As I stared at this faded photo, my mind wandered to the story(ies) around the one room schoolhouse of which my grandfather (far left) was Trustee (think Principal, Curriculum Supervisor, Superintendent and Board of Education rolled into one) and my Aunt (top left - I think) was the Teacher (think K-12 differentiated teaching at its finest) .
While I will never know the whole story behind this photo....
I suspect surmise that my Grandmother (top right) might have been pretty happy (even though she doesn't appear to be smiling) because all of her 10 children were old enough to attend school! I am guessing she went home after this photo and poured herself a well deserved cup of coffee and took a short break for the first time in 27+ years!
I am sure that some of my Aunts and Uncles had already flown the coop so to speak, but there were enough little ones in the area to fill up the schoolhouse on Kaisertown Road. Did the teacher (my Aunt) go in early to arrange the desks and decorate the room so that it would be inviting? Did she wonder if this might be her last year (at 21) of teaching and that she too might want to fly the coop!
I wonder if the temperature soared on that first day and what they each did? There was no need to talk about your summer vacation as everyone already knew everybody's business! They had played and worked in the fields and each had a sun-tanned face to prove it. There would certainly have been no writer's notebooks to decorate and no leveled bins to explore! Did they get right to work copying in neat handwriting and memorizing stories?
I sure would love to know what happened to that smiling girl dab smack in the middle of the photo. Was she an avid reader and writer who could not wait to get back to school? Did she grow up to be a teacher of teachers or a writer of best sellers ? What about that smiling eager face in the lower right hand corner of the photo? Did he grow up to be a professor of history or a doctor of medicine? What about that tall boy with the overalls? Did he finish the year or drop out to work on the farm? Why are there so many more girls than boys in the photo?
One thing I am sure of is that my Grandmother (and perhaps even my Grandfather who had only a little bit of formal schooling) valued school and learning. All of their children, boys and girls, graduated from high school and most attended college (or normal school - teacher college).
Wouldn't if have been great if they had blogged about their lives?