Posted by: lafouch | November 9, 2009


First Day of School

First Day of School

When we weren’t traveling, I was sent to Miss Stiles’ School, as there were no children my age in the neighborhood. I began school at the age of two. The school was held about two blocks away in a large Victorian house with wide porches, shingled sides and a creamy yellow trim. The children in my group were on the first floor. What had once, I suspect, been a dining room was a playroom with a very large sand table (at least it seemed that way in my memories). I don’t remember much about these early school days. The sand table and spending time on the back porch steps playing “I See A Color”.

Right across from our house was the public school, School #13. At one point, I decided I wanted to go to public school. I was taken in and met the principal of the school. I don’t remember her name but I do remember she was a warm and caring person. I hadn’t been there very long when one morning I became very upset and went to the principal’s office. I got up on her lap and told her I didn’t like her school. She asked me why not. I replied, “Because I can’t find my seat.” She took me to my classroom and by then the only seat left empty was mine so I easily found it. She told me to see her again if I needed any more help. I remember her as a special person in my life.

Public school for me had it’s ups and downs during these early years. I remember having special deerskin sandals for a dance class we had in gym; a substitute teacher who told us we should chew milk when we drank it; a math teacher who told us not to spit on the floor. For some reason, when she said this I spit on the floor and then, to cover it up, put my foot on the spot. She came over and asked me to move my foot. I slid it along the floor and there was a large wet stain on the floor. I had to stay in class during recess that day.

My worst memory of School No. 13, happened after I had found a praying mantis in my backyard. My father helped me capture it and I was going to take it in to my class for “Show and Tell”. I got as far as the playground when one of the older boys in the school took the jar and opened it. There was a mad dash by lots of the students after the mantis. I got lost in the rush. I was scared for the mantis but he/she was very quick and got away.

My best memory of this school was the art classes. I painted large sized tempera paintings of all sorts of things. I remember painting a Red Cross nurse in a parade. For years my mother kept my paintings in a large binder of VanGogh’s paintings. I always felt like I was in good company.

I was fortunate to like school.

Judie Fouchaux


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