Sister Carol gave the assignment this week: " Think back to something that happened when you were a student at Sunnyside Elementary, and why you think that incident has stuck in your memory after all of these years.". You can fine hers here and brother Bill's here soon.
I could write twenty sibling assignments on this topic, but today I will focus on art. Down in the basement at Sunnyside School is where the lunchroom was located. The smells from the homemade cooking rose up the steps and down the halls every morning. Those smells included homemake bread, cinnamon rolls, baked chicken, and other delicious meals the cooks were preparing.
We had assigned seats in the lunchroom and we had to eat quietly. If we drank our milk too fast some teachers would put it in the window sill so could have it at the end of meal...I guess they didn't want us to get full on milk. If we didn't sit up straight one teacher came along and told us we would be hunchbacks or old ladies or something to that effect. If we hated something like peas, teachers made us eat the number of our age. If you were nine, you ate nine peas..
What I remember most about the lunchroom was the artwork. Each month a teacher was chosen to display student artwork on the walls. The best artwork done by the students was posted. I loved studying that student artwork while I sat up straight, didn't drink my milk too fast, and ate at least nine peas. I always wanted mine on display. The art project that always stuck in my mind was the project Mrs. Tregoning, the sixth grade teacher displayed. She had students create comic strip characters using drawing and watercolor. I was always intrigued by that project each year. Popeye, Olive Oyl, Lulu, and Charlie Brown looked so real. I wanted to try that project.
I did get Mrs. Tregoning as a sixth grade teacher. I couldn't wait for the time we did that project. She had examples of all different comic characters for us to study. She demonstrated how to sketch them, then how to use watercolors with thin brushes, less water, and precision to create the character.
I chose Emmy Lou because she drew me in. Now that I have researched her a bit more, I understand. She represented teenage angst at that time, before I knew what angst was. Her comic strip spoke to me. Her character was perfect for me to create. I will have to dig through my archives and Mom's archives to see if I still that piece of art. I just remember her long skinny legs, her determined stance, and her spunk.
During my sixth grade year I began to fell that I had artistic talent. I did this watercolor picture, I won a prize in an art contest doing pencil shading still life, I learned to appreciate reciting poetry, loved picture study, and other creative activites we did. After thirty seven years of teaching, I still want my students to capture that same feeling as we do creative activities. Maybe we should do cartoon characters this week after six hours of required testing.