ago that he drove a couple male students clear up to Vermont for a college visit, which hardly anyone did back then.

Mr. D was an equal opportunity guy, except for that college visit thing (but then, he was a young, single guy, and it would not have done for him to take us girls), and he knew how to play our strengths. We participated in a state-wide challenge with other DE students, in all sorts of categories. I won second place in the state for Business Vocabulary (I know, shocking, ain't it?), and still have the whoppin' big trophy, and a hideous photo of myself with the two other winners. This was 1969, and what passed for fashion in those days would make you shudder.

No hurricanes in L.A. -- stay safe, all you in wetter places.

Hated elementary school, except for Kindergarten and 2nd grade (our teacher fainted one day!). Miserable. Catholic school. Crummy experience in ways too dull to recount.

Then I begged my mom to let me go to public school and she said yes! And from 6th grade onward, I loved school, loved it even more in high school, adored college at NYU and can't resist, even now, signing up for classes or even just reading course catalogues the way other people read cookbooks.

But school supplies? I've been to Staples 5 times in the past week (our schools started yesterday). Even the poor Staples clerks are looking frazzled and demented. It's hell out there, folks. Hell.

I said and believed I hated it, but in retrospect I kinda loved it. Except 9nth grade which was AWFUL as I was in full blown TEENAGED MISERY. But after that. And before that.

Best teacher EVER -- Mrs Canaan who had a long face and a Bangs-heavy page boy cut and a long rangy athlete's body and who made EVERYTHING fun.

Today's the First Day of School for my daughters. For my youngest, it is also her birthday, and that is just a cruel joke to her - a new bus, and SCHOOL!

My 14yo, got on the wrong bus for middle school, but figured it out down the street and waited for the right one with her buddy.

One trip last night at 9pm to the closest store for another ring binder, dividers, and 4 composition notebooks (NOT spirals - the one with the black/white covers!)

I loved school, but had a hard time in elementary school. Mrs. Dunzy (perfect name for an about to retire, cranky, old school teacher, with a scraped back bun and granny glasses) was my first grade teacher and she was awful. She told me I had the worst handwriting she'd ever seen in all her years of teaching. My penmanship still sucks!

I didn't get my first pair of glasses until 3rd grade. Everyone was amazed I'd ever learned anything at school, I couldn't see past the end of my nose.

Upper elementary and the rest were all MUCH better.

Just yesterday I read a continuing education catalog just hoping for a class that was interesting, reasonably priced, and fit my schedule. (I know, I still like school, but on my terms!)

To this day, I love the smell of a classroom on the first day of school! I love the smell of pencils, crayons, I still remember (lovingly, of course) the smell of that blue ink from those mimeograph machines!

I enjoyed school from Kindergarten through 8th grade. I hated high school. HATED it. There was a lot of bullying in my school, some of it from the teachers. I loved college. If I had the money, I would have gone on for as many more degrees as possible. I enjoy learning!

Hurricanes: According to a news item I saw this morning, my town (Milford CT) is supposed to get a "direct hit", unless the course of the storm changes. We were badly hit by Hurricane Gloria years ago - mostly wind damage; no electricity in my neighborhood for about 2 weeks. When I was in 1st grade, about a month after school started in the fall (1955), and living in a different CT city, we had a hurricane that flooded the downtown area where my school was located. The kindergarten and first grade classrooms, and all the restrooms, were in the basement, which was decimated. There was no school for 2 weeks while the damage was repaired. The restrooms were redone first. Once they were ready, we had double sessions for a couple of weeks, with the first graders going to school in the afternoon and using the 2nd grade classrooms. Kindergarten was suspended until all the basement classrooms were rebuilt. We even had Saturday morning classes for about a month, so that the school could meet the state requirements for having the proper number of school days. When school started up again, returning to class was like going to a brand-new school! New furniture! New pencils and crayons! New blackboards! Some kids in our school lived in houses that were badly damaged by the floods. I couldn't imagine something like that!

My kindergarten teacher was wonderful! (as were most of my teachers)
I came home the first day, having already decided to be a teacher. My father encouraged me but warned that "Daddy is a working man, so you will have to get a scholarship." Yeah, only kindergarden student ever to worry about scholarships. .

Marcia, I'm with you on "my terms." Once I secured my masters, I only took classes I liked . . .
Glasses in fourth grade, when the teacher realized I was not seeing the board well, "She's getting wrong answers to things I know she knows." She was so happy for me when I came in wearing my new glasses that it never occurred to me to feel bad about them.

