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At random: Alexander the Great (356 to 323 B.C.) ruler of Macedonia and conqueror of the known world in his time, is the first person known to have descended into the sea in a vessel of any kind.
School as it was
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fortyrod
Posted 2023-02-08 6:53 AM (#103222)
Great Sage of the Sea

Posts: 854

Subject: School as it was

The other day my mind wandered back in time, back to a small school I attended. This was triggered by my granddaughter asking me about my school days. Please indulge my reminiscing.

There was one school building housing first through twelfth grade. 27 was the number of students in my class. There were three castes of kids, maybe social status is a better description. There was a middle class, poor, and poorer. My siblings and I were part of the poor society. Because the school was so small, we knew everyone of our classmates. I do not remember any segregation of castes, or denigration, just kids being kids. There were kids with new clothes, and kids with patched high water pants (obviously hand me downs). Some kids had well cut hair, some had their hair cut at home.

There was no school lunch program, or cafeteria. Just a classroom converted to a “ lunch room”. Most everyone brought their lunch, although some kids walked a few blocks home. My lunch was in a brown paper bag, neatly folded and brought home. That bag had to last all week, lunch was almost always and forever a peanut butter sandwich, and hard boiled egg. Mom baked the bread. Mom made the jam. Mom churned the butter. The peanut butter was “commodities” handed out by the county. Once in a great while there would be a fried egg sandwich. These had tremendous trading value for a baloney sandwich.

Almost everyone rode the bus, or walked. You better be at the end of the driveway waiting. Our bus driver would not wait. It was cold in the winter at minus 20, waiting for old number 9. I sure hope that bus is on time. Mr. Grove ran the bus like a prison warden. For a minor offense he would pull over, swat you across the head, and explain the errors of your ways. For a major offense, you were yanked out of your seat, and the bus steps became your seat. I was relegated to those wet snowy steps for three days. I don’t remember the exact offense, I think it was saying a word I heard my uncle say.

Teachers were there to teach, not baby sit. They too were authoritarians. Pupils were not pushed through. If you failed, you flunked, try again. Thinking back it was so much different then what schools are today. Kids settled their differences on the school playground. There was no school resource officer to come and arrest a kid. Teachers might separate the offenders, and that was the end of it. Leonard Bastille had a truck with a gun rack, no big deal.

Times have changed my girl, and I don’t think it’s for the better. I don’t expect you to understand it, you had to be there and experience it. That's how it was on the Minnesota plains in the 1950's.

Please forgive my spelling and grammar. I didn't learn much in English class.
Tom McNulty
Posted 2023-02-08 8:41 AM (#103223 - in reply to #103222)


Master and Commander

Posts: 1455

Subject: RE: School as it was

Having graduated the 8th grade in 1957 I get every bit of what you wrote. But being in NYC we walked to school. I lived about 2 blocks (maybe about 1/8th mile) from the school as did most of the kids. Some may have been a 1/2 mile or so. Most browned bag lunch and I occasionally went home. Being a latch key kid with both parents working I had to know if my Aunt was there to let me in. Not very often. Being a city school, my graduating class had 168 kids. Yes, disputes took place in the school yard either lunch time or after class. The class size did prevent us from knowing much about others unless they lived on my block or went to my Church. I agree, you can't relate to all this unless you experienced it. I wouldn't have wanted it any other way. Thanks for posting your memory, it sure jogs mine.
Sewer Pipe Snipe
Posted 2023-02-08 10:11 AM (#103225 - in reply to #103222)
Master and Commander

Posts: 1796

Location: Albany, GA.
Subject: RE: School as it was

I was a product of the New York City School System. During Elementary School, PS 49, I was Specht 22 for all six years. I was still Specht 22 in Junior High. I walked or ran home for lunch every day when at PS 49. Lunch always was a Knockwurst, slice of German Farmer's Bread and a glass of milk. Never varied, and I still enjoy it when I can find the bread. We walked no matter the weather. I don't ever remember the school being closed unless the snow was deep, and that was rare. Usually it had to be enough to stop Public Transportation. Disputes were settled in the Park right across the street so the teachers wouldn't interfere. 
Pedro
Posted 2023-02-08 10:30 AM (#103226 - in reply to #103222)


COMSUBBBS

Posts: 2974

Location: Liverpool, England
Subject: RE: School as it was

The school system was pretty much the same in England as the ones you experienced in the USA. The teachers were dedicated but strict in the late 40s and 50s. They genuinely encouraged kids to improve and achieve more. Those that did not were disciplined with a corporal punishment system of six strokes of a bamboo cane across the palms of the hand. Nobody was given a free ride back then.

