School Memories

by Harry T. Roman

There is no specific story here. This time I am going to just list the many things I remember about my old Newark school, Abington Avenue. They are in no particular order. I wrote them as they came out.

Relax…… think back….. remember the sounds and smells of your old classroom, and let the memories gently lap at your senses.

Let the tensions of grown-up life fade away. Think of your own kids and grandchildren-and the awe and wonder they experienced when they were small---- and now remember how school felt for you.


Here we go……..back to the past.

Peel back the years………


The big jars of paper paste that everybody swore they never ate.

Colored stars on your homework.

Having your test or writing hung up on the classroom bulletin board.

What your favorite teacher’s perfume smelled like.

Milk breaks; and during the winter, keeping the milk on the outside window sill to keep it cold.

Student patrol crossing guards.

Making Christmas decorations:
Loop chains using colored construction paper
Green trees with sparkles glued on them
Snowflakes cut from folded paper.

The big Christmas tree all lit up on the stage.

School plays and trying to memorize your lines.

Your rest time nap mat in kindergarten; and the big wooden blocks you could build things with.

Practicing your push-pulls and ovals in penmanship.

Fountain pens you filled from ink-bottles.

Desks with ink wells.

Carving your name into your desk.

Desks that were bolted to the floor, with chairs that flipped up and down.

Janitors who knew who your name.

Growing plants in your classroom window.

Going home for lunch.

Schoolyard games.

Halloween costume parties.

Dodge ball games in gym.

Dick and Jane stories, reading in a little circle around the teacher; and doing the workbook drills and exercises.

Folding your paper into 16 squares and doing a math problem in each square.

Those pieces of paper with blue lines that you first used to learn how to write.

Shop and Home Ecc classes.

Visiting the nurse’s office.

Posture checks and having your teeth checked.

Assembly days.

Reading an inspirational passage from the Bible every morning.

Saluting the flag and meaning it.

Air raid drills.

Fire drills.

Finger paints and crayons.

Someone barfing in class!

The excitement of the last day before summer vacation and handing in your books.

Singing together in auditorium.

Bringing a note home from school from the teacher!

Class trips.

Writing a theme about what you did during summer vacation.

The truant officer!

Mom and dad going to PTA meetings.

Those classroom clocks with the Roman numerals.

Staying after school.

Someone cheating on an exam; and getting caught!

Chewing gum in class; and getting caught!

Standing in the corner or in the coat closet for punishment.

Graduation day and your autograph book.

Drying your wet winter coats and gloves on the big toasty classroom radiators.

Watching it snow from your desk and hoping it would keep coming down.

The first time you did the apparatus test in gym.

Those blue gym uniforms the girls wore!

The 60-yard dash test.

Knowing someone who broke their arm.

Sticking a new sharpened pencil in the palm of your hand.

Hall monitors and classroom messengers.

Someone caught cursing.

Shooting paper clips on rubber bands.

Classroom movies and glass slide projector presentations.

Classroom visitors who gave a talk.

Fire engines and police cars coming to the school.

The school band.

The big clock in the school office, and the big polished counter.

Your principal and vice principal’s names.

Making the stage decorations for your graduation.

Graduation rehearsals.

Graduation class awards day.

Getting your diploma and shaking hands with the principal and your teacher.


Opening your house door after school and getting hugged by your mom!!!

There……feel better now, perhaps a bit more relaxed? Come back again whenever you feel the need. We had a great childhood growing up in Newark.


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