Grandma Mellie's Scrapbook
Copyright © 2001, Michael S. Cole, M.D.

previous page next page

School Days

    Within one half mile of my home stands the old schoolhouse where I attended school some 40 years ago. Oftentimes I visit this spot and in memory see the old schoolmates and our teachers.
    We had one teacher who taught the 8 grades, teaching some 35 or 40 pupils. We had all "book learning" and could not pass a grade until we knew those books from cover to cover.
    Our physical education was at recess and noon, playing such games as "Wolf Over the River," "Sheepy," "Needle's Eye," "Ante-Over," "Town Ball," and baseball.
    Sometimes we girls would tell fortunes. We would walk backwards 9 steps, turn around 3 times on our heel, and in the dirt we were supposed to find a hair which would be the color of hair of our future husband. Or we would count the buttons on our dresses and chant, "Rich man, poor man, beggar man, thief; doctor, lawyer, merchant, chief." The word counted on the last button determined what trade our future husband would have.
    When it was time for "books," the teacher would ring a little bell and woe betide the one who didn't hear it. We would line up and march in an orderly manner, go quietly to our seats, and we dared not whisper nor turn around for fear we might have to stand on the floor as punishment.
    The modern school child has so many different things to make school life interesting. But our book learning we haven't forgotten.
    Our teachers believed in teaching the golden rule and the fundamental principles of democracy. Each morning our school was opened by a pupil reading a chapter in the Bible and then we would sing. Those walls would ring with the pupils all singing, "Happy Little Home In Arkansas," "Row, Row, Row, Your Boat," "Red, White, and Blue," and "Robin Redbreast," and sometimes hymns.
    Then to our lessons. On the last Friday of each school month we would have "speaking." Each pupil memorized a poem and recited. Our parents would visit the school on that day. Once a month we had spelling matches or bees.
    It was always very interesting and when the last day of the school term of five or six months would arrive we were sad. For our days had been very happy together. We learned cooperation and teamwork, which has been a great help in our adult years.
    We enjoy the Wastebasket column and like to read of happenings of other days.
    We are much interested in old houses and old cemeteries.

Mellie Cole
March 1952

previous page | table of contents | next page