Saturday, April 12, 2014

K is for Kindergarten

After my friend Kate at Daily Discovery wrote about early memories for one of her A to Z Challenge entries, I decided to go for it myself. I COULD go back a little further, as I have memories that go back as far as being in a crib, but I'm sticking with kindergarten, because, well, "K".

Our school district ( was so overcrowded that it leased space from some of the area churches in which to hold kindergarten classes. Kindergarten was half day, morning or afternoon. I was in the afternoon session, which my mother said was a blessing, since she had a terrible time getting me out of bed in the mornings.

I ate a bowl of Campbell's Bean with Bacon soup for lunch nearly every single day before I went to school.

I attended kindergarten at my very own church, Ruskin Heights Presbyterian Church. The district referred to it as Ruskin Way Kindergarten.

We were grouped by age; I was only 4 when school started and was part of the "baby" class.

I wore a yellow dress to the first day of school and rode the bus with the girl who lived across the street.

Kindergarten was not mandatory, so, while busing was available, there was a fee for it. Since we only had one car at the time, my parents took advantage of the school bus.

I rode Bus #36. When all the kindergarteners on the route were picked up, we all would recite, "Lean back in your seats, face the front, no talking, and off to school we go!" We changed it to "home" for the return trip in the afternoon.

When we arrived at the church school on the first day, we were all taken to Fellowship Hall, a basement area under the sanctuary, and matched up with our teachers. There were several children crying, which confounded me. We were at our CHURCH. That wasn't any thing to CRY about!

This has nothing to do with going to kindergarten, but that same Fellowship Hall was where people in the neighborhood sought shelter during the Ruskin Tornado in May of 1957. It also served as a temporary morgue in the aftermath. You can read more about that here, if you are interested.

My kindergarten classroom was on the second floor, directly above my Sunday school classroom.

My teacher's name was Mrs. Lundgren. She was very young and very pretty, and I adored her.

We made a phonics book starring Soundy The Elf. My mom still has it.

We learned other pre-reading skills through "reading" pictures from Fun With Dick And Jane.




I once got in trouble for talking to Annie Midgley and Teresa Montgomery during story time, and the teacher made us sit at the back of the room with our backs against the wall for the rest of story time. I was MORTIFIED.

Teresa and I were in the same class every year from kindergarten through 6th grade, then had a class together every year in junior high, and several in high school.

That cute little boy Kenny, on the bottom row, and I are still friends.


There was a girl named Vicki in our class who wore a ruffly petticoat and ruffly panties every day. The reason I know this is because she would carefully sit down in her seat so the back hem of her skirt would catch on the seat back, revealing all of her ruffles. I was more than a little in awe of all of this.

I had a dream when I was in kindergarten that I got in trouble and was sent home from school. I walked home (it was about half a mile) and got there just as the school bus dropped off my neighbor from across the street, so my mother didn't even know I had gotten in trouble, and I didn't tell her. It was such a realistic dream that I thought it had really happened, believing it for years and years and years. When I finally mentioned it to my mom, she assured me it was a dream and that, even if I had ever gotten in enough trouble to be sent home (which was beyond unlikely), the school would never have just sent me out the door and pointed me towards home.

My earliest memories of coming home from kindergarten is of my mom standing at the ironing board, ironing my dad's shirts and watching her soap operas while waiting for my school bus to drop me off.

My mom thinks it's terrible that my earliest memories of her from kindergarten are of her ironing, as it confirms that she spent a lot of her time at that loathsome job.

When I was at church, the building was a church. When I was at school, the building was a school. When my mom mistakenly asked me how my day at church went one day after I came home from kindergarten, I firmly corrected her.

Give me some time, and I will come up with my bus driver's name....


22 comments:

  1. Oh this is so cool! Another person with early memories! I love your memories! We had Dick and Jane (and Sally) easy reader books too, but they didn't let us start reading until we were six. Before that we had to do puzzles, build with blocks, and draw. I had a girl in my nursery school class named Ibid. That is some sort of footnote notation like Op Cit. -- I think her parents were both professors!
    You have a GREAT MEMORY!

