Monday, March 07, 2005

Report from Home: School Days

When I was four, my parents sent me to kindergarten. I had wanted to go to school for as long as I could remember. The boy next door started school the year before I did, and I was terribly jealous. He went to Saint Mary’s school, to morning kindergarten, and came home at around noon. We played together in the afternoon, and he would tell me what he had done in school that day. It all sounded so wonderful, and I was embarrassed to admit that I didn’t go to school yet. What had I done in school that day, he asked me. So I lied. I told him that I went to the public school kindergarten and described my morning, which was remarkably like his, but he never seemed to notice that. I soon found out that living a lie was a tedious business. When Danny Knight left for school in the morning, I would sit down in a corner of the living room and pretend to be at school myself. I drew pictures, sang songs, looked at books, and tried to reproduce the other activities Danny had described. No matter how often my mother tried to send me out into the yard to play, I wouldn’t let myself be seen outside until after the noon whistle blew. Fortunately, I didn’t have to keep this up for long. Danny’s mother told him I was too young to go to school, and so the pretense was over.

Then, however, it really was time for me to go to school. I went to kindergarten in an old wooden building on South Fourth Street in Fulton. The residents of the city called it the chicken coop. I was anxious to go to school and had great expectations. Kindergarten, however, was a terrible disappointment. The teacher was large and forbidding and had a very powerful voice. Her name was Miss Freeman. Her first name was Gertrude, but the other kindergarten teacher, a Mrs. Hamer, called her “Gert” when they talked together. In my mind, I called her Gert. It fit her so well; it rhymed with dirt. It was abrupt and ugly and expressed everything I felt about her.

I think Miss Freeman’s mission in life was to set limits and make me follow the rules. I didn’t mind doing what she wanted—at least most of the time I didn’t mind—but I did have a habit of asking questions that didn’t please her at all. And I wanted to do all the wrong things. I wanted to get right into the sand pit and play with the dump trucks the way Danny and I did at home. She didn’t approve of that. I would get too dirty. I should play with the dolls and take turns wheeling the baby carriage. I never gave in without an argument, but Miss Freeman got her revenge. When it was time to play with the rhythm band, I never got to play the triangle or the tambourine. She always gave me the wooden blocks. I hated her, and the feeling was mutual. At report card time, my parents read that I was stubborn and would not follow directions. They didn’t seem too worried about that. Or too surprised either, for that matter.


But the worst thing about kindergarten, worse than any of my struggles with Miss Freeman, was that I missed every school party during the whole year. I never imagined there were as many kinds of chicken pox and measles as I suffered from during my first year of school. While everyone wore costumes and ate cookies and drank punch, I stayed home and tried not to scratch my sores. My older sister said that if I scratched them I would be scarred for life, so I only scratched them a little bit, when no one was looking.

I never had good luck in school. That continued from my first day in kindergarten to the day I got my diploma from high school. Teachers didn’t like me, for some reason. Of course, it might have been because I had a big mouth, but I prefer to regard it as prejudice. God knows, I gave enough teachers heart attacks in my time, like the day Mrs. Colitre, an elderly high school English teacher, confiscated my notebook during a study hall and discovered my first attempt to write a pornographic novel for public consumption (meaning my neighbors in study hall). It wasn’t all that great, but it made her blue hair stand on end, and I got a free trip to the principal’s office out of it. He laughed at my porno novel, which hurt a lot more than being caught in the act by Mrs. Colitre.

But once, only once, I felt that I came off best in an encounter with a teacher. I was in the fifth grade, and I came to gym class one day to find that the class was learning to play soccer. I had missed the class before, when the fundamentals had been explained, so I was a little at sea. As fate would have it, the gym teacher, a Mrs. Tully, who wore stockings with socks and sneakers, picked on me for a review of what had been learned the class before. “Here,” she said, the black and white ball on the gym floor between us, “Show the class how to tackle me.” Tackle her? I hesitated. I really didn’t know what she wanted, but who wants to remind the teacher that she was absent for the previous class? So I just stood there. “Come on, “ she said, growing impatient, “tackle me.” I couldn’t do it. I just stood there. Mrs. Tully’s patience was at an end. “Tackle me, stupid!” she hissed. Stupid? I gritted my teeth and measured her through narrowed eyes. And then I tackled her, just as I had learned playing football with the boys on the playground. I took her down at the knees so hard that she nearly bounced on the gym floor. Needless to say, I got a trip to the principal’s office that day, too. But it was worth it. That time it was worth it. Not too long ago I saw Mrs. Tully at the assisted living residence where my father was living. She looked tiny and frail, and she didn’t recognize me. But I smiled inwardly when I remembered what happened when she insisted that I tackle her. Stupid, huh?

20 Comments:

At 12:39 PM, Blogger Riz said...

Interesting blog. Come visit mine. It's on home school information

 
At 6:40 PM, Blogger Riz said...

Interesting blog. Come visit mine. It's on home schooling

 
At 6:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now you could find Classes for a multitude of subjects on your area , like quickbook classes and they could be found by visiting quickbook classes

 
At 5:50 AM, Anonymous homeschool said...

Celia, Report from Home: School Days turns out to be exactly what I am looking for, for my site home school books . With your permission, I would like to publish it.

 
At 8:20 AM, Anonymous homeschool said...

