School Days of Old
by Kerri C., Grade 6, St. Anne's Elementary School, Peterborough, ON


“The good old days”! That’s what everybody says - but they weren’t so good, they were actually bad. I’m going to talk to you about some school days that other people had.!

My Uncle Dan. My Uncle Dan went to school at St. Anne’s School. When Mr. Boland was the principal and he was my uncle’s favorite teacher. There was no teacher that my uncle didn’t like. Dan had to walk a mile to school, but sometimes he got a lift. He brought his lunch to school with him because there was no cafeteria. My uncle remembers that his school had both girls and boys who were Catholic. Some of the rules that they had to obey were no talking and no taking and no lifting your eyes from your paper. If you didn’t obey these rules you would get the strap, ruler or the cane. He got the ruler and the strap a few times. You were not allowed to fight but my uncle did anyway.

My uncle Dan can remember that he and some of his friends were looking in the girl’s gym. The principal caught them and threw a baseball and hit my uncle Dan in the head. He was knocked to the floor and went unconscious. Oh, how he liked school.

My Uncle’s girlfriend. My uncle’s girlfriend, Karen, went to a school named ‘Elmdale’. She couldn’t have a favorite teacher because there was only one teacher. Miss Simpson was her name. She taught grade one to eight. Karen didn’t walk to school but she walked to the bus stop that was a mile and a half away. Sometimes she got a ride to the bus stop.

Karen brought her lunch to school. She can remember that her school was mixed with boys and girls. Karen had some rules to follow like - put your hand up to talk or go to the bathroom and don’t talk during class. If you didn’t obey these rules you would get the ruler, the strap or write lines on the board. For example: writing ‘I will not talk during class’ 100 times or 50 times. She always obeyed these rules.

You were not allowed to fight but when they were sure no teacher was around, they would fight. She remembers that the teacher would make you tell what you did on the weekend. One time Karen said ‘Me and Susie’ but that was a far as she got. The teacher stopped her and told her “never put yourself first” and she has never done it since.

My Grandmother. My grandmother went to school at the convent in Lindsay. Her favorite teacher was Sister Clement. My grandmother liked all of the Sisters. My grandmother, Merle, had to walk six blocks to school. She never got a lift to school because school was so close. She walked home for lunch because she never brought it to school with her. She remembers the convent to be an all-girls school. My grandmother obeyed the rules such as don’t talk; listen to the teacher and don’t look up from your own paper. If they didn’t obey these rules they could get the strap, have to write lines, or get your hand tapped with the ruler. Merle got the ruler and the strap a few times. She says she really liked school.

My Dad. My dad, James was not a Catholic, so he went to Prince of Wales school. He had two favorite teachers. They were Mrs. Ouver and Mrs. Watson. My dad walked six blocks to school, back home for lunch and after school, home again. He lived so close to the school that he never got a lift. He can remember that his school was both girls and boys which meant it was a mixed school. Some of the rules were raising your hand to speak in class, lining up after recess and before classes. If they didn’t obey these rules they got disciplined by the strap and the ruler. There were a few times when my dad was bad and got the strap and/or the ruler.

At recess they used to play “King of the Castle” on a platform at the back of the school. The object of the game was to run and charge at the platform and push whoever was on the top, off. He said the best part of his school days were the friends he made.

So, if you think that the ‘old days’ were the best, you are wrong. They were not so good. The days now are great! So be thankful for what you have today but always expect change.

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