Interview date: 12/20/99
1. When and where did you attend elementary school?
I attended elementary school from 1952 to 1956.
2. Which grades were you offered in your elementary school? What were the hours (when did you start and when were you dismissed)?
What were the hours? For the younger grades, school started at about 8:00 a.m and were dismissed at about 11:00 a.m.. The older grades also started school at 8:00, but were dismissed around 2:00 p.m..
3. How did the children get to school?
The children usually walked.
4. How did boys and girls dress for school?
Boys and girls dressed in uniforms. The boys wore grey shirts and pants with belts and military-like hats. Girls wore black aprons over their dresses. They wore white aprons on any special occasions.
5. About how many children were in the class? Did you have the same teacher all year through elementary school or a different teacher each year? Did your school have combination classes?
In the lower grades there were about 40+ children. In the upper grades there were from 30-40 children. I did have the same teacher all through elementary. No, we did not have any combination classes.
6. How were the children in your school disciplined? Did your principal interact with the students?
We had little report books where our teacher wrote grades and reports on how we did in school that day. If you mis-behaved the teacher would have called your parents in to talk. If you were really bad you would be sent to the principals office. You could also be expelled or the teacher could dismiss you from the class for an hour or even for the whole day! Our parents were supposed to sign our little report books.
7. Which subjects were taught?
We were taught mathematics, literature and geography.
8. Did you go on any field trips? Did the classroom have any pets?
Yes, we did go on field trips. We would go to history museums or other places. In my class we had some pets. We had a bird, a fish and a hedgehog.
9. What kind of writing materials did you use?
We used pencils and pens with ink pods. We wrote in lined notebooks.
10. What did the school building, classrooms and desks look like? Did you have as much stuff up on the wall as we do?
My school was a BIG two story building.
11. What was the grading system for your report cards?
5 was excellent, 4-good, 3-satisfactory, 2-unsatisfactory, 1-nobody ever got 1!
12. Did you have homework? Did you have to do projects like we do at home?
We had a lot of homework, and we did have to do projects, like reports.
13. How were the parents involved in school?
They attended meetings with teachers and they also participated in parental committees and they also helped to clean and decorate the classrooms.
14. What were your lunches like?
At school, we had a buffet. It sold hot dogs, salad, cakes, pies, juice, tea, lemonaid, hot cocoa and milk.
15. What did you play at recess time?
At recess we played tag, marbles and many other games. We fooled around when the teachers weren't looking, but not only at recess, we fooled around when the teacher wasn't there in class, too!
16. What is your worst memory of elementary school? What is your fondest memory?
My worst memory was when a boy in my class died. He was run over by a car, and my whole class went to his funeral. We were invited to his house and his grandmothers and his whole family was there. They gave us food, but I couldn't eat because it felt like the food was somehow related to the cemetery. I knew that the food was fine, but I still couldn't eat. My happiest moments were when we got out to SUMMER VACATION... I also liked going back to school because I missed my friends and I missed my nice teacher. I loved school.
My father is now a teacher himself!