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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Reminiscing For A Spell

These are just a couple of notes on schools & schooling I've dredged up. ------ When I was in eighth grade I competed in the county Spelling Bee, representing Hodgson. I managed to come in second in the competition, avoiding third place by being able to spell "khaki." I was given a little medal from the county and a "Play Day" from Leila Beatty, my teacher, as rewards. When Bec was in eighth grade, she duplicated my performance and scored second place in the county competition, then went on to compete at the state meet in Billings. She didn't make the finals there, much to her heartbreak -- I'd promised her a horse if she won. ----- I'd wanted Bec to go to Hodgson like I did, but the school was folded into the Somers district and shut down. At that time, Somers didn't have a good reputation for turning out quality students and I didn't want to enroll her there. Coincidentally, our church started a school and at the urging of an NNC classmate who was involved with it I put her in their kindergarten. They taught phonics, which drove me crazy. They used rhymes to teach the letters, and Bec recited those jingles so often I still recall a couple: "P is for P-P-Pelican -- my beak goes where my bellycan" and "I is for I-I-Iguana -- I would like a bawnawna." She had great teachers those first few years and took to reading like a politician takes to lying. ----- As a side note, when the old Hodgson school was closed down there was a general give-away of many of its fixtures. I scored three things; a desk for Bec, the old globe, and the old Webster's dictionary that was used in the school for the previous thirty years. The desk is long gone and the globe got smashed in one of the skirmishes of my marital wars, but the dictionary still resides in all its tattered glory next to my desk. ----- Bec went from the Nazarene school to Flathead Christian School. She had a good time at the first one, but ran into a couple of below-par teachers at the second school which prompted her to go to the public school system for her eighth grade year. She went back to the Christian school for her ninth, tenth & eleventh years, then did a correspondence course for her senior year. She did quite well in all of them. TBC (Me) (Blacktail Books)