Categories
Memoirs

Teacher’s Pet

When I was in second grade, my friends told me I was the teacher’s pet. I didn’t really think of myself as such, but I was the one Mrs. Russell chose to keep in during recess at the end of the day to help her with projects such as putting up bulletin boards, cutting out things, cleaning erasers, or doing errands for her.  



That’s me in the circle and Mrs. Russell with the tall hair standing.

 You can see the book characters on the wall. 

That year we had recess after lunch, and then a quiet time where we would rest our heads on our desks and listen to the teacher read to us.  My favorite book that she read was The Wizard of Oz.  She had put characters from the book on the wall and I would study them every day.  I was so enamored with the story and so eager to know what happened next that I persuaded my parents to buy me a copy of the book. Soon I found myself the proud owner of the Whitman version of the book which I believe I read in one weekend.


Another thing I remember about reading in elementary school was the SRA reading kit.  SRA stands for Science Research Associates.  During SRA time, we would go to the SRA box on the counter in the classroom, pick a folded card with a reading selection and then we would be tested over the reading.  If we scored high enough on the reading test, we could advance to the next color.  If not, we had to select another story in the same color.  Being kind of an overachiever, I would rush through the reading, take the test, and see if I could advance faster than anyone else.  I was in the top reading group, after all.


Back in the 60’s we were all divided into reading groups based on our abilities.  Though the groups were named benignly after birds or colors, there was no doubt in our minds which group was the smartest, which was the middle, and which was the slowest.  And since there were no classroom teacher aides, we were expected to work on an assignment at our desks while the teacher had a reading group at a table in the back of the room.  No one misbehaved during that group time because no one wanted to be the recipient of a swing from the teacher’s paddle or a visit to the principal’s office.  There was real fear in those days.  I think it had something to do with the fact that you would catch it at home as well.


So  I was smart.  Miss Goody-Two-Shoes.  The girl who followed the rules.  The girl who got to stay in from recess and help the teacher.   Teacher’s pet.  What about you?  Were you the teacher’s pet?  

XOXO


Categories
Memoirs

Twister!

Everybody in Texas seems to have a tornado story. They’ve either been in one, seen one, or know someone who has. I haven’t had the terrifying experience of actually being in a tornado, but as a kid I came close enough.

Source

Grandpa and Grandma Irwin were visiting from central Texas, and when the weather turned bad and the wind got up, Grandpa insisted on piling everyone in the car and getting out, not realizing that being in a car is the worst place you can be in a tornado. He had been in a tornado once and he didn’t intend to repeat the experience.

Our little house in the country didn’t have a garage, so we had to brave the wind and rain to get to the car. It’s a pretty frightening thing to be six years old and barely able to walk in the wind. Fortunately I hadn’t read The Wizard of Oz yet.

Source

Daddy drove all of us–mama, us four kids, one an infant, and Grandma and Grandpa to Tyler where we parked on the downtown square and waited for the storm to pass, two adults and two children in the front, and two adults and two children in the back. No carseats or seatbelt laws back then! When Daddy and Grandpa agreed it was safe to return, we drove home, no doubt happy to see everything still in its place. 

Grandpa and Grandma Irwin

I grew up convinced that a tornado had been nearby as we ran to the car that night. My parents believed there was. This was back in the day when there was no such thing as Doppler radar or today’s sophisticated weather technology. 

I’ve never been one to take tornado watches and warnings with a shrug. I have a “windowless interior room” that I retreat to with the dog, (hubby wouldn’t go in there unless he heard it coming!) and if I’m out and about I find shelter. No close personal encounters for me, no thank you.

What about you? Have you had an experience with a tornado?  Check out Keeper II: The Storm for Jolie’s terrifying encounter!

XOXO