New York Years - Fifth Grade


After living one year in the States, absorbing much of the new culture, I had started making a few likes and dislikes about it. I remember NOT liking that the trees lost all their leaves for half the year. I missed the palm trees of the Bahamas and drew pictures of them constantly. I didn't like riding the school bus. (more stories about that later)Fifth grade pushed me into even more experiences.

First of all, at the beginning of the school year, the fifth graders assembled in the auditorium, and we were told where our homerooms would be. I realized that most of the kids that had been in my room last year would not be with me. I was confused. Last year, in fourth grade, we had stayed in one room; this year, we would be moving from room to room for our classes.

My homeroom was in Mr. Russell's room, the social studies room. I remember him teaching geography. I loved learning about latitudes and peninsulas and especially islands! I was good at reading maps and knew my states very well. (I grew up being able to put together a puzzle of the States, since I was two years old.) Mr. Russell was known as a strict teacher, but since I wasn't rebellious, I liked him. At the end of each day, he read books to us. I especially remember the Just So Stories and Rikki-tikki-tavi by Rudyard Kipling.

I continued my flute lessons from Miss Spinelli and progressed quickly, so that I could participate in the Regional Band Concert that spring. On the bus trip, I brought an orange as a snack. Just as I peeled it, the driver announced that we were to take care of our own trash. I didn't know what to do with the peelings. So, I ate them!

I didn't like our science teacher, Mrs. Reynolds. She was old and grumpy. She said that she couldn't hold fuzzy caterpillars, because their hairs got stuck in her pores! She required us to find a current event article every Friday. (Why in a science class instead of history? I don't know.) It was an area of contention between us.

I didn't care about current events. We didn't have a TV or get a newspaper.
She brought a newspaper to school, and I would tear out the first story that was remotely interesting to me. She often didn't think it was very "important" and would have something negative to say about my choice.

Math class was getting difficult for me, but one chapter was about graphing, and I loved it! I could "see" it and picture it. I made a graph of different kinds of apples grown in New York. I also loved geometry. (which at that level was not too complicated)

The building was big and old, a two story brick structure. (I remember the "lavatories" being especially cold in the!) That year, we were called to an assembly because a boy had been pushed down the stairs and hit his head. (I don't think he died, but was seriously injured.) We were told to report anything we might have seen or heard when it happened. One of my classmates had heard something when she was getting a drink. She identified the person by the sounds of metal on his shoes. (Later, I learned that the person who pushed the boy got saved at a youth retreat.)

I finally adjusted to the  new class schedule and made more friends: Mary and Coleen Pickett (identical twins that sometimes changed places) Owen Cassavaugh, Sarah Perl, Francine Shurtleff, Scott Bordman, Penny Williams. Some stayed close friends for many years, even after I moved away.

(next week....more fifth grade class, snow sculptures, movie, etc.)

1 comment:

Laury said...

You made me smile, Vonnie. :) I don't have many menories of my school years. I'm impressed you have so much to share with us:)

I can't believe you ate your orange peels, Silly;)


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