Monday, May 26, 2008

Elementary Schools and Memorial Day

I remember visiting my elementary school when I had just graduated high school. I can't remember the reason for the visit, but I definitely remember the feeling. My initial reaction was that I was some sort of mutant giant. The combination chair-desks looked so tiny, but when I was 5 and 6, they were as large as the desk I am sitting at right now.

When I saw the classroom, not much has changed. I mean, I felt like they shrank the desks, but intellectually, I knew that they hadn't. I spent most of my childhood years in the same school system, and I liked it that way.

If I would have lived nearer the school, I guess I could visit every time I needed to be reminded about change in perspectives.

I was in an elementary school recently – well a month or so ago. Not my elementary school, and I did not feel like a mutated giant. I think it may have been because I never saw the chairs when I was small – that they were just chairs to me, not my chairs when I was growing up. Everything looked fairly normal.

But I was reminded how strict they are in elementary school. Walking in a single-file line with no talking. Waiting for the teacher before entering the classroom. Wow. They still are strict in elementary school.

I am a bit removed from Memorial Day. We never really observed it as children, and we really don't do so as adults. Most of us think of Memorial Day as some three-day weekend in May. Nothing more. I have seen little things that remind me that war, even today, leaves families in pieces. But it is like me seeing someone else's kindergarten classroom. It makes less of an impact than if it were my own. If I were closer to the reason for Memorial Day.

Take a moment to pause today for the men and women who have fallen in defense of our nation.


Anonymous said...

Did you go to the restroom? Because the thing that struck me was how tiny the toilets were.


~Deb said...

A lot of people forget the real meaning behind any holiday. Thanks for reminding us. :) We should be very grateful for their bravery.

Happy Memorial Day!

グラント said...

Keep your prayers and moments of silence - the proper thing to do is to offer us sex as a reward.

Ian Lidster said...

Ah -- elementary schools with the wafting fragrances of chalk-dust and pee.

I'm happy to hear your elementary schools are still strict Ours are notoriously lenient.

We don't do Memorial Day in Canada, but I think it's a valuable concept. I was in Hawaii once on Memorial Day weekend aand was impressed by the sense of gratitude shown towards those who do and who have served.

Deb said...

I felt like a giant when I visited my old school too. Amazing how perspective influences everything.

seattle_sunny_for_once said...

In my grade school, they had two sizes of desks, one for grades 1-3, and one size for 4-8. The chair and desk surface were connected together on a metal frame, and books stowed under the chair. The writing surface was was some cermamic like material--I'm not sure what it was made of but it was always cool to the touch, and on a hot day if the teacher was mad (or just wanted a break) and told us to put our heads on the desk, it actually felt cool and nice. Going into the first grade class many years later, those desks looked small!

Do you remember how big the 8th graders looked when you were in 1rst grade? I can still remember certain people based on these childhood impressions. I agree that staying with the same school is nice. I still remember most of the people in my class, and many in the other classes too. BTW, I had to walk to kindergarten and gradeschool, and it was about a mile to each. And dogs weren't on leashes! Just getting past the dogs was an adventure!

Leesa said...

edge: Yeah, they have cute toilets.

~deb: With regards to holidays, most of us need to be reminded.

grant: I have heard that before.

ian: I never thought about how states may be different - I would imagine Hawaii would be a great place to experience Memorial Day.

deb: sometimes we need a change in perspective.

seattle: I remember running from dogs as well. Not all dogs, but a few of them.