School Days Part 2

by Harry T. Roman

I got so many nice letters from folks who read my original story, School Memories, that I thought I would do a School Memories–Part 2, adding the grade school memories my pen pals mentioned, and contributing many more of my own.

So once again I ask that you take a deep breadth and let that tension drain from your neck and back…………….

Let the memories take you back to that safe place where every one of your friends is young…. no aches, no pains, and no worries---yes, that’s it. You are almost there. Your parents are young and vigorous; and life is fresh and green like new Spring grass.

Your mind’s eye sees your school hallway…… and just a few more steps and you will be at the door of your favorite grammar school teacher’s room. You see him/her smile at you and you know this is the place. You look around, seeing and hearing the chatter of excited friends. The teacher says in a happy voice, “All right children, let’s be seated and start today’s lesson.” ……..and then the happy memories start parading by….something like this…….remember?


Memorizing multiplication tables (up to 12!)

Doing poster board projects

Writing compositions

Learning how to use the telephone

Learning how to write letters and mail envelopes

Tracing autumn leaves on paper

Pasting autumn leaves on paper and other things to create decorative objects

Rubber rain-coat slickers for walking to school

Those big rubber boots with the metal clip buckles

Tormenting the girl who sat in front of you:
hitting her in the back
pulling her hair
tickling her
snapping her bra strap !!
undoing her bra snap !!!!!!!!

Hiding spent chewing gum underneath your desk

Facing up to your first bully

Writing a valentine card to a girl/boy

Being invited to a Saturday party by someone in your class

Passing notes around in class

Washing the chalk boards

Clapping erasers to clean them

Researching and writing your first project paper

Giving your teacher a present on special occasions

No sneakers or blue jeans allowed in school !

Carrying your sneakers into school for gym class

Saving money in your weekly savings pass book through the local bank (in Newark I remember it was the Howard Savings)

Getting caught reading a comic book

Decorating the school bulletin board

Running the mimeograph machine

Mimeographed work sheets with math and other problems on them

Doing the grab bag pick at Christmas time

Being let out early during snowstorms

Fights in the schoolyard

Playing on the see-saws, slides, and jungle gym

Schoolyard games like punchball, Buck-buck, kickball, hop scotch, tag, and 3 flies up

Bringing your parents to school because you were bad !

Being sent to the principal's office

Having someone else try and write an answer to a note the teacher sent home to your parents

Faked being sick so not to take a test

Blamed the dog for eating your homework

Shared your milk or lunch money with someone else

The smell of the crayons in the big can the teacher kept for everyone to use

Colored chalk

Chalk boards with lines on them

The penmanship cards for each letter (in capital and small case) that hung over the chalk boards

History and geography maps

South Sea Blue ink

Square shaped pencil erasers

Molding clay in art class

Your first attempt to make something in shop class or Home Ec

Giving your parents a gift you made in shop class

Your favorite poem

Trying to write a poem

Buying candy for a penny on the way to or from school

Getting caught with candy in class

How the wooden chairs and floor in the auditorium squeaked

How it felt when a favorite teacher was seriously ill

Seeing a polio victim for the first time, or knowing someone who was sick with it.

Staying home sick with the measles, chicken pox, or mumps

Having your house or friend’s house quarantined

The smell of the school cafeteria

Being in the upper grades and laughing at the younger kids when they messed up or did an auditorium performance

Taking a younger grade kid under your wing or having one follow you around

Your first kiss in the schoolyard !!!!!

Falling in the schoolyard and putting a hole in your pants, or skinning your knee

Getting a raspberry burn on your leg on the gym floor

Spilling stuff like paint, milk, ink, or food on your clothes

Squirting someone with your ink pen

Being told to get a haircut

Being taken home from school because you got sick

Milk and graham cookie snacks

Having your hair checked for lice

Had to have a clean handkerchief

School clubs

Trips to local parks for May Day

Visits to the school library to get books to read

Musical instrument practice

Helping the handicapped/Binet class kids

Having a handicapped child in your class

Knowing someone who had their appendix or tonsils out

Knowing someone who had TB

Getting stitches or knowing someone else who did

Having your parents meet you teacher on PTA night

Going back to school with your parents on election day so they could vote

Having to go to summer school

Crying on graduation night

Your graduation party,………………..and,

That first day in high school realizing you are on the bottom of the pile again !!!


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