Each month, write a new collection.
Dear Chatham Township Public School,I started first grade in your classrooms andattended there until we moved southin the midst of third grade. Your cafeteria served lunch to alland I became acquainted with chile con carne.When I described it to mom, she said itwas probably chile con beans. I didn’tget the joke until years later.We rode to your site in carpool cars,although we could have walked if we’d started off earlier in the morning.We passed the honeysuckle-covered woods and then the swampy skunk cabbage woods,turned right, and pulled into the circular drive.I learned about different kinds of treesin Miss Swartout’s first grade class.My dad burned “Sugar Maple” into a woodensign with his soldering iron for me to placein your woods. Our project wasto label everything we could name inthose woods behind your playground.One day, I was all dressed to come to you and mom said, “You don’t have school today.”“Why?” I asked. “Your school burned down,” she said. It wasn’t true. You had a fire that messed up the kitchen, but the rest of the schoolwas just fine. For the rest of that year, we hadto bring our lunches and eat outsideno matter how cold it was. But if it wasraining, we ate in our classrooms.The other girls knew how to knit and carriedtubes made into knitting boxes, with yarncoming out of the tops. I was entrancedand asked to learn to knit but my momdidn’t know how so I never learned.In second grade, I had Miss Belcher.I practiced phonics every morning usingan alphabet posted across the blackboard.Miss Belcher pointed to each letter in turnand we said its name and its sound. I learned to read and read every book in your second grade classroom that year.I don’t think you had a library.We learned numbers and very simpleaddition plus a little geography butwords and phonics were the stars of the curriculum that year.In third grade, I was there only three monthsin your classroom so I can’t recall the nameof my teacher that year. I do recall thatDisney released Snow White that year and one day, I paid no attention all day becausemy friend Judy Tegge was taking us to see that moviein Summit, a bigger town nearby.I mostly listened and learned every dayI spent in your rooms though. Yougave me a very good start andmy love of reading, still a joy today.thanks,L.