I had a great time in the '70s. I cannot say it was because I loved school. I did like helping to plan and execute hijinks in the school buildings, but spent less and less time in the actual classes beginning in 7th grade.

I'll bet you can't get away with that now, but to give our teachers credit, they never reported us for skipping class - they knew they were better off without us...

Deb, I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a miss for you.

Gosh, new glasses. I still remember going home after getting my first pair in second grade, and realizing I could see the weave in the lampshade. (Yes, I'm nerdy that way. So?)

I loved college, so much, and did really well. Wish I could have gone on and on.

I loved my kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Robinson. She was young and sweet, and only to her would I trust with the care and well-being of two of my beloved guinea pigs (George and Martha). She still had decendents when I visited while I was in Jr.High. And went on to become the principal as well.

1st grade was Mrs. Singleton. And round woman, and yet no nonsense.

2nd grade was Mrs. Jewell. And she was. More like a grandmother, in later years, I was allowed to walk to her house and visit.

3rd grade was Mrs. Robinson. Mean. I had contracted cat scratch fever during school (my cat, Suzie, was mean too...) and was out for three weeks. She refused to send my school work home with my brother, and demanded that once back, I finish it in one night. Still don't like her. But she rented an apt from a family who lived on a farm, whom we eventually became friends with (and they gave me a sweet kitten after Suzie was sent to live with my grandparents).

4th was Mrs. Stark. And a bit of a tart. She would stand on the low cabinets during parent/teacher night, while wearing her mini-skirts. She also wanted to test our math ability and did one of the 3+8x9-2 etc things that went on for an entire page. That was our first test on day one.

5th grade, man, I cant remember, and this is the year and teacher that should have made the biggest impact as she was the one who encouraged me when I finally started to like reading.

After that, it is a blur. My parents separated, got back together, repeat, again...divorce. I think my music classes in HS saved me.

As for Irene? She is ruining a friend/coworkers vacation on the Outer Banks. But he didn't learn his lesson last year, when he got evacuated, so now he gets a repeat. And my travelers are busy rescheduling their flights to a Saturday departure instead of waiting until Sunday to see what happens. Wise of them. Of course, now they are saying it is going to be here Saturday sometime. Sigh.

You guys who needed glasses!! Oh, so hard until that point. Mary. . ."She was so happy for me when I came in wearing my new glasses that it never occurred to me to feel bad about them". . .I think there's a lot of wisdom inside that story.

Karen, I've met you, and I cannot even imagine anyone thinking you wouldn't go to college. I mean, I understand why that might happen, but still, it boggles. Your teacher sounds so wonderful.

Harley,it's tragic when buying school supplies can make a person dread an office supply store! Thank god you don't have to buy nails.

Joss, thank god for the Mrs. Canaans of the world!

Marcia, I say I'm not interested in going to school any more, but I still go through every page when the YMCA adult education catalog arrives in the mail. Also, kudos to your 14-year-old!

Wow, Deb, I never think of things like that happening in CT.

Kathy! I spent most of my time playing outside of class in sixth grade! There was a teacher's room where a few kids and I got to go to plan student council meetings, and stuff, and we just had the best time not doing anything we were supposed to do.

Sitting in Charleston waiting to hear if we're going to get hit or not...remembering Hugo...and really, really, really wishing I'd stayed in PA until the snow flies.

Oh, btw, I loved school and was the smart ass who got all A's without cracking a book. In fact, I aced my American history class while sleeping through it. (Last class of the day, we didn't get out till 4 and by 3, when the class started, I was ready for a nap.)

The Princesses are so excited for school to start that the school supplies have been sitting at home for a month. Had I waited until the last minute, I could have saved about 30% on the whole shooting match. BTW, if you are in St. Louis and need/want spiral bound notebooks, they are a penny a piece at Office Depot until they run out.

My 4th grade teacher is now a substitute in the same school. She is still over 6 feet tall, pencil thin, wearing high heel boots and driving a 'vette. She embarrasses the Princesses when she sees them. Yes, my children attend the same elementary school my wife and I did. They are on schedule to be the third generation of their family to attend the same high school.

In high school, the drama teacher and one of the English teachers were the most photographed people in the year book. There maybe something to being all of four years older than your students and being hot that led to that. Ms. Lewis only lasted two years.

