One of them was the half-day sessions, which took place during the 1969-70 school year. Because of overcrowded conditions, all of the children in grades one through six had the shortened day.
It's suspicious that the decision to do this was made in late May, right after the failure of the $12.5 million building bond issue at the ballot box. I guess the school board had to make their point. Under this new schedule, students who walked to school attended from 7:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m., and those who took the bus went to class from 12:45 to 5:45 p.m (which seems pretty late).
It was strange getting up even earlier for school. I remember that my siblings and I had to be in bed by eight o'clock on school nights, except on Mondays – when we allowed to stay up and watch Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In.
The half-day sessions took place while I was in fifth grade, and we didn't see the kids who rode the bus over to the Sherwood allotment until the following school year. Which was tough, especially if you had a crush on one of those girls who rode the bus.
|Mr. Ksenich's Sixth Grade Class|
This wide open concept also made it possible to hear the other classrooms more easily, and I remember how distracting it was to hear other teachers' voices.
Probably the most memorable thing I remember about that school year wasn't a particularly good thing. Back then, bullying hadn't risen to the level of a high crime like it is now; it was just a fact of life. Everybody was bullied at some point. (It probably got us ready for life as an adult, where you are bullied during your commute, bullied at work, bullied by the government, etc.)
What happened is that some kid in our class had been teased by practically the whole class – outside the classroom – about something. It wasn't vicious or cruel; I don't even remember who it was, or what was said, but I believe the kid was quite upset and probably cried.
When the teacher (Mr. Ksenich) found out about it, he was rightfully incensed. I'll never forget the fiery speech he gave us about how disappointed he was in all of us. We were all hanging our heads in utter shame and disgrace. He also cancelled some much-anticipated class outing as our punishment.
I never forgot that lousy feeling. But I guess we all learned something that day.
Next: I wrap up the look at Masson School