Sparing the rod and spoiling the child was the maxim of the day and it worked in the majority of cases. On a few occasions, I received “six of the best” from the Head Master until it dawned on me it was better to comply and study. In those days these practices were supported by parents, unlike today when eventually on their insistence, corporal punishment was discontinued after which kids could do whatever they wanted in the classroom.

I think I received a good basic education but that was not enough. The Royal Navy was my salvation in both training and further education in order to advance. After 22 years of service, I left the Navy and went into industry, only to witness first-hand the decline in education and standards whereby I who was once a sailor was now responsible for managing overgrown children.

Pedro
Ric
Posted 2023-02-08 10:30 AM (#103227 - in reply to #103223)


Plankowner

Posts: 9167

Location: Upper lefthand corner of the map.
Subject: RE: School as it was

In my early years I live on Vashon Island in the middle of Puget Sound. The island was pretty large at about 17 miles long and around 5 miles wide thought that is not really true at the island had an irregular shape.. There were three schools on the island. 2 elementary schools and one high school.
The elementary school I attended was originally a 4 story wood building. I began kindergarten there thru the 5th grade when I moved. There was a large separate gym, also made from wood and huge "play field" (some grass and a lot of mud). The grades were K thru 8. We did have meals but they were served from carts pulled out into the halls and you got your food and went back to your desk.
Half way through 2nd grade the new modern school building was completed and we all moved into that one. I was there until late 5th grade when I had to move. About ten years later the "new" school was torn down because of the horrible construction. It was a danger to kids safety. The old gym hung around and was used for about the same number of years. The old school was torn down after I left the island.
We rode buses as hardly anyone lived close except a girl named Mary who lived next to the play field. Disagreements were handled behind the gym and teachers and principles dealt out "justice".
Moved into the city and life wasn't the same.


geno
Posted 2023-02-09 10:59 AM (#103228 - in reply to #103222)
Old Salt

Posts: 273

Location: Vista, Ca.
Subject: RE: School as it was

I hope my shipmates don't take offense when I say tha in my most humble opinion I one think you all had it pretty easy and two I wish I could say the same for my schooling. I reeally didn't know any better but I think I had a little rough trip. Born in Porterdale Georgia in 1952. Then about a year later we were off. For the next years until 1965 we bounced about every three years. England, U.S., Phillippines, Turkey, Okinawa and finally San Antonio, Tx. That's where I started high school. Every three years I would leave a school where I had made friends for a new school and country. When I entered high school I had approximate one year being in the U.S. Starting high school where you knew no one and had no idea really what America was and how it operated was challenging. In looking back it may have been rough and different but I'm sure I also learned some lessons I would not have learned otherwise. Best to all.
Ric
Posted 2023-02-09 3:05 PM (#103232 - in reply to #103228)


Plankowner

Posts: 9167

Location: Upper lefthand corner of the map.
Subject: RE: School as it was

No offense taken.
My first wife was an "Army Brat" and lived all over also.
Holland Club
Posted 2023-02-09 4:50 PM (#103233 - in reply to #103222)


Master and Commander

Posts: 2490

Location: East Coast of Wisconsin
Subject: RE: School as it was

Started 1st grade at 5 years old about the same time Hitler invaded Poland in Sept 1939 at Boones Creek Elementary School in Washington County, TN. Expected to study and bring home a good report card. Graduated from 8th grade there.
Moved to Cumberland Co., VA in 1947. Enrolled in 9th grade at Cumberland High just before my 13th birthday.
My Army retiree dad got out of the Army after WWI, living in Green Co. KY and. My brother and I decided we wanted to go live with him. So enrolled in first semester of 9th grade at Greensburg High School. Didn't last long as my dad tried to palm us off on his dad.. Reenrolled in first semester of 9th grade at Boones Creek High School. Third school in 3 states in one semester.
Apparently grandpa did not want us around either so we got bus tickets back to KY. Re enrolled in 9th grade for the 4th time back in Greensburg, KY.
BYW, I did pass everything except algebra for my credits toward high school graduation, In May 1951, graduated from High school at 16. Two days later, was on my own.

