School days

September 6, 2009 at 2:03 am 1 comment

my one-room schoolhouse

 This is a picture of my one-room schoolhouse that is now an apartment building. Imagine a maple tree and a bike rack where the burgundy van sits and a ball field to the right.  There was no shed at the back like the one that’s there now. The cemented area out front was the place where we practised skipping singles and double dutch.

Let’s step inside now. Our wooden desks are connected and made up of separate units. One section is the table top of one desk and the seat for the pupil in front and so on down the row. Each desk top has a carved-in ridge to hold pencils and an inkwell hole for an ink bottle. Under the table tops is a space to put our notebooks when we weren’t using them.

Every week, a music teacher came to our school. She taught us about musical notes, beats, rhythm and she also taught us songs. She played the piano as we sang, after we learned our parts. I looked forward to this time each week. My friend Gayleen reminded me that we pushed desks together and beat the rhythms together.

One year, we  applied paper mache  over worn-out light bulbs, waited until they were hard and then cracked the covered bulb against something to break the glass. That was a shaker for beating time to the music. We also got to paint our shaker in pretty colours in yet another art class.

Once a month, a man came with films from the National Film Board. He showed us pictures of places around the world, and while I don’t remember all the kinds of films he showed, I still remember one about Switzerland with its tall mountain peaks and tiny mountain villages. When I read the book Heidi for the first time, I could picture Heidi walking up the steep slope to meet her grandfather and tending the goats with her friend Peter.

Sometimes as I was copying words or numbers from the blackboard and doing the work for my grade, I would listen to the teacher giving a lesson to another grade, especially the older students. I’d think how smart those students were and how much they knew.  It’s hard to ignore another lesson going on with students in the rows right next to me. I also remember a comment on one of my report cards that I should try to work faster. I was such a day dreamer even then, but I wanted to do my best work and think carefully about my work…

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School will soon be back in From the one-room school house to another school… and another

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. A summer visit– Part 1 « Storygal’s Blog  |  June 16, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    […] 16, 2010 A friend of mine has been keeping in touch with an Amish girl who attended our one-room schoolhouse. Gayleen and Rachel have been writing to each other at Christmas for many years now. They have […]

    Reply

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