Monday, September 14, 2015

RIPPLES IN THE INKWELL

Quote for the week: Words are but pictures of our thoughts.
John Dryden

Today is the second Monday in September. (Time sure passes fast.) So this is Ripples in the Inkwell #inkripples day, a monthly meme created by Kai Strand, Mary Waibel, and  Katie L. Carroll. I'm playing along with them. We're all authors, but you don't have to be to participate. Simply compose your post using the monthly theme, grab one of the images, and link back to the three names above. Make sure to use #inkripples when you play along and promote your posts. The idea is to toss a word, idea, or image into the inkwell and each post is a new ripple. There's no wrong way to do it.

September's theme is Fall/School. Theme's for the rest of the year are:

October: Fears/Things That Go Bump in the Night
November: Remembrance/Thankfulness
December: Celebration/Gifts

Looking forward to seeing your ripples.

SCHOOL!

School is an interesting subject. Way back in the cave man days, when I attended school, life was quite different. We didn't have the electronics back then that students have today. Now, some of you probably didn't know this, but I learned to type on a manual typewriter. Yes, it did not connect to electricity. I also learned shorthand and later had a job as a secretary where my boss dictated what he wanted me to say in his letters and I wrote it down in shorthand and then typed my notes to send to his clients. I don't remember how to write shorthand now.

We had sports, but not as many today. There were few sports for girls: tennis is all I remember, while the boys had football, baseball, basketball, track, and golf. I think some schools had more for girls, not sure.

I was a band kid. Played the clarinet and was a majorette. An athlete I'm not.

Fast forward to my years as a teacher. Times had changed, and even more so today, since I retired. I had taught for two or three years and then the greatest invention ever came to our school. Air conditioning. Yes, when they told me my class would have air conditioning the following year, I was so happy. No more fans blowing papers off the students' desks. No more opening windows to catch a draft of hot air. Yay!

I taught for twenty-two years, everywhere from second grade to third grade, to remedial third through fifth reading and math. The last ten years I taught fifth-grade science. We didn't burn the building down with our experiments. The students didn't turn each other into zombies or Frankenstein Monsters. But we had a lot of fun. It's really weird too, because I'd always hated science. At the university, I took the minimum amount of science classes I could to avoid dissecting rats and stuff like that.

In the end, I discovered that science was fun, and truthfully, I learned right along with my students. I had several gifted and talented students in my classes. Well, you don't just tell these kids facts that are in the book. They want to know why? I wanted to know why as well. So, I liked to give them an assignment to find out why something worked the way it did. They were amazing. After asking the teacher in the room next door what the answer was, and her refusing to tell them because she knew it was an assignment, they went home and searched for the answer.

Now this was before the Internet became so important in education. (1960s and 1970s) We had a computer lab in the school, but the kids only went there once a week. We didn't have computers in each classroom, or for each student. They had to research with encyclopedias and what other resources they had at home or the library. They came up with remarkable answers. They learned; I learned. They got bonus points. I got the satisfaction of seeing them grow.

My teaching years were good ones. Yay all you teachers out there. You're writing the future.

Feel free to link your ripples in the comments and don't forget to use #inkripples. Discussions about fall and school will be going on all month on Twitter.

See you there.

Happy Reading!

24 comments:

  1. Great post Beverly, I too look forward to "The Ripples".
    Your thoughts about school interested me for when I was at school the subject I most detested was.........Poetry. I'd do anything to skip that lesson. Who'd had thought later on in my life I would have had three books published, done charity poetry and entered competitions. Strange world.
    Yvonne.

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    1. Thank you, Yvonne. It is funny how life turns out. Look at your now, :)

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    1. It is fun to recall the "good old days," Katie.

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  3. Hi Beverly. Fun looking back on your memories of school. I have many good memories, too. I don't believe we had air conditioning in grade school. I remember when we watched movies. we had kids stand in between the windows to block any light or sun that came in from behind the pulled shades. Kids liked volunteering for this. It didn't take much to make us happy or keep us entertained. I also took shorthand in high school and used it for a while on the job. Believe it or not, I still remember how to write it. Of course, we never had computers when I attended school. We used the library and encyclopedias to do our research.

