28 July 2011

Early Lessons, #1

My father attended high school here as well.
 He went to a different school for elementary, but
they had to close it when the ceiling fell down.

I attended Afternoon Kindergarten at Byesville Elementary. The Byesville Elementary Students of Today attend school in the same building. My kindergarten teacher's name was Mrs. Bond. If I recall correctly, she was also my father's kindergarten teacher. Oh, that can't be true. Regardless, she was real old and it seemed like everyone in town had had Mrs. Bond for Kindergarten, too.

Now, Mrs. Bond was a well-meaning woman and she certainly didn't intend to cause lasting harm to Byesville's kindergarteners, but she favored a classroom set-up that couldn't help but guarantee more than a few children would have body image issues for the rest of their lives.

Mrs. Bond sat her Kindergarten class at 4 tables, formed from 4-8 desks turned to face the middle. Like this, see, the little v's are the seats and... never mind.

|            |            |
|            |            |
      v           v

Our tables had names:  We were the Kitties, Dogs, Rabbits, and Bears. In that order. And the children were assigned to the tables by... body size... in that order. I was a kitty because I was dinky then. (Now I am "normal.")  There were several more Kitties at my table, mostly little girls. My friend Tammy was a little bigger so she was a Dog along with another girl and some boys. My best friend, Lisa, was tall and thin. She was a Rabbit. There was only one child big enough to sit at the Bear table. Her name was Carol and she must have been about 8 by then. She was one of the Cherokee children who came into town to go to school with us and I guess she was having a hard time with Kindergarten.

Not the real Kitties, Dogs, Rabbits, and Bear(s).
With class pictures of a certain vintage, it hardly matters.

Carol had smooth brown skin and a big round Indian face with a smile that practically split it in half. She was tall even for an 8 year old and quite stout. She sat at the Bear table alone every day. Mrs. Bond hardly ever went over there to check on how she was doing. I kept wishing that Carol would switch to the Morning Kindergarten because I knew there was at least one more Bear in there.


  1. Now I'm all worried about Carol...if only she HAD been switched to the morning session. It may have made all the difference.

  2. You know, I looked her up on the net. (Her real name is unusual.) She seems happily married and has a daughter. She looked great! Her smile just beamed happiness.

  3. That makes me happy. I'm relieved. I couldn't get her out of my head. :)