Sunday, April 28, 2019

School Days (skip this if it bores you)

*Fiorella's found some notes she wrote about her schooldays so you'll have to bear with her. You've already heard about her kindergarten adventures in the basement of a Methodist church with Mrs. Ruebright (may her tribe increase), and also read references to her first grade teachers--Mrs. Thomas, who decided to return to tecahing fifth grade after three months of dealing with younglings, Mrs. Young, whom Fiorella loved and who once brought her two grandchildren to class with her, and Miss Jackson, straight out of teacher college, who was very sharp with the class, as insecure new teachers often are.
Fio should add that, as the little girl who persuaded the rabbits not to boycott Easter, she had the starring role in the Easter show.

*Second grade with Mrs. Lehman, a friend of her mother's, was when Fiorella had to stay in from recess because she moved her spelling page so poor Darlene, who sat behind her, could copy it. It was also when Fiorella expanded her acting career by being one of the three youngsters chosen to participate in the school Christmas program, a career that was cut short when her family moved to Waco for the last two months of the school year.
Fiorella adored her new teacher, Mrs. Sublett, who was young and wore pretty dresses, but Mother, for some reason, didn't  approve of her, even though Fiorella's report card said good things and Mrs. Sublett reported that Fio was the only one in the class who had correctly identified every piece of music that the rest of the students had been listening to all semester.

*Third grade, and at last, Fiorella had a teacher that Mother approved of--Mrs. Ryder, gray-haired and rigorous. It was a good year, Fiorella remembers, although Mrs. Ryder could be sort of mean at times.

*Fourrth grade, and Fiorella should explain that in oldern days at North Waco Elementary, children were put in a single line on the playground and assigned to their teacher by a one-by-one call-out, which horrified Fio's mother. Years later, Mother confessed that when Fio was asisgned to Mrs. Mary Johnson's class, she went home and cried, but Fiorella actually had a pretty good time in the fourth grade. Mrs. Johnson was fast approaching her dotage, but she could still teach the class folk songs that Fio would sing as she walked home from school--songs like "Go Tell Aunt Rhody" and "Pickin' Up Pawpaws." And then, when Mrs. Johnson discovered Fio could draw, she had her illustrating blackboards on a regular basis. And because there was a lot of spare time in class, Fiorella had time to read the books she'd checked out of the school library (thank you, Miss Ollie Bateman) or borrowed from the home library of friend (thank you, Janene Loftis). And the best part was that when Mrs. Johnson left the class unattended, some of the kids would go up front and tell stories or--like Hardy Joe Brundage did--imitate Mrs. Johnson taking off her girdle--which he'd accidentally caught her doing in the coat room. Oh--and we always knew when there would be a fire alarm because she changed shoes.
Fifth grade, and Fiorella had another teacher she loved and Mother didn't--Miss Pewitt, probably in her thirties, who married at mid-term and became Mrs. Grissom. Mother didn't care for Fio's sixth grade teacher either, Mrs. Hinkle, a volatile redhead whom Fio adored. Her class was always interesting. She had a unit on Hawaii (because her husband had been stationed there) that Fio remembers even today. And her grammar unit on parsing was probably the basis for Fio's fascination with linguistics, her college major.

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