Jerry Springer sent me a picture the other day of a first grade class that was taken at Garfield Elementary School in Cherokee. The two children that I recognize in the picture was the beautiful red head, Pam Long and Jerry, himself. Aren’t these pictures so much fun? I have a scrapbook that has lots of these pictures and I just laugh because some of them are so awful.
I did not go to Garfield, I went to Lincoln Elementary but I was thinking how traumatic first grade was for me. The teacher’s name was Miss Blackwell and as far as I was concerned she was the meanest woman I had ever seen in my life. I don’t remember who the child was, but Miss Blackwell pulled up her dress and spanked her in front of the class. Two things snapped in my mind, my parents didn’t spank and two, to lift up her dress in front of the class was unheard of. The first thing I did when I got home was to tell my mom what happened. I can remember she frowned and did the mom “hmm” but she did tell me this. “If I ever hear that you get spanked at school, you will get another one at home.” I have never forgotten that and for the most part I was always good at school. I am sure Mom just forgot to say, “If the spanking was warranted.”
The second thing that happened that year was in the dead of an Iowa winter and Rosemary stuck her tongue on the fire escape. Everybody was so scared, I was scared. No one had ever told me not to do that. I don’t remember how they got her loose probably poured warm water over it, but it sure caused a stir. It seemed like everybody on the playground had come to watch to see if they could get her loose and how long it was going to take and if they were going to have to cut her tongue off etc. etc.
You know I always wanted to be a teacher, I eventually taught classes in Kansas for caring for Alzheimer’s patients, but I think now what if I would have been the teacher that day trying to calm a screaming child and attempting to keep her from tearing her tongue on that fire escape