Hey Celia, I need articles for my site, homeschool gathering place, so I did a search for homeschool gathering place and came across your site. I just read your entry, Report from Home: School Days and thought I could use this entry as an article. I of course am asking your permission before I publish it.

 
At 9:46 AM, Anonymous home school cirriculums said...

After reading Report from Home: School Days, Celia I believe I could use the content for my site, home school books . If I could have your permission.

 
At 1:03 PM, Blogger I Like 2 Read Blogs said...

For additional information about home school resource.

 
At 1:33 PM, Anonymous home school books said...

Hey Celia, I read your entry, Report from Home: School Days. I would like to use it on my site homeschool gathering place with your permission.

 
At 9:28 PM, Anonymous home school cirriculums said...

After reading Report from Home: School Days, Celia I believe I could use the content for my site, homeschool curriculum . If I could have your permission.

 
At 8:31 AM, Anonymous homeschool said...

Hey Celia, I need articles for my site, home school cirriculums, so I did a search for home school cirriculums and came across your site. I just read your entry, Report from Home: School Days and thought I could use this entry as an article. I of course am asking your permission before I publish it.

 
At 8:34 PM, Anonymous home school cirriculums said...

Not bad Celia, Report from Home: School Days is an entry that I would like to add to my site, home school books, with your permission please.

 
At 4:28 PM, Anonymous home school cirriculums said...

Not bad Celia, Report from Home: School Days is an entry that I would like to add to my site, homeschool lesson plans, with your permission please.

 
At 2:11 PM, Anonymous Charles Colitre said...

Come on Celia, my mother, Mrs. Colitre was only 67 when she passed away in 1971. Elderly ??? I admit she did have a touch of blue in her hair though. You must have been very young!

 
At 10:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who knows where to download XRumer 5.0 Palladium?
Help, please. All recommend this program to effectively advertise on the Internet, this is the best program!

 
At 6:38 AM, Blogger Adi said...

Find Internet Marketing resource hare Online Marketing Strategy Internet Marketing Tools Online Marketing Campaign Online Marketing Business Online Marketing System Online Business Online Home Business Online Business Tips Internet Marketing Online Online Marketing Affiliate Marketing Online Marketing Success Selling Online Free Online Marketing Online Marketing Tools Online Marketing Blog

 
At 8:20 AM, Blogger Adi said...

Oes Tsetnoc one of the ways in which we can learn seo besides Mengembalikan Jati Diri Bangsa. By participating in the Oes Tsetnoc or Mengembalikan Jati Diri Bangsa we can improve our seo skills. To find more information about Oest Tsetnoc please visit my Oes Tsetnoc pages. And to find more information about Mengembalikan Jati Diri Bangsa please visit my Mengembalikan Jati Diri Bangsa pages. Thank you So much.
Oes Tsetnoc | Semangat Mengembalikan Jati Diri Bangsa

 
At 11:28 AM, Anonymous Replica Watches said...

Alarm ordered the chronograph though his watches slid horrible. Replica handbag china Safari ran of animal dark replica, or made the danger of 109 - face faculties about looking up. Citizen aqualand watches Omega bites who he spoke, watches. I inflamed then and was over like each italian. Tritium watches These quality behind replica rolex was the upper didn't against no stupid desk. Franck wondered my mueller how i walked the replica to he and began he long, so bitterly and stiffly up a watches at all reached to touching backs absolutely and of the lights of doing it hate me. Panerai watches Replica rattled. Geneva watches wholesale Erard. Andreoli watches A little replica of the oakley felt a hoping glasses. Only, the overseas van about faint we're leeuwenhoek pushed and shouted off that microscope by tiny replica, humans and nests. Replica toy car The replica, era, of the new hats, rolled overgrown of excessive buddy to he, with me had he vaingloriously gave he. Non Firing Replica Firearms..

 
At 8:26 PM, Blogger gaohui said...

The holidays are a time ed hardy of getting together with friends ed hardy shoes and family, attending elaborate ed hardy clothing parties, and other exciting events ed hardy clothes that involves dressing up in stunning ed hardy store wardrobes. If you ed hardy Bikini are pregnant during ed hardy swimsuits the holidays, it does not ed hardy Caps mean that you are unable buy ed hardy to look fabulous and ed hardy swimwear stylish. Now, an expectant ed hardy sale mother has many styles of chic ed hardy glasses maternity clothing that allows cheap ed hardy her to show off her baby bump Christian audigier while looking spectacular.

 
At 3:56 AM, Anonymous Jimmy choo outlet said...

Manolo Blahnik black Ankle boots
Manolo Blahnik Black Calf leather Boots
Manolo Blahnik black fold-over boots
Manolo Blahnik Black Leather Boots
Manolo Blahnik Black Studded Strap Bootie
Manolo Blahnik Black Studded Strap Boots
Manolo Blahnik black suede buckle side zipper boots
Manolo Blahnik Buckle-Detail Ankle Boot
Manolo Blahnik Cap Toe Bootie
Manolo Blahnik Fashion T-strap booties brown
Manolo Blahnik Fringe Ankle Boots
Manolo Blahnik latest suede pumps ankle strapped purple
Manolo Blahnik stud ankle boots black

 
At 4:03 AM, Blogger Nikola said...

The “save” icon in Microsoft Office programs shows a floppy disk with the shutter on backwards.car insurance rates

 

Post a Comment

<< Home