Mae's Real Stories

Memories for Miriam, Alice, Theo, Delia, Tessa and anyone else who would like to be here

Sunday, September 14, 2008


The First Day of School

Two years ago, when Miriam started kindergarten, we posted lots of stories about the first day of school. This year, Alice started kindergarten and Miriam started second grade. They both walked to school on the first day this year. They wore their new dresses that they recently wore to a big wedding in Ohio. They like their teachers and the other kids in their classes. Alice is glad because she has two friends with her, as well as some new friends in her class.

Here are some of the things that I wrote when Miriam started to kindergarten:

Miriam rode to her first day of school on the La Petite Academy bus, and then joined her teacher and the other kids. She wore her new striped dress and had her hair in braids. Her friend Abby also wore a special dress.

Evelyn started kindergarten a long time ago. She walked to school with Carrie Doyle. You can see Evelyn, Carrie, and Carrie's little sister Kelly in the photo. Evelyn is wearing a crocheted cape made by her Grandma Cookie and a blue and white checkered dress for her first day of school.

It is very exciting to go to kindergarten and to be in a school for older children in first, second, and other grades. Teachers in elementary school are very different from teachers in a daycare center like La Petite Academy where Miriam and Alice go. Evelyn's kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Arnold, was very different from the teachers at Community Daycare where she went.

I started kindergarten much much longer ago than Evelyn did. My kindergarten teacher, Miss Tubasing, was very very different from my mommy. (I never went to any daycare. Also, I don't know how to spell Mrs. Tubasing's name, since I could not write when I was in kindergarten.)

My kindergarten was in the Hamilton School in St.Louis where the pupils went until they finished the eighth grade. I was one of a very large number of kindergarten children in a large room with tall windows, which opened with a long stick with a hook on the end. There were glass-paneled doors at each end of the room, with two or three steps up to each door. Near one door stood a piano with a piano bench. At the other end of the room was a playhouse. Only a few children at a time were allowed to play in the playhouse.

Near the windows were two or three rows of tables with little chairs evenly spaced around them. Six or eight kindergarteners sat together at each table most of the time. We drew pictures. We didn't yet learn to read or write. Reading and writing was for first graders.

When it was time for the class to learn or talk or sing together, we carried our little chairs from our tables. We learned to carry our little chairs carefully. We put one hand under each side of the seat. We did not put the chairs on top of our heads. That was the wrong way to carry the chair.

With our chairs, we all made a circle around the teacher. We had to be very very quiet. We had to sit very very still, and raise our hands if we wanted to say something. We all sang at the same time, while the teacher went over to the piano and played for us.

We went outside for recess. We played on a playground made of blacktop with white circles painted on it. Sometimes we just ran around the playground. Other times, we all played circle games together, like The Farmer in the Dell. It started with the farmer in the center of the painted circle with all the other children circling around and singing. The farmer picked a wife. More and more children would be picked: the wife picked the child, then the dog, the cat, the cow, the horse, and finally the cheese.

At last we sang "The Cheese stands alone." Everyone but the cheese would go back into the outer circle. Then the cheese got to be the Farmer and start the game over again. Another circle game where one child chose another to go into the center was called "Raw Candy Every Day." Maybe I don't remember the name correctly, though.

One day when I came to school, Mrs. Tubasing was not there. Instead, we had a substitute teacher. I didn't hear her name when she told us who she was. She had a white dress with blue fruit-like things on it. When I told my mother we had a substitute teacher, she asked what her name was. I said, "Mrs. Blueberry."

This is the front of Hamilton School where I went. I think the bay windows in front are the kindergarten's windows that I remember. The playgrounds were in back.

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