Throwback Thursday #7 – School Daze

Throwback Thursday Memory Blog Hop is hosted by Maggie this week. I will return next week with a new topic.  

Participation is easy. Write your own post sharing your memories and leave a pingback to this post in the comments. You can use the photo above in your post and tag it with #TBTMemory or #IRememberWhen to make it easier for others to find. If you do not wish to write your own post, feel free to tell your story in the comments below!

This week’s prompt is: School Memories – Take this prompt wherever it leads you. Here are some suggestions to consider.

Who was your favorite teacher? What about your worst? Were you a member of any clubs? Did you attend homecoming or the prom? What was your favorite subject? Were you the perfect student or a troublemaker? What clothes were in style when you were in school? How did you get to school? Bus, walk, drive? Any extracurricular activities? What did you do for lunch? Did you attend football games or other sports? Did you attend school when corporal punishment was applied? Have a school photo you wish to share?

I have written often about a few teachers that impacted my life positively. I decided in second grade that I wanted to become a teacher, and I did so. I had many wonderful teachers in my school life that reinforced my desire to be an educator.

In kindergarten my teacher was either a first- or second-year teacher. She was lovely, kind, sweet, and warm. My home life was chaos. School was my safe place. I was a non-stop talker at school because I was starved for attention. I often was chastised for talking too much. It didn’t make me stop doing it for long. My most vivid memory about kindergarten was based on the washing machine we had in the classroom. Looking back, I don’t know if the teacher liked having it there or not. But she sternly warned all of us to stay from the washing machine because it could do us great harm. I made the leap to believing that the washing machine at school must be possessed. I had nightmares that the washing machine would reach out and grab me. I believed it would throw me into the agitator and I would break my arms. I made a long walk around the washing machine the entire year.

In first grade I had Mrs. Bomb. (Yes, that was her name.) She was past retirement age, but a wonderful lady. She always wore gray dresses. Her pretty, silver hair was always up in a bun. She smelled like laundry soap. She reminded me of what a grandma is like. I wanted to make her happy so I was as well behaved as I knew how to be.

Second and third grade were also good for me. An issue I dealt with each year, was that my older brother had many of the same teachers. They would see my name and sigh. Let me just say, defiance to authority was skill he mastered early. It wouldn’t take long before they realized I wanted to do anything to make them happy and I was not like my brother.

In fourth grade I had my first male teacher. I was very frightened. He turned out to be a calm caring teacher. I enjoyed his class very much. By then, I had learned how to stay quiet and unnoticed. I am grateful that I had him as my first male teacher. In fifth grade I had a male teacher for one of my subjects. The teachers co-taught. He was often out of control. He would break rulers on a student’s desk if he thought they weren’t paying attention. He would throw chalkboard erasers at kids he thought were daydreaming. I had learned to be a mouse in the house, and I never received his negative attention. There was one time that he got so angry at a kid who still did not pay attention he actually jumped on the kid’s desk. The desk broke and everyone in class cracked up.

In sixth grade I had my favorite teacher. He was a wonderful person. I have written about him on blog posts. Because of him, I didn’t need to repeat 6th grade due to my medical issues. His deep voice was the first time in my life I had ever heard a man read to me. (the class) He cared about everyone equally.  Because of his having my fellow students make me cards as their art project each week, I love making and sending cards. I see it as showing someone you are thinking of them and care about them.

I spent one year in Connecticut with my family with stepdad number 6 or 7. It was a total culture shock for me. I was not only the odd ball from CA, but I was not able to fit in with the already formed cliques. I felt more isolated than I had ever felt before. School work was super easy though, so I enjoyed that immensely. 

We returned to California after one year. We eventually rented the house across the street from where I had grown up. The house backed up to the high school I later went to. I survived middle school without too much drama. Again, there was more drama at home than at school.

I was a loner in high school. I got good grades and school seemed easy. I never felt like I belonged in any of the groups there either. I had two close friends that made life bearable. I felt like I knew more than most of my teachers. (I still do.) The first two years were uneventful.  I have a funny memory of those first months in high school. The other side of my back fence was the high school. We had a Shepard/Akita large dog that didn’t like it when we weren’t home. He was a 90-pound lovable lap dog. He decided to jump the fence to go play with all the high schoolers he saw. The school did a lock down because they thought he was a threat. I heard through the grapevine that they had a large scary dog locked up when they released us all. I went to the office to find Teddy sad and confused. I told them he was my dog and asked to take him home. They wanted to know where I lived. When I told them, they gave me a note to leave campus and take him home. There were many more occasions when Teddy jumped the fence. My name would be called over the loudspeaker and I would go rescue my dog. 

Things changed after my first two years. There were many gang fights and racial problems on campus. I felt unsafe much of the time. I had a wonderful junior class counselor my 3rd year. I explained that the only class I enjoyed was my speech and debate class. I was sure I would hate the class, but the teacher was amazing. He gave me such confidence. I shared with the counselor that I was going to drop out of school when I turned 16. She didn’t freak out at all. She told me that I was third in my class, and she didn’t want me to drop out. I shared some of the drama at home. She had a solution. She worked and helped me to graduate early. I was thrilled to be able to go to the community college and leave the school drama behind me.

I had many wonderful school days. I was teased a lot as a kid, but nothing more than what I had to deal with from my older brother. I changed from a talkative little kid to a loner to stay safe. I knew a good teacher from a bad one. I respected the good ones and tolerated the bad ones. I knew I wanted to be a teacher, because I hoped to be a good one.