This year was my 30th high school reunion. Several of us who had been grade school classmates still vividly remember the mean 3rd grade teacher.

The hurricane changes the wind patterns here in St. Louis. I am about 5 miles north west of the Anheuser-Busch brewery. The hurricane shifted the wind to come from the south east, usually it is more from the north west. When I got to work last week, I could smell the faint smells of corn mash cooking. It's a St. Louis thing.

Nancy, thank you for saying so. It was the 60's, right? We were expected to be teachers, nurses, or moms. Or in my small town, waitresses or to work as clerks at the big insurance company headquarters, where my mother gave 37 years of underpaid life.

Alan, at a recent grade school reunion we reminisced about my most hated teacher, fifth grade, Sister Rosario. She was mean as snot to me, and it turned out, to everyone else, too. A vicious woman who was probably going through an unmedicated menopause, now that we all have that perspective!

When I was in first grade, a man from a nearby town man murdered his wife and her sister. He went on the run. In the middle of the school day, he was spotted in the woods near the school, so the school was evacuated. People were in hysterics. I remember running to the bus in a crouch and being half-scared to death, half-thrilled to death.

The person in the woods turned out to be not the killer, but an old man picking blackberries. The killer was found in Alabama or someplace. But...it was exciting.


Happy, happy, Margaret!

Much love,

Happy Birthday, Margaret, and my thoughts are with you all on the east. Hurricanes are very scary things, just as earthquakes are. By the way, I read some of the snarky comments from the West Coast about the eastern earthquake being nothing. Don't you guys believe it. Sizeable quakes always make the news, with speculation about the next "big one." As far as school was concerned, I loved learning, and was pretty lucky with teachers. Not that I didn't complain; I was a kid, after all.

I loved all of school and all my teachers, kindergarten through sixth grade, with the exception of my fifth-grade teacher who didn't understand that I was supposed to be teacher's pet. She, unaccountably, preferred boy students.
By seventh grade, puberty was in charge of my life and school became a place where I was kept from sleeping.
I hated recess.

Happy Birthday, Margaret!

Laughing out loud in bed reading your blog. The animals are frightened.

School was awful with few exceptions. Total bust till high school, with a brief reprieve in middle with basketball.loved Marblehead High, mostly because of band, skiing, field hockey, swimming, and sailing. Swimming and sailing were actually school skipping opportunities. Of course sailing got you caught by the police boat Tutti, but it also added to your cool reputation with certain groups. I went through several high schools, public, private day, and boarding. Urban dayschool in Boston was good right by the Charles esplanade. Harvard was nice, because nobody treats you like you're stupid, and you cam study just about anything. Also you can eat for free somewhere there every meal every day. All you need is chinos and a polo shirt with old camp mocs from Beans (or even my dreaded ducky boots) for free food events, and the older and more used they were the better. Harvard has a lot going for it, including the other side of the Charles.

Kindergarten was not a concept when I started school. As a matter of fact my mother waited until I was seven years old to start school and walk a mile each way to classes.
My first year consisted of sitting in a church basement until the classrooms were finished. It was like a one room schoolhouse.
My teachers were mostly older and approaching the mid-life years. We were mindful of obeying and when the ruler cracked down on our desks we knew the teacher meant business.
A roll of paper was pulled down each day in first grade and by golly we knew our alphabet and numbers.

I skipped a few grades and landed in grade five with a teacher who regaled us with her stories of her home. She was homesick and when she left I wrote a parody wishing her well. Tears welled up in her eyes when we sang "So long, it's been good to know you".
One year we made life hell for a teacher who resembled Ichabod Crane. She died over the summer vacation and we blamed ourselves but learned that she had died of a brain tumor..which was probably not aided by our unruliness
The only teacher that really made me feel like cringing was a teacher who called me a nosey Parker.
I did not know who this Parker was but I have to admit that maybe she was on to something!
A teacher who scared the beejesus out of me caused me to not fess up that yes I did talk when she left the room. We went to the church that afternoon and the sky was dark, the clouds rolled in and I was convinced that I was going to straight to hell that day. I am still waiting for the day of reckoning..God have mercy on my soul.

I'm mentally gearing up for my Ambassador 4 hours at the MIA tomorrow. Betcha there will be a lot of canceled flights to the north.