Except for never getting to attend a sport event anytime in my school time, school was pretty normal. Still have the 8 parts of speech, multiplication tables, etc. locked in.

Edited by Holland Club 2023-02-09 4:53 PM
GaryKC
Posted 2023-02-09 9:53 PM (#103234 - in reply to #103222)


COMSUBBBS

Posts: 3677

Location: Kansas City Missouri
Subject: RE: School as it was





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Runner485
Posted 2023-02-10 5:15 AM (#103235 - in reply to #103233)


COMSUBBBS

Posts: 2675

Location: New Jersey
Subject: RE: School as it was

Ok Ron...Having been through 8 years of grammar school I never heard of "Still have the 8 parts of speech". I have no idea what that is. The adage around my house was, "children should be seen and not heard". So I had to shut up...
Holland Club
Posted 2023-02-10 8:29 AM (#103236 - in reply to #103235)


Master and Commander

Posts: 2490

Location: East Coast of Wisconsin
Subject: RE: School as it was

interesting, Joe. Lok here:
https://www.grammarly.com/blog/parts-of-speech/
Without reading the link. Let's see what I remember.
1. Noun. The name of a person, place or thing.
2. Pronoun an improper noun
3 verb. a word to describe action ,being or condition4
3. Adjective. A word to describe a noun or pronoun
4.Adverb. a word used to describe a verb, adjective or another adverb..
5.Preposition a word used to amplify a phrase. as in to ter movie where to is the preposition
6.Conjunction a word used to connect parts of a sentence, Example Mary and Jim where and is the conjunction.
7 Interjection. don't remember.
8. Exclamation as in Aw s..t


Edited by Holland Club 2023-02-10 8:44 AM
Thomas Courtien
Posted 2023-02-11 6:04 AM (#103242 - in reply to #103222)
Master and Commander

Posts: 1894

Location: Patterson, New York
Subject: RE: School as it was

Got out of 8th grade in 1963; we walked to school most days (1 mile) as did most of the other poor kids.

Catholic school with nuns who, in hindsight, seemed to have personality disorders.

PBJ everyday for lunch; but, the small carton of milk was free.

The wealthier kids had money to buy a "hot lunch" in the cafeteria.

If there was a fight, the lower economic class kid was always blamed for starting it.

Went to public HS where you were treaded more equally.

I always told my kids that the nuns prepared me for Boot Camp.
Runner485
Posted 2023-02-11 7:49 AM (#103243 - in reply to #103236)


COMSUBBBS

Posts: 2675

Location: New Jersey
Subject: RE: School as it was

Damn Ron! That's good for an oldtimer. I can't remember my confirmation name sometimes.

I didn't realize that was called parts-of-speech. School of the boat, right!
Runner485
Posted 2023-02-11 7:53 AM (#103244 - in reply to #103242)


COMSUBBBS

Posts: 2675

Location: New Jersey
Subject: RE: School as it was

Right Tom,

"I always told my kids that the nuns prepared me for Boot Camp."

Likewise. First 8 years of school. Then Public school. Then boot camp.
Holland Club
Posted 2023-02-11 6:21 PM (#103250 - in reply to #103243)


Master and Commander

Posts: 2490

Location: East Coast of Wisconsin
Subject: RE: School as it was

'School of the boat' will certainly do.
Gil
Posted 2023-02-12 9:38 AM (#103254 - in reply to #103222)
Master and Commander

Posts: 1609

Subject: RE: School as it was

I only had to go to catholic nursery school.  The nun's administered punishment to us for everything from throwing up at breakfast to not paying attention in class.  Public school in SoCal was punishment free until junior high school.  My shop classes used everything from a razor strap to a paddleboard paddle and everything in between to keep the peace.  In high school it was my PE class for punishment and the tool was just the sole of an old tennis shoe, but it was administered for the most minor of offenses.  I never had to visit the VP, or Principal.

Funny sidenote.  I had a girlfriend after the Navy, and her dad had been the Boys VP of Hawthorne high school in the 60's.  Mr. Carbaugh had members of the Beach Boys visit his office frequently for discipline problems, some much more often.  He was the person designated to tell them they shouldn't concentrate on just their music as very few can make it in that field.  Despite that Mr. Carbaugh was able to retire as a principal from Chatsworth high school. 
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