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    1. School sure has changed, Janet. I can picture the kids now, in front of the windows, probably thinking about being outside rather than inside.
      You have a very good memory. I might try to think of a few of the shorthand symbols or words. Thanks for stopping by.

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  4. No AC? Wow, that would have been rough, Glad we had that. Didn't get computers until Junior High though.

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    1. It was, Pat, especially on hot days when the kids came in from recess. :)

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  5. Great post, Beverly! I imagine you were a wonderful teacher:) Love, love, love your quote for the week!

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    1. Thanks, Karin. I hope I taught the kids something. :)
      I thought the quote was neat too.

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  6. We still don't have AC in our schools, but we also don't have months of heat like Texas does. But September and June are pretty sweaty days for the kids and teachers. I just realized you could have been one of my teachers as I made my way through elementary school in the 70's. I loved school!

    My ripple: http://bit.ly/1Oq2xx7 and I'm giving away books :)

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    1. I guess some areas are cool enough not to need air conditioners.
      I know, Kai. The students I taught are now all grown up, like you, and married with children. Most of them recognize me when I see them in a store or somewhere. I even have some former student friends on Face Book.

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  7. You and your students inspired each other!
    I can't imagine not having air conditioning. How miserable.
    We did have electric typewriters, but no way to correct typos outside of White Out.

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    1. When you've never had something, (like air conditioning), Alex, you don't think about it. Many homes didn't have it either, or just had swamp buckets. It was nice when we finally got it though.
      Oh, yeah. I remember white out and carbon paper to make copies. My fingers were always purple.

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  8. Your years as a student and a teacher definitely sounds fun and magical. Your enthusiasm is amazing. I hated school, but understood the importance of it. We unfortunately, didn't have air-conditioning in my school:( Great upbeat post:)

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    1. Thank you, Murees. I enjoyed school and teaching. I guess I like children. :) It was a lot nicer once the schools had air conditioning. Thanks for stopping by.

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  9. School was a very nice ripple here and in your life.

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    1. Thanks C Lee. My life has been a pretty good ripple. :)

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  10. What wonderful memories, Bev. I was a band girl too (clarinet, bells, or electric (keyboard) bass-depending on need) and I miss the marching and playing for football games.

    We didn't have AC in our schools either (not sure if they do now or not!), and I remember in June, the walls would get wet with condensation and it would run onto the floor making the hallways a bit treacherous to navigate.

    Thanks for joining the ripple. Mine can be found here: http://waibelworld.blogspot.com/2015/09/inkripples-fall.html

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    1. Thanks, Mary. I really enjoyed the band. We got to attend the games for free, even the out of town ones. :)
      A lot of humidity in the air. I can see how that would cause problems.
      I'm having fun with the Ripples. It's a great idea.

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  11. I'm amazed at how much kids today use computers in school. My daughter takes test on them. Even spelling test. The teacher doesn't read the words aloud; a computer does and the kids wear headphones. It's a little crazy.

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    1. I've heard how the schools have changed. If we're not careful, one day teachers may be obsolete and computers will do it all. When I taught third grade one of the things the kids looked forward to was learning to write in cursive. Now, I believe they don't teach cursive anymore. Kind of sad. That's progress???

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  12. I didn't get A/C until I moved to Florida. In New York we had to open windows and rely on radiators. In elementary school we had a computer lab with those dot matrix printers with the folded paper. During my first year of teaching I didn't have a computer in my room, but the following year I did, with added computers for my students. Many classes even have tablets for their students. A lot has changed.

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    1. Times definitely have changed, Medeia. Now I wonder how we survived without air conditioning. And computers have made the world smaller. When I was in school I had a couple of pen pals and we wrote letters to each other. Now it's all online.

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