Saturday, February 11, 2017

Drive - A Memoir 42nd Installment

top edge of the gym separated by a knee wall. Those of us who dared would clamber over the wall, drop down into the gym, and get yelled at when we got caught. The school sat on about ten acres of mostly grass and some dirt giving us room for plenty of outside play. The only drawback to this little school was the small office for the principal to paddle a wayward child now and again. I got mine twice: the first for swearing and the second because a couple of us fourth graders swam across the small lake during a field trip in the Camas National Refuge to see a friend’s pet skunk (deodorized). Later, we swam back, and the teacher and the chaperone were all freaked out. They thought we were drowned or lost. Go figure! Well, back at the school, we had to grab our ankles and receive several strokes with the paddle. My jeans were still wet and the principal was determined to make the punishment match the crime, so he was really putting his weight into the whacks. The stinging got more painful and was amplified by each wallop. I thought I was too tough for tears, but my eyes were pretty wet. Walk it off, walk it off, was all I could think about as I circled the room. But, the punishment in grade one had been more humiliating, the stuff nightmares were made of, or at the least a life long mental illness. I suffered the humiliation only once when I got extra wet and muddy playing at recess. I had to abandon my trousers and pick out a nice dress to wear while my clothes dried. I wore a pleasant blue one, and it really freaked me out because I had to put up with teasing. The girls singing:

The boy in a blue dress.” “Makes you look like an idiot and makes you act like a mess.” “The boy in a blue dress.”
Each room had two grades with one teacher and six or seven kids in each grade, so the school had about fifty kids and four teachers. The first and second grades were the usual coloring in the lines and not eating the paste; oh yeah, and the giggling, wiggling, whispering and teasing of hyper farm kids forced to take a nap. Never happened, napping I mean. It was in the third and fourth grade room I discovered that with a little extra effort, I could learn and finish my third grade work, then listen and learn the fourth grade work; then the fourth grade the next year was easy play time. I had a fun fourth grade. I did the same thing in fifth and sixth grade, but the teacher caught on to me. A couple of others were doing the same thing, and so the following sixth year the teacher had extra work and books to read. My little plan of having a play

500 more words tomorrow

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