Back to The Basics

I grew up in a small town. When I say small, I don’t mean thousands, or even hundreds of people. I mean tens. Barely. My elementary school was a tiny school with only two classrooms and was the same one my dad went to. I believe that when I started going there, there were approximately 50 kids total, split into K-3 and 4-6.

I remember my first day of school, standing there with my best friend and her strawberry shortcake lunch box, waiting for the car that would come and pick us up. Yup, we had a car, because there were only three kindergarteners and we went to school later than the older kids.

Me and My Bestie - First Day of School

My first teacher was a hippy. Well, it was 1983 and there was some carryover from the 70s, I suppose. She played the acoustical guitar for music hour. We sang Joni Mitchell, The Beatles and Anne Murray songs. I still know all the words to the Yellow Submarine. She ate something that at the time I thought was the strangest thing ever – seaweed! I now know this as sushi.  Our “Christmas” play was “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein. I played a key role; I was a branch.

The cook was named Bobbi. I will never forget her – she used to check to make sure we ate all of our lunch. We would try to trick her by spreading things out, mixing them around or flattening them down, but she was never fooled. We also used to dare each other to mix whatever was left over all together and eat it. Gross. I think this is where I developed my strong dislike of milk. Have you ever eaten mashed-potato-pizza-green bean-milk?

I looked forward to school. My best friend was there; I liked learning. I enjoyed the social interaction and the games. We built forts out of pine needles and played with our care bears. We played kick ball and steal the bacon and tag. The older kids chased the younger ones around, either trying to beat them up or kiss them. I know it sounds weird and I actually don’t remember being kissed, only being chased around with the threat of being kissed.

We used to play on the flipping bar! Remember the flipping bar? I could swing around with one leg and no hands. I think about that now and it makes my tummy hurt. I can’t believe I did that. It’s so dangerous! Do they still have the flipping bar in schools?

I have many good memories of my school days. I always looked forward to going back to school. I think back on that time and wonder: are things inherently the same now? We have so much more technology and kids are being crammed into public schools. Will kids have good memories of their school days when they are my age?

Do you have good memories of your school days? What kind of lunchbox did you have? (I had a care-bears lunchbox.) Do you have kids now? Are they excited to go back to school or do they dread it? 

This post is linked up with:
This weeks theme: Back To School


  1. Those are some great memories!!

  2. I remember Karl, Matt, and Ben with their "handsome guy" hair-dos (kinda like Robert Redford in "The Sting")and their white button down shirts.

    I remember my first bike...it weighed a ton and had giant tires. I called it my horse. It was green (not the original color, a painted on green). I loved it!

  3. I thought I lived in a small town - yours was even smaller! mine has about 500 people. There were 28 in my class. I have somewhat fond memories of elementary school, but not beyond elemenatry!

    I never had a lunch box! We always ate school lunch so our mom never got us a lunch box!

  4. Fun! I love that you actually have that photo. I wish I had something similar.
    I enjoyed school, I found all the people so interesting to figure out. There were about 100 total kids in my grade when I graduated, so it wasn't a huge town. Just the right size for me.
    My kids are 4 & 6, so I love school even more now. ;) They look forward to it and when it is in session, they declare daily how much they love it. Yay! For the record, my daughter's lunchbox this year is a dog. My son's is Cars.

  5. I went to elementary school in New Yoek City, there was a lot of us, but my class got smaller and smaller; by the 8th grade there were only 24 of us.
    I never had a lunch box, it was a brown paper bag.
    I didn't like school, always pined for the summers off.
    My daughter liked school, spent 7 years in college (changed majors here and there). I started going when she had been going awhile and graduated a year after her.
    We wore uniforms in grade school. blue pants and white shirts for boys, blue "jumpers" with white blouses for girls.

  6. I love your first-day-of-school dress. I have a picture of me in my smocked dress with white collar, wearing saddle shows and clutching my plaid lunchbox -- so proud! My kids loved the first day of school and I took photos of them every year until they made me stop. :( I still thrill at the thought of a new notebook, pencils, and pens!

  7. Hi!!!!

    Thank you also for stopping by my blog and leaving your encouraging comment.

    Lioness- Your Newest Follower

  8. When you said a "small town" you were not exagerating in the least. I love how you captured all those memories of your time in school and the photo of you and your friend, adorable!
    My first lunchbox..I don't really remember. How sad, now that I think about it.

  9. That school experience sounds amazing! No lunch box for me. My town was small enough that if we didn't eat school lunch, we could just walk home and eat with Mom.

  10. Great memories! Sounds a lot like my first school. Our class sizes were tiny. There were only 30 or so people in my kindergarten class, and I loved it. The school I ended up graduating from had more like 100 people in it. While it was still a small school, my experiences there were nothing like the ones I had at my first school...which sounds a lot like the experiences you had at your school. Getting chased in the playground with threats of being kissed, playing on the merry-go-round. Miss those days! Thanks for bringing them back with this excellent post and for linking up with LALB!

  11. I don't think I ever had a class with fewer than 30 students in it. And I had a Sesame Street lunch box in 1st grade. That's the only one I remember.

    What a great memory!


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