Friday, August 13, 2010

Flashback Friday: Back to School

I have a strong aversion to BTS ads! It never fails--summer vacation ends too soon!
Two grandsons have already started school, and the other school-age grands begin next week.
Why not keep the old tradition--all schools begin on the same day, right after Labor Day?

Anyway, Mocha with Linda picks up the BTS theme with the following prompt:
Did your family have any back-to-school traditions when you were growing up? Were you generally eager or reluctant to start school? Was buying school supplies a big deal or did you order them through the school? Were there any school supplies you particularly loved? Did you take your lunch or buy it at school? Brown bag or lunch box/thermos? Does the first day of school from any grade stand out? Did you ride the bus, walk, or go by car to school? Do you remember how early or late school began/dismissed each day? Did you go to kindergarten? Half-day or whole day?
 I found two old photographs that I hope will help jog my memory because, to be honest, I do not remember much.
This wrinkled photo is the only remaining reminder of my first public school experience--second grade in Winona Lake, IN. Mrs. Little was my teacher and she did not live up to her name.
I wonder if I combed my own hair? Was that one of my mother's perms?
I do remember that for Valentine's Day, Mother made the best decorated heart cookies for everyone in my class.
Here, back in Argentina, I am wearing the typical uniform--guardapolvo--the white-starched-pleated mothers' nightmare. And I am carrying the brown leather portafolio. 
The date on the back says August '53, which is strange considering classes began in March. Maybe that's when the roll of film was developed. In any case, that was my first public school experience in Argentina. I started in the third grade. Sooooo much was new, especially considering that when we returned from a year in the USA, I could not remember Spanish. It must have come back to me quickly because I do not have any traumatic memories, and I may have had some time to recall the language before entering school. I do know my teachers were very kind and my report cards reflect very favorable outcomes.
Delia, the girl around the corner, walked to school with me every day. She is still a dear friend to this day and we are in regular contact via e-mail.

To answer the questions posed by Linda:
--no memorable traditions
--I was usually an eager student
--we had to purchase our own school supplies: cuadernos (notebooks), carpetas (binders and paper), Ăștiles (pens, pencils, erasers, geometry tools, etc.), libros (books), as required for each grade level. And, of course, the uniform and brief case mentioned above.
--No need for lunch. We either attended primer turno in the morning, or segundo turno o turno de tarde in the afternoon.
--Elementary or primary school was in our town and we walked the seven or eight blocks.
Secondary school was in another town and we had to take the public transport bus and then walk some ten blocks.
--No kindergarten back then. I did not do first grade either, so my parents must have taught me to read.

This exercise in dredging up childhood memories is very helpful, especially for someone who hopes to complete a memoir of those years. Thank you, Linda!
I encourage readers to go to Linda's blog for many more reminiscences.


SmallTownRunner said...

Did you know that the Indiana State Legislature is actually considering a bill that would regulate how early school can start? Some are thinking after Labor Day, other are thinking as early as two weeks before Labor Day... but even that would have given some of the kids almost two more weeks of August off.

Mocha with Linda said...

What fun to read your memories of school in Argentina! Thanks for participating!

bekahcubed said...

How interesting that you only had half-day school! Was this all the way through, or just through elementary school?

sara said...

Rita, my MIL would like a butter bell. but I can't remember the name of Mike's etsy shop. She wants a purple he taking orders right now?

rita said...

It was a four or five hour shift all the way through high school. In fact the same building used for my secondary 'normal' education was used in the afternoon for another program (pre-university secondary), and again in the evening by another school.

Susan said...

School always started after Labor Day when I was little, too. I think I was in high school when they started making the school year earlier. I was glad then, but now I like it here in Vancouver. We homeschool, but public schools start the day after Labor Day, so that's when we start.

Kim said...

"Mrs. Little was my teacher and she did not live up to her name." LOL

Fun reading this post and seeing the photos. A man must have definitely come up with the guardapolvo concept! :)