MEMORIES FROM THE ONE ROOM SCHOOLHOUSE

Thanks for the list request, Simon!
  1. I don't usually talk about this.
  2. It was a common experience where I came from, but not where I am now. It seems really old fashioned, and kind of weird.
  3. From Kindergarten through 8th grade, I went to school in a one room schoolhouse.
  4. All the grades were in one room, with one teacher.
  5. There were just a few kids per grade (sometimes no kids in a given grade).
  6. When I was in kindergarten, there were three other little girls in my grade. That's it.
  7. In first grade, one moved away, so there were three.
  8. Then in third grade, one of the girls had a house fire - her baby brother was killed. Her older brother went back into the burning house and rescued one of her little sisters. It was awful. He got an award from President Reagan.
  9. She moved to town afterwards, so then there were just two of us.
  10. I had Mrs Leisy for kindergarten. Mrs. Leisy loved "her little girls." She let us watch Sesame Street at lunch. The big kids hated us.
  11. My third grade teacher was Mrs. Pfieffer. She was my favorite. She taught me it was ok to just be me. I have forgotten that many times.
  12. My 4th and 5th grade teacher was Miss Bloomquist.
    She was really young, and into popular music. She taught us about Michael Jackson. I remember that her favorite song was White Wedding by Billy Idol. She was my brother's kindergarten teacher.
  13. My seventh grade teacher was Miss Garwood. She got married over the summer, and became Mrs. Hull.
    Feminism was not a thing in the one room school house.
  14. My little brother did not get along with Mrs. Hull. He was the only one in his grade.
    She thought he had learning problems. He just wasn't working hard because he hated her. That was really hard to witness everyday. I felt very protective of him, and his behavior was lousy. He transferred to catholic school after 4th grade. He did much better.
  15. The way it worked was the teacher would call one class (one or two kids) up to the table and teach the lesson, while the other grades sat at their desks and worked.
  16. So there was always a lot of noise while you were working, and after the initial lesson, you were kind of on your own.
  17. I think that helped me build concentration and independence in learning.
  18. I imagine it was hard for kids who had a hard time focusing or could have used extra help.
  19. A drawback of the way we had classes was that I didn't ever have a situation where I had to raise my hand and speak in front of a whole room. It was just my classmate and teacher.
  20. When I got to high school, volunteering in class was hard for me -- continues to be to this day.
  21. Another drawback was that I never really trusted my intelligence. I did well in school, but never knew if I would have done well if in school with more kids.
  22. As I went through high school, college, and law school, I kind of got over that, and am pretty convinced that I'm a smart cookie at this point in my life. 😌
  23. For recess, we would sometimes play hide and seek, and hide in the fields around the school.
  24. A variation was "Beckon, beckon, give me a wave." If you were caught hiding, you went to base. Then you yelled "beckon!" And someone could wave to you from their hiding spot.
  25. It was risky, because if It caught them, they had to come to base, too. But, if you got a wave, and could sneak off base, you could hide again.
  26. We also played a game where you divided into teams and threw a ball over the roof. If the other side caught it, they could run around the school. If they tagged someone with the ball, that person was on their team.
    It would have been easy to cheat and say you caught it, but I don't ever remember that happening.
  27. I broke a window once playing that game.
  28. Around Christmas, we had a Christmas program. This was an outrageous violation of church/state separation.
  29. The population was very homogeneous so nobody complained.
  30. We would get cement blocks and planks from the lumber store, and build a stage.
  31. We put on skits, sang carols, and each student generally performed a poem.
  32. One year I sang Silent Night as a solo. I cannot sing. It was (possibly?) charming from a 7 year old.
  33. I loved the Christmas program. Your family came, and sometimes friends, and afterward there were cookies.
  34. At the end of the year, we had a school picnic. Potluck. (Do people from other places know what that means?)
  35. Your experience as a little kid depended heavily on the big kids.
  36. Some of them didn't give a shit, and paid no attention to you. This was good.
  37. Some of them were cool, and occasionally included you, didn't try to knock you over with the ball in the games, etc.
  38. Some of them were assholes, and picked on/bullied the little kids.
  39. Once, I was sitting in the grass at recess, and one of the bigger boys threw a rock. It hit me in the head.
  40. All the little girls had a crush on Steve. He was 4 years older. He was nice to us. He would recommend books to me. He was also an excellent hider.
  41. We said the pledge of allegiance every day.
  42. Me playing guitar at a Christmas program. Note the sheets as curtains. I was at least 9 here, as I got the guitar for my 9th birthday.
  43. Sometimes we went up in the attic. There was stuff stored up there. One teacher warned us that there might be asbestos up there, and we pooh poohed her. That was probably short sighted.
  44. It is hard to have just one classmate. You get pigeonholed into a role pretty quickly, and it's hard to get out. And girls fight.
    I have a hard time making friends even now, and I think it's partly because I didn't have that experience early on.
  45. Here are the photos I can find:
  46. Hitting the piñata on Halloween. I was one of the little kids here.
  47. Halloween picture. I'm in the Tweety Bird costume. Which doesn't look at all like Tweety, but maybe narrows it down? At least I wasn't culturally appropriating. Yikes. Sorry about that. 😳
  48. Luckily, I really liked school, so even if I wasn't always happy socially, I was into the academics. And I've done well academically, so I think I got a good elementary school education.