03/09/06 - posted by jim
Hi Lisa,

I went to Noriega about 10 years ahead of you and many of the teachers you mention were there. I can't believe those teachers were still there 10 years after I left. But you didn't mention Mrs. Chandler because I guess you didn't go to Kindergarten. She was quite popular.

I also had Mrs. Burns for 3rd grade in the bungalows. I can't believe she was still there when you went. She was already so old and wrinkled when I went there 10 years before you. I can still picture those black boots she wore that seemed to go right up to her knees. And I didn't know that her husband worked on the Golden Gate Bridge.

I remember Mrs. Webber and she was bitterly hated. I remember the Webber twins which I think had no relation to Mrs. Webber and those juvenile delinquint Webber twins did not get along with Mrs. Webber at all. I think they were eventually expelled from school.

I remember the soft clay things like little bowls we used to make. We would paint them and I think put marbles inside them to give it a nice finish. Then the teacher would bake them in the oven and they would come out hard.

I remember there was a kid in the school who died of old age. At the age of 6 he was actually 101 years old. He had an extremely rare disease that caused him to age at an unbelievably fast rate. There is a name for it but I don't remember what it's called though I think it begins with a P. Could it be progenia?

I absolutely do not remember any cafeteria. In fact, I clearly remember everyone bringing lunch boxes to school many with thurmos bottles. We played in the school yard at lunch so I don't think they had a cafeteria when I was there. Don't remember a Mrs. Mckay or Mrs. Pierce at all. Mrs. Merrill was principle but I didn't like her at all. I don't think she really understood boys.
On rainy days we would stay inside the classroom and the teachers would always read books to us like the "Cat in the Hat."

The bungalows were different as you mention but I don't know that I would describe it as warm. Walking on the wood definately had a different feel and there was a different sense and sound inside there. The whole classroom seemed very different. I believe the room was even slanted with the slight grade of the surrouding ground underneath it. Rather than warm, I think I might describe it as being in a class that was in a whole different place then being at that school. Sort of displaced I guess.

I remember that festival too although I never really understood the tradition behind it. I don't think it was of religious significance.

I also remember the gymp after school. Weird that they still had that around. It seemed to be a big thing to be given that gymp so you could make a rope like thing with it. It was really just a waste of time.

I can't believe you brought this up. It was like almost half a century ago. But looking back on it now, in the long run, I view our education there as being very backward. All of us kids had the potential to do a lot more. What held us all back was the attitude. Instead of trying to make us like things, they made us do things out of fear. We did things out of fear and discipline rather than did things because we liked to. I don't know but I feel very much that there was something deeply missing about our early education and I think that it had a lot to do with attitude. But maybe we were all just too young and we needed to be disciplined more than we needed to be educated.

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