Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Fifth Grade


The school I attended from half-day (afternoon) kindergarten through graduation from ninth grade was torn down a few years ago. The building was ancient and probably full of asbestos and lead paint and god-knows-what-else. There was a minor uprising from alumni, but I thought that the right decision had been made.

A wonderful thing that came out of this was the establishment of a Facebook page by one of the alum for any and all other alum. Through it I've reconnected from folks I knew when I was very young. It's been fun reading other people's memories of our histories together. Recently, apparently some people from my particular age bracket have been cleaning out old things and finding memorabilia that they'd thought was long gone, and they've posted photographs, programs, assembly leaflets, and it has been interesting to read through them.

This morning a terrific guy I remember as a trumpet player in the elementary and junior high bands posted this picture of our fifth grade trip to Pennsbury; this would have been circa 1955. I downloaded the photo to my desktop and have returned to look at it so many times throughout the day. Fifth grade was the last happy year I would have until tenth grade; I was younger than all of my classmates, and when puberty hit, I was out of my league (whatever my league may have been). I really didn't fit in well from sixth through ninth grade and have few good memories of those years.

But fifth grade! Oh, my! Our teacher was Miss Koons and I adored her (a minority viewpoint, it turns out!). She recognized and lauded my gift for spelling, we studied Quakers, learned about the changes our bodies would undergo in the next few years, and the entire grade most of the students went on the first ever fifth grade camping trip (I was sick with a fever and was unable to participate). This photograph that John shared was taken on the field trip to the home of William Penn (think famous Quaker), and I can name about half or more of those pictured.  The woman with us isn't Miss Koons; she was our student teacher that semester. This was from a time long ago where girls only wore dresses, jumpers, skirts or Girl Scout uniforms to school and absolutely nobody wore blue jeans (they were called dungarees). It must have been a wonderful day; we all look as though we are happy to be there. If you haven't found me, I'm in the front row, the one with the braids.


10 comments:

Karla said...

I love this! You were a cutie! Check out the boys upper left. Funny!

John Ketterlinus said...

Nancy, this was a wonderful Blog you wrote from our common past. As you stated "from a time long ago". Oh my, I fell like an ancient (fill in the blank)! I wish I could dig up more photos. But for now, this is the best I can do until other family shoe boxes are discovered.

John

John Ketterlinus said...

The two boys that come to mind right away are Tom van Fossen (standing off to the left) and Ray Jackendoff. Ray jumped ahead of us all, either in 7th or 8th grade. So he graduated at least one or two years ahead of our class of 62 http://ase.tufts.edu/cogstud/jackendoff/

Mrs. Goodneedle said...

I picked you out immediately, only because I see your Sherry in that young girl!

I, too, have great memories of elementary school and much less-so ones of middle school. Yes, school dresses(!) that were removed as soon one returned home from school, hung up, and "play clothes" were donned.

I remember falling into a puddle at recess when I was in the first grade. Miss Gordon, my beloved teacher, took me into the restroom and gave me dry underwear and a pair of elastic-waist corduroy slacks to wear for the rest of the day! I can still recall how mortified I felt wearing PANTS at school!

This found photo is a treasure for you, what a blessed memory to recall and inspect!

Lori said...

Fun memories...when times were simpler!!

Quiltdivajulie said...

Wonderful post - and I did pick you out before you confirmed my selection! We wore dresses with shorts underneath so that when we played on the playground and swung too high, the boys couldn't see anything under our skirts.

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

Cool to connect with old friends. I cannot find one of my old friends on FB. Even those that post on our high school FB page, or the Michigan City page are strangers to me. I wish very badly to find two of my oldest friends...nothing. It's kind of hard living in an area that you didn't grow up in. Even when I go "home" I never see anyone I might have known but how could I after 45 years. Though I did go to my 25th High School Reunion and I admit, most looked the same back then. Unfortunately the two friends I wanted to connect with didn't come. I still hope.
xx, Carol

Shasta Matova said...

What an adorable picture! The middle school years were rough for me too, and I think they are rough for just about everyone. I have reconnected with my high school friends on Facebook, and have really enjoyed that experience.

Barbara Anne said...

Weren't you a cutie?!

I was several years behind you in school but the school clothes were the same. I remember being horrified that my mother wanted me to polish my saddle oxfords. What humiliation that was when properly scuffed saddle shoes were the whole point!

Did you have to change into "play clothes" before going out to play after school?

Thanks for bringing some memories back for me!

Hugs!

LizA. said...

How fun! I don't think I could name anybody from my fifth grade.....goodness -- I can picture the teacher's face but I can't put a name to him. I do remember he would throw erasers at us if we were caught chatting or passing notes....