I mostly loved school. My first grade teacher (whose name escapes me) taught me to read really well, which has served me beyond anything else I've been taught. I spent a few years in the middle with rheumatic fever, so it's a bit of a blur, but I truly didn't mind even the mean teachers, mostly because I was out sick and didn't have to endure them. Until 6th grade...
It should have been the Best.Year.Ever. I was at the top of the Elementary School Food Chain. But two things happened:
1) that summer, I started my period. I remember thinking, "well, that's it. My life is over."
2) my mother insisted on telling some goofy miscommunication on my part that made it sound like I had a crush on my 6th grade teacher, Mr. Swearingen. For the record, at no time did I EVER have a crush on that man. I did, however, often want to crush my mother.

Middle school was hard but survivable, and high school had its ups and downs of teenaged angst. College flew by, because I was too interested in getting my degree (to get a higher position in my company), instead of focusing on college life.

My son starts his 2nd year at Cal State Long Beach next week. He's been home all summer. I'm going to miss him.

Happy Birthday, Margaret! I wish you many more years of health, happiness, best sellers, and gardening joys.

Happy Birthday Margaret!

Kindergarten teacher - another disciplinarian, the only teacher I had who hit me with a ruler!

We moved when I was in Grade 3, across the country, my new 3rd grade teacher Miss Birkbeck wore clouds of perfume, gross stinky overly floral perfume. I started the class in a desk in the back and 2 months later my desk was touching the front board while waiting for my first pair of glasses to be made.

Grade 7 - Mrs. Fleming. This was 1971/72 and a small town, she was from the big city with her husband and she wore (gasp) mini dresses!!!! and showed some serious cleavage!!!! She cast me as Lucy in the play Your a Good Man Charlie Brown. I never forgave her, I wanted to be Snoopy.

Grade 12 best teacher - Mr. Cool for consumer affairs. Also the drama teacher who everyone, including other teachers, called Uncle Don.

Happy Birthday, Margaret!!

Happy Birthday, Margaret. Reading your book right now! Love you!

Thanks for the birthday wishes everyone. It's still sunny here, but we expect Irene will brush our coast. Let's hope it only brushes.

Marcia, your daughter and I share today with Carolyn Hart. Our school never started till after my birthday, so I never got to have cupcakes at school.

Happy Birthday, Margaret, and many more!

PS: I would have loved Marblehead High more if one of the Chadwick girls hadn't listed me as her pet peeve in her class yearbook. I wonder what motivated her - and why she thought that was okay. I'd admired her and so was devastated, as well as humiliated. School often sucks.

Reine, it's appalling that the faculty adviser let that get in. What an awful shock to you when you saw it.

School was just okay...my father was the principal! And I come from a family of teachers. That's all i'm saying.

I did go back to college a year ago (at age 54+) and took some English courses. Loved it! Loved the interaction with the younger students. Learned not only from the instructor, but from the kids, too. Great fun now.

Nancy, she disguised my then nickname with the name of a cartoon character that made it obvious to students (but not the faculty advisor) what, rather who, she meant. However my history and English teachers noticed and found nonintrusive ways to help me deal with it. I suspect someone might have said something to her. She only lived a few houses away, yet I never saw her again. I never saw her sister either, and we'd been good friends. I stopped using my nickname, and that helped. Still it's a mystery of why.

Happy Birthday, Margaret!

Be safe, all you in-the-path-of-the-Hurricane-ers!

I think I mentioned here in the past week or two that I recently had a chat on FACEBOOK (!) with my fifth grade teacher, who is now 83 and very cool in her use of e-mail and FB to be in touch with past students. So lovely to be able to thank her for inspiring me to even greater love of reading and literature than I already had by then.
I loved school almost without reservation, even despite the awkward moments like being groped without permission (in 7th grade) by a guy who didn't like me and knew he could embarrass me by that rude maneuver in the crowded hallway. Somehow, I shook it off and went on with loving my teachers, the subjects, the library . . . still would be happy, as Karen in Ohio mentioned, going on and on with school.

I do still remember the pride and scratchy discomfort of wearing my new plaid wool skirt and vest on the first day of school in a hot Texas September . . . kids are amazing, funny, and precious, huh?

Oh, now I want to have a Suicide Coke! Even though it sounds really scary...

And Mrs. Katz should be horsewhipped. That's HORRIBLE!!!

I had a LOVE-LOVE relationship with school. Hmmmm, come to think of it, this may be the reason I love homeschooling my two youngest!

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