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    1. Thank you, Jean! I don't remember any other activities in kindergarten other than the pre-reading. I'm sure that says something about me, but not sure what! My husband remembers NOTHING from kindergarten.
      Ibid? Doesn't that just mean "the same"?

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  2. Fascinating memories.

    I think I blame Vicki and her ruffles for your current obsession with strangers' asscracks.

    I went to 'playgroup' in a church, too - a methodist church. I remember we got books for landmark times of attendance (I think - like 50th time, or something) and there was play-dough, and a biscuit and a drink of juice. And story time and singing time on the carpet.

    I remember waiting outside in the hallway with all the other children and their mums, and there were some stairs we used to climb and see how high we could jump down from. I remember being SO PROUD of myself on the day I managed to jump from the third step up, instead of the second.

    There was a square patch of grass outside, surrounded by paths. There were push-along cars and tricycles we used to ride. I used to go veryveryfast, and I liked that.I don't think I liked my teachers much. And I can't remember if I had any particular friends.

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    1. I really was fascinated with how Vicki hiked the back of her skirt over her chair. I SO wanted to be able to do that, but my dresses all had a-line skirts; other than one or two Easter dresses, my mom wasn't into big skirts.

      I don't remember playing outside, even though there was a playground. I don't remember playing INSIDE, although I know we did. I do remember when we got to class, we sat on the floor by the teacher's chair. I passed a room every day where the kids went straight to the tables when they got to school, and I thought that looked a lot better.

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  3. I remember the DIck and Jane books... my earlier memory of them is knowing that I was up to read out loud first thing in the morning and I had looked ahead but didnt know how to pronounce s-a-i-d... I asked my mother and was thought brilliant the next day Im sure!

    SO were you known as the gassy kid in school? Bean and Bacon every day!

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  4. How can u remember so firmly your KG memories with so minute details. I am surprised by ur memory !!! Thats a cute pic Dyanne and that dream made me go all aww
    Enjoyed reading this post

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    1. Thank you! I'm great at remembering details that aren't important in the big scheme of life!

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  5. That was so much fun to read. And yes, you have a very good memory. :)

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  6. My memory from Kindergarten though it wasn't all that long ago isn't much. I remember what I was wearing, what my best friend's name was at the time (we had the same birthday) and that I did not ride the bus. I remember water dripping from the fountain onto my shoes bright pink Keds and staining my white socks pink, lol!

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    1. I bet your mother was thrilled when you came home with pink spots on your socks! When I was in 7th grade, one of my friends was wearing a new, lime green dress. She got caught in the rain going from the bus to the school, and green dye from the dress ran down her bare arms and legs. Good news was she got to go home!

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  7. This post brought back MY Kindergarten memories though they aren't as complete and detailed as yours. We also met in a Church building, though not the one I attended on Sundays. I only remember painting on an A-frame easel and having a cute smock apron to wear. I had a similar vivid dream that a candy truck dumped part of its load on our street and all the kids scrambled to pick up the pieces on the road. I got sick eating too many kraft caramel squares! Until recently I was certain that had happened, but several people assure me it was all in my head...

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    1. Even though my mother swears my dream was just that, there's always been a little nagging feeling in the back of my head that she was wrong and it really did happen!

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  8. Good Lord! You remember so many details! :)

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  9. Aww shucks, thanks for the shout out! Those are quite a few memories from Kindergarten! I love the things that stick with us, including remembering details such as ruffly underpants. Glad I am not the only one who remembers odd details, especially ones with numbers. I can still tell you the phone numbers of my best friends in elementary school. The bus driver for K-3 was Kevin. :)

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  10. Holy crap you remember a lot lol As mentioned on Kate's post, I can't recall shit from when I was young. Little blips maybe, and I can't even guess what age I am with those.

    It's really impressive that you are still friends with someone from Kindergarten!

    PS That place sounds like it would be haunted.

    Jak at The Cryton Chronicles & Dreams in the Shade of Ink

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  11. This is the only reference I've found that remembers Soundy the elf! I knew he existed!
    LOL

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    1. That's how I found this post! I was trying to find information about Soundy because I remember him so vividly, yet nobody else seems to.

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  12. This is the only reference I've found that remembers Soundy the elf! I knew he existed!
    LOL

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