School Days, School Days

I liked school...well, I'll have to define that more...I liked learning.
(not your typical child, I know, but I was always a little different.)

Until I was seven years old, my school was wherever my parents talked to me. We were missionaries in the Bahamas. I remember reciting my multiplication facts while we were hanging up clothes. I remember my father unfolding an American Flag and teaching me its pledge and "The Star Spangled Banner". (The Bahamas was still under England's rule, and I knew also knew "God Save Our Gracious Queen".) I loved maps and could point out all fifty states before I was five years old. I treasured every book I could get my hands on. School was everywhere.

My first school was in Nassau, Bahamas, at King's Way Academy. We dressed in white shirts and blue skirts. I can still smell the distinct scent of my leather bookbag. I was so excited about having classmates and friends, I can't really remember anything specifically that I learned. We played a game called "Punchinello" almost everyday in the walled dirt playground. The boys spun wooden tops in an alley next to it. I just adored my teacher, Mrs. Nunez.

The next year, we moved back to Cat Island, and my older cousin, Paul, taught his sisters and me. We didn't like his rule of wearing shoes. We kicked off our flipflops as often as we could. He also taught us to jumprope with two people turning the ends.

I didn't ride a school bus until I moved to New York, in fourth grade. It was a very rough bunch of kids. One year, I think we had 8 different drivers. I was "accidently" hit in the face because the girl next to me ducked. I remember that bus always backfired after it dropped me off. (smile)

I was always different. I was teased for being short, for being smart, for being quiet, and for being good. I had some friends, but usually we were the ones on the outside of the group. I shouldn't have cared, but I did. I dreaded moving to a new school and having to be the "new girl" again, new faces, new teachers, new hallways.

My flute was my key into being accepted. I loved playing in the band, and in each school, my flute took me into a special group where I could shine. I could do my best and be a part of something beautiful...until my junior year in high school when I stood my ground against rock n'roll and quit. (Read "Bon Courage" on Friday)

I loved learning all the way through high school. My senior year, I filled my schedule with literature and writing and French. (I'll have to say I didn't like math, but one can't love everything.)It was in a creative writing class that year, that my character Phoebe was born.

I taught my own children at home and then worked in a Christian school. It seems strange not getting ready for it this year. I still find myself walking through the school supplies aisles at the stores, wanting to buy new crayons and pencils and notebooks.

I heard the bus pick up my niece and nephew this morning. I hope they enjoy school. I hope they have friends that make each day enjoyable. I hope they have good teachers that make learning fun.

1 comment:

Lydia said...

And at least two of your children have gone on to teach (ok, I know, my classroom is not conventional, but teaching is teaching.) I have a feeling several of your grandchildren will be taught at home... your teaching legacy will live on!

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