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Early School Days Memories

It has been a hectic beginning of the new school year for me and it would appear that I’ve forgotten how taxing the first few weeks can be on my body and my mind. As a result, I’ve taken a step or two or several away from blogging, but I’m hoping to catch up with my reading and writing soon.

Since all I seem to think about is school, today’s post is about some early school days memories. Before I started “big school”, my mom took me to a “bottom house school” for a few months. The “big school” was the Primary School and the “bottom house school” was held at someone’s home. It was made up of a small group of children and was run by a mom. It got the name “bottom house” because of the structure of the house. In those days most of the houses were on posts (stilts) and the open area under the houses was used for various reasons. The teacher placed jute bag mats on the mud floor and that was where the children sat with their slates and slate pencils.

I have only one memory of the Bottom House School. It was time for my brother to pick me up because I saw the children from the Big School walking home, but the teacher told me that she won’t let me go until I did my sums. I started to cry bitterly because I couldn’t do the addition. I doubt that I got the correct answers. I can’t recall how long she kept me back or what state I was in when my brother arrived. I’m glad I don’t remember. 🙂

On my first day of Big School, my mom gave me one cent to buy a treat during the morning recreation (recess). The little tents with treats were outside of the school yard, on the street. I suppose that my mom told my brother to take care of me because he made sure that he took me to get my treat. There were only about three or four tents. Some of the vendors sold plantain chips, tamarind balls, sugar cake, fudge, fruits etc. The item that caught my eye was a red fudge. I was hesitant to buy the fudge because the vendor was the same “teacher lady” from the Bottom House School! However, I must have felt safe with my brother because I bought the red fudge with my cent!

Do you have some early school days memories to share?

Here is a house on stilts. The Bottom House School I attended was definitely not as pretty or as big as this house!

House on stilts Credit: Bing Images

House on stilts
Credit: Bing Images

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16 thoughts on “Early School Days Memories

  1. Thanks for sharing this wonderful, inspiring early school days memories. Sorry to hear about your experience at the bottom house school. Back in my early days, we have vendors outside our school too and I always look forward for dismissal or recess so I can buy treats and small plastic toys. Happy weekend.

  2. Between my years of memories as a student and my 30 years of memories as a teacher, I have SO many treasured (and some times exhausting) memories of school days. But none include buildings on stilts! Excellent post, a smile-nudger.

  3. Thank you for sharing your story. The fact that it was the same teacher is hilarious. I’m saving my memories for a book entitled, “What NOT to do to a Kindergartener”.

    • Thank goodness I didn’t get five cents; she might have asked me to do subtraction!!! Did I just subtraction? My head is spinning with all the subtraction we’ve been doing:) I want to read that book when you write it:)

  4. I have no idea as to where you live. Because you mentioned slates, I’m thinking it isn’t the US. Before I was in ‘regular school’, I went to preschool when I was 4, and was in kindergarten when I was 5. Preschool was so the child could get used to being social and following the directions given by teachers. Kindergarten was where a child learns basic learning like sums, other simple math and reading. Both my brother and I had the same Kindergarten teacher, Miss Wright. My brother had it in his head that he was going to marry her once he was old enough. 😀

  5. Hi Pauline, I’m smiling here visualizing you sliding down that chair!
    We have a few changes at school that need some adjustment time. I remind myself regularly that nothing is more constant than change:) I will get into the swing soon!

    You have a delightful first memory of school!

    Thanks for the lovely comment:)

  6. I struggled with adding and subtracting as well in the early days. Then someone showed me with pennies and it all clicked. I hope things settle down for you soon.

  7. I’m sorry to hear it’s been so wild for you, hopefully things will settle down for you soon.
    I loved reading your memories of early school days…the “Bottom House School” and “Big School” love that! One of my early memories involved a classmate who liked to eat glue. 🙂

  8. Enjoy the start of the year Elaine. I hope things calm down soon for you. School memories for me range from amazing to scary to sorrowful. As you know, I recently share one of the latter ones. Lately, I am remembering Sunday School more than regular school. One of my Sunday School teachers recently passed away (93 years old) and noting that has sent me down memory lane. Thanks for nudging me a bit further. I guess our lives are made up of good and bad. It’s what we take from it that matters. Good that you had your brother. I did too in the first years of school and it was a comfort.

    • Dan, I agree that our lives are made up of dual experiences and what we take from those experiences can add so much value to our lives. I enjoyed going to Sunday School too…it was also a “bottom house” venue:)

      I look forward to reading about your Sunday School teacher at your blog and other school memories.

      Oh, school will calm down soon. Praying. Praying. Praying. 🙂

  9. Elaine I remember being completely enveloped in school activities at the beginning of the year too – and being dog tired by terms end! At the end of my first year of teaching I was so tired I couldn’t sit upright in a chair – I would find myself slowly sliding down towards the floor as if my body just wanted to lie down! It was so funny!!

    Your early memories are such a mixture of good and bad – the horrid teacher, the sums, the treat and a caring big brother doing his job well….. I applaud the forethought of your mother and a family culture that ensured you were looked out for.

    My first memory of school is seeing the stand displaying the reading books – I had never seen so many bright colours and inviting pictures. I dived into reading and never came out again! 🙂

    I hope you will soon get into the swing of things and find renewed energy and zest! xoxo

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