Thursday, April 26, 2007

Smelterville: First Grade

I started first grade at Silver King Grade School. My first-grade teacher was Mrs. Morical (unsure of spelling). I remember the first day of classes I was pretty scared to have my mom leave me there. I only knew 2 kids in my grade so far, LJ and MR from kindergarten. I think LJ, the girl was in the other first-grade class, so I really felt strange.

One of the first things Mrs. M would do each day, was to ask us 3 questions. If the answers were yes to all three questions, we would get a star by our name on the board. She made the stars out of colored chalk and they were the kind you make by drawing a + with an x written over it.) I was in awe of the colored chalk and really wanted to have those stars by my name. The three questions were: Did you comb your hair? Did you brush your teeth? and Did you bring a clean handkerchief? (Yes, handkerchief. . .I'm not sure if Kleenex was invented yet, or if it was just a luxury item that no one really could afford at the time.) I always felt bad if I forgot my hankie, because I couldn't get a star that day.

Highlights of first grade were: learning to read, making butter & cottage cheese, and playing Mrs. Santa Claus in the Christmas play. It didn't occur to me until about the time we did the play, that I did most of the talking. I don't remember learning my lines, but I do remember getting to wear "red lipstick" the night of the play. (Raymond Pert played Santa and I look forward to his post about that event.)

I also remember being really homesick in first grade. I had a lot of stomach aches, and later found out it was called separation anxiety. (I wanted to be at home). My most embarrassing moment in the first grade was the day I discovered I had worn my shortie pajama bottoms to school under my dress. (No one else knew, but I was mortified to think I had done something so stupid). Later I found out it happened to other girls as well.

The day we made butter, we took turns churning the butter in a large glass jar with wooden paddles inside. When the butter was ready, we got to eat it on Hi Ho or Ritz crackers. It was the best butter I have ever eaten. The cottage cheese was another story. The curds and whey were upstairs in the lunch room, and each first grader from both classes got to take a turnlifting the curds from the whey with a screened scoop of some kind. The whey stunk, and I wasn't interested in eating any of the curds when we were done. (At least now I knew what "Little Miss Muffet" had been eating, and I really felt sorry for her.)

Learning to read was fun. We had several reading groups that took turns sitting in little chairs around the teacher. She had flash cards with phonics on them that we learned, repeated, and read. Later we graduated to "Dick, Jane, and Sally" books, and latter Dr. Seuss books for take home reading.

Dr. Seuss was all the rage at that time. I don't know if it was the first year his books were out, but a lot of the kids were getting them for their home libraries. I think I got five. One of my friends from Pinehurst, got all the books in the series. I liked to go to her house and read the ones I hadn't read.

My favorite Dr. Seuss book was One Fish, Two Fish. I had half the book memorized and could recite it years later. The only thing I didn't like about the Dr. Seuss books were the drawings and stories of made-up creatures. I thought the drawings were creepy and the creatures were dumb - but I was just a kid. (I still think that about the books, and wondered why they didn't at least improve on the pictures.)

What was your favorite Dr. Seuss Book? Did you like his illustrations?

13 comments:

myrtle beach whale said...

My favorite teacher at Silver King was named Mary Woolum. I had her in the second grade. Her life was very sad as all of her own children were in special ed and had to ride that darned short bus. LOL

Pinehurst in my Dreams said...

You must know Pert, or you wouldn't have said that! Did you really attend Silver King? What grades?

myrtle beach whale said...

I do know Bill. I figured he would see this on your post. I graduated from KHS in 1970. I attended Silver King grades 1-6. Morical-1, Woolum-2, Watts-3, and Wakefield-6. I don't remember the teachers I had in grades 4-5. They must have been insignificant in my life. I remember having a huge crush on Mrs. Wakefield. She was hot. And sixth grade is when the hormones start to run wild.

Pinehurst in my Dreams said...

I wondered about that. Thanks for the 3rd Grade teacher's name. I had Watts also, then moved to Pinehurst for 4th-9th. I graduated in '72. Hope you are enjoying some of the Silver King memories. I still have third grade to write.

Pinehurst in my Dreams said...

BTW (by the way) does your last name start with a W, and did you work at the Union Legion sometimes? My mom was an avid bowler. . .so I dropped in to see her from time to time. I may remember you.

myrtle beach whale said...

My last name does begin with W and I spent a lot of time at the Union Legion. I was also an avid bowler. I am sure I knew her.

Pinehurst in my Dreams said...

I'm sure I know who you are now. Thanks for commenting! RW

My mom bowled for the Happy Landing. Her name was Mari L. - teammates included Dorothy Clemens, Dee Wise, Joy Blackbird, Snip Murchison, Winnie Callahan, Betty ? Yanzick. Of course teammates fluctuated some.

Mom passed away in 1990. Complications from cancer treatment (radioactive cobalt) in '74 - '75 plus inactivity for 15 yrs. She had to quit bowling shortly after her treatments, because she lost the reflexes in her knees and ankles and was prone to fall backwards and hit her head. At the time I didn't think about what a loss it was for her, but now that I think that she bowled on 2-3 leagues each week, that it was a drastic change in her life.

Mom also worked at Wayside Market from about '65 - until '75, first as a checker, then a meat-cutter.

myrtle beach whale said...

Wow. I knew all those ladies. I used to keep score for tournaments. Dorothy Clemens was the loudest woman I ever met. Email me at rickfanattic@yahoo.com. I want to discuss something that shouldn't be a public forum.

myrtle beach whale said...

By the way, my favorite Dr. Seuss work is "The Places We Will Go." I bought it for both of my grandchildren and I always hope it is the one they choose to read to them. But unfortunately they love Thomas the Train and Dora the Explora. My bad luck. Hopefully when they are a bit older.

Pinehurst in my Dreams said...

I like that one, too. Not as cheesy as some of the others. They will probably choose it later. When they realize they can go places all by themselves.

Did you get my email? I'm still waiting to hear what you have to say about the ol' bowling gang.

myrtle beach whale said...

email did not come. please verify you got my address right. rickfanattic@yahoo.com

Pinehurst in my Dreams said...

Just tried it again. This time I typed it.

myrtle beach whale said...

not sure why it is not coming through. Try one more time. Maybe it was going directly into my bulk mail. I just changed my settings. Lets see if it works now.