Tuesday, March 6, 2012

It's grade school once again

Welcome to the latest installment of the trials and tribulation of grade school. I attended Tripoli school, a very long bus ride from my house, for two short years, before they restructured the school district and I had the honor of going to Bradley school. Bradley school sits in the metropolis of Bradley, population several taverns and some railroad tracks. In the spirit of the typical country school circa 1970, this wasn't quite a one-room school house, but it was small nonetheless. In fact it housed only three classrooms, so the first grade classroom was in a separate building. Known as a "portable", these portable classrooms were brought in much the same as a trailer house would be. They seemed all the rage at the time as the tail end of the baby boomers was inundating the schools.

My fondest memories of those three years in Bradley mostly revolve around my cousin Jodean. It was wonderful to be able to bond with a relative who was not my sister, as my sister Pat and I had been nearly inseparable during much of our younger years. Jodean was a stable and positive influence. Ok, in truth she made laugh until I peed my pants and I worked very hard to pay her back. Perhaps this is in part where my warped sense of humor came from. One time, during lunch, she and I were laughing so much that we weren't able to eat. Our third grade teacher, a brutal woman, made the entire class stay in from recess until we had cleaned up our plates. I believe the meal was every school kid's favorite, non-descript meat in gravy on white bread (or shit on a shingle, as my husband calls it). Needless to say, even with the entire class of our peers watching us, breathing down our necks, and beginning to attain a mob-like mentality, my cousin and I struggled to choke down our gourmet meal without incessant giggling.

Somewhere in my house is a picture of me and Jodean at one of my birthday parties. Since I just could not find it tonight, here is her senior portrait. It was worth finding as on the back of it she wrote: "I remember when we made a bowl of soup in the basement out of water, sawdust, wood, and whatever else we could find."

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