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~ Kathy M.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Collages: Back to School

Some kids have already started this school year, and the rest will begin next week.  For the most part, it is an exciting time, full of hope that this year will be a good year.  The school supplies, the new clothes, it is all fun.

I have always enjoyed school.  

I went to grade school back in the good old days.  I think that kids were nicer back then.  The teachers were the bosses, and we knew it.  If we were mean, they put us in our place.  Of course, I was not usually mean.  I didn't like hurting peoples feelings.

Little girls wore dresses, and when we were twirling on the monkey bars our underpants showed and nobody cared.  Boys chased the girls at recess.  That was not a crime. Toys were not allowed in school, but I am sure that if somebody drew a BB gun during art class that they were not expelled or considered dangerous.  It was pretty safe to walk or ride your bike to grade school, even if you were in kindergarten, way back then.

Teaching kids to learn through phonics was standard practice.  We practiced handwriting skills.  We went on field trips that included flying around in small airplanes at the Eugene Airport, and nobody was all freaked out about liability claims.

Back when I was in grade school, most of our parents were not into drugs.  Some did drink too much and cause problems, but nobody even knew about meth yet.  We had heard about some teenagers sniffing glue, and I remember watching one little boy trying that out with Elmer's, but he didn't have much success altering his consciousness that day.

The man with the tracheotomy came to our 5th grade classroom and had to burp to talk, because he had gotten cancer from smoking and they had to remove his voice box.  That made a huge impression on me, and because of him, I never did smoke.  Talking has always been way too important to me, and I never have been able to make myself burp at will.  He convinced me to never even begin that bad habit.

Things began to change as I got older, just like they always do.  But heading into the 70's the world was changing big time, and innocence was lost for everybody.  Parents got divorced; drugs and free love were everywhere in my liberal hometown of Eugene.  There were war protesters and hippies in abundance.  Girls wore pants to school, and seeing somebody's underpants on the monkey bars turned into rare and bad thing.

I don't really have a good ending for this rambling essay.  I just wish that we could regain some innocence for our little ones once again, somehow.  I hope that everybody has a good school year, that the children make lots of friends, and that people are nice to them.


BECKY said...

Kathy, you said it all so well. I agree totally!

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

Thank you, Becky.

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Links to My Oregon Blog Posts (Except for Central Oregon):

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