1. What is your earliest memory of school? In kindergarten, my first field trip ever, to Mexico, NY, to pick apples, was scheduled for late October. About two days before the trip, I fell on a couple of rusty nails and hurt my little five-year-old knee so I couldn't walk on my own. I missed my first field trip, but my friend brought me a bag of apples that the class had picked for me. I was going to tell of my first school pictures, but I wasn't in school that year (a mystery to be unravelled later).
2. Who was a favorite teacher in your early education? I had two favorite teachers, Mr. Brass and Mr. Cronk. I have a theory that male el. ed. teachers tend to be great because men don't use teaching small children as a fallback career. If I must choose, however, Mr. Brass would be declared my favorite favorite. He was a fireman and I had a serious third grade crush on him. He also dealt very gently with still-wetting-the-bed, abandoned-by-her-daddy, eight-year-old me.
3. What do you remember about school “back then” that is different from what you know about schools now? My small town high school and junior high have metal detectors and full-time hall monitors now. Those things were not even considered before Columbine and 9/11.
4. Did you have to memorize in school? If so, share a poem or song you learned. We didn't really have to memorize anything but equations...and how boring would it be for me to start writing those out?
5. Did you ever get in trouble at school? Were there any embarrassing moments you can share? I only remember one time that I ever "got in trouble." It was fourth grade, our teacher left the classroom (which was actually a cubicle because our district was trying to experiment with an open floor plan) and told us to be quiet and finish such-and-such. By the time she came back most of my classmates had either finished or given up on the assignment and began talking and giggling. Unfortunately, Mrs. So-and-so couldn't tell who was talking and who wasn't, so she made all of us put our names on the board. Being a shy, obedient kid, I was one of the few sitting quietly. I probably had my nose in a Laura Ingalls Wilder book, too distracted to join in my classmates silliness. I was so furious that I think I may have begun crying because I knew that an injustice was being perpetrated and there was nothing I could do about it.
School was good. I hope my (someday) children enjoy it as much as I did.