June 9, 2007 - Saturday
"All America lies at the end of the wilderness road, and our past is not a dead past, but still lives in us. Our forefathers had civilization inside themselves, the wild outside. We live in the civilization they created, but within us the wilderness still lingers. What they dreamed, we live, what they lived, we dream."
~ T. K. Whipple, Study out the Land ~
One of the things you get to do when you get to be as old as I am is reminisce…the kids hate it but it's a fact of life.
Today my ruminations are of that far-off land of Grade School. Here are some things I remember:
The long paper with lines on the bottom and blank space above to draw your perspectives of the world. Remember? The line of blue at the top that was supposed to represent the sky; the strip of green at the bottom for grass; the cheerful looking sun that was usually in the top right corner, complete with artistic rays. In the writing section there was invariably a torn part where it had been erased one too many times.
The paste that came in the plastic jar that had an applicator-type thing attached to the lid, this was supposedly to keep your fingers out of the paste which would have defeated the entire purpose of the paste, which was to be eaten. I loved that stuff.
I was also inordinately fond of the fat pencils with equally fat erasers that came in a variety of pretty primary colors. I was sad when I had to start using those skinny yellow pencils, they were so ugly.
The tablets that were used after you graduated from the aforementioned long paper. I remember one time I had to use notebook paper because we were out of tablets at home and my mom wouldn't "go to town" for just one item. I was so embarrassed; I thought we were too poor to afford a tablet.
Those awesome desks that had the top that lifted up. I LOVED my desk and it was always painfully tidy or looked like Hurricane Gertrude had just passed through there.
The brand new eraser at the beginning of the year, it came in the beautiful designer color of Petal Pink…until you spent the whole year erasing all those awkward looking letters you were trying to learn; then it was more of a Grunge Gray.
Saddle shoes. For those of you too deprived to experience saddle shoes that were brand new at the beginning of the school year, there is no consolation I can offer you.
Recess: The entire point of attending Grade School, (other than eating lunch) Playing Squareball (or Four Square as some poor saps referred to it) Hopscotch, the Jungle Gym, all the different monkey bars. Parents didn't realize what a danger zone the "playground" could be.