Thursday, February 11, 2010

Humor: Grade School

When I was in the first and second grades, I had Mrs. Bowsher for a teacher both years. She was always very frustrated with me, and thinking that she was doing the right thing, she would make fun of me in class when I did something wrong. I had a hard time learning to write and because ADHD kids want everything to be perfect, I would write over and over on each line during penmanship making a real mess out of my paper. On the blackboard, she showed the whole class how I wrote thinking it would straighten me up. I was humiliated, so I purposely made messes out of my papers to "get even" with her.

Since no one ever heard of ADHD, I was considered a brat, and because I lost my dad to cancer in the spring of my first-grade year, I was traumatized and angry. This resulted in bad behavior and caused the teacher much grief. I remember losing my milk money one day, and she made fun of me because I was upset and crying. She is probably rotting in "bad teacher" hell.

In the fourth grade, our class went to the hatchery and, for a quarter, I could bring home my very own baby chick. Quite a few of the kids brought one or two of them home; I fell in love with a little black and yellow chick and brought him home. My mother said no because rats will come if we have chickens, and the next day I had to bring it back to school. Never mind that there were two houses on the block with chickens and we already had rats in the neighborhood from the nearby dump, so I didn't see why I couldn't have a chicken of my own. My teacher was angry with me because I had told her I had my mom's permission - which was a lie. One of the other kids took the chicken home. After that, signed permission slips were required for anything we brought home from our field trips.

We used to have playgrounds at elementary school - real playgrounds. Now they have all this safety stuff, and the kids don't know any better so they still think they are having fun. Do you remember the old wood swings? We could stand up and swing, and it was so much more fun than sitting. The swings were tall; the chains were at least 10 - 12 feet long. We stood on the seat and pumped and pumped, trying to get the swing to go straight out, sometimes we succeeded too. Moreover, the ground was blacktop or concrete... none of this soft gravel or sand for us. We cracked our heads open, scraped our knees, broke our arms, and became tough! There was a twelve-foot high slide that was not enclosed, not only would we climb up the ladder and slide with no safety concerns whatsoever, we would swing off the side and shinny down the posts. Great fun!

We had a merry-go-round with a "pumper" on each half of the circle; the rest of the circle was a bench that we sat on, with a metal railing above our knees that we could hold onto. This was up off the blacktop about two or three feet, so if we fell, we would definitely get hurt. At recess we used to race for the "pumper" seats, so we could try our hand in going fast enough to either get the others sick, or make them fall off. Sometimes when we were not in the pumper seats, we would let go of the railing positioning our legs under it, and lean all the way back with our arms out above our head. The trick was to try to stay there without sliding out onto our heads - not always successful, and there were many bruises, cuts and scrapes as a result.

The teeter-totters were very large and we would get several kids on each side competing to see which side could bump the ground hard enough to make the other side fall off onto the blacktop. The teachers were in their little private room having coffee; they could care less what we did during recess. We did keep the school nurse busy, and in those days, parents did not sue the schools every time their little angels got hurt. No one died either, just in case you were wondering; but we don't know why.

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