Monday, May 8, 2017

Sister Mary Procla

I don't know if I spelled her name correctly. She was my first grade teacher. She was small, old, and smelled funny. My two biggest memories of first grade both occurred with the start of the school year. In kindergarten I learned how to do the pledge to the flag. I was proud of how well I could do it, I remembered all of the words and knew which hand to put over my heart. In fact during kindergarten or the summer after my dad stopped by firehouse Station No. 6 on Union Street and I showed off my pledging to the flag to the chief there. He complimented me and reward me with an American flag the used to hang on the flagpole at the firehouse. I was so proud.

Fast forward to the first day of first grade. I was so excited. I could not wait to do the pledge to the flag in real school. When we got started Sister Procla stopped us and informed us that we were to not put our hands over our heart but rather had us hold out right arm up toward the flat at an angle. Just like the Germans did hail Hitler during World War II. I was dumbfounded but went along with the program.

The next thing that happened was even more surprising, it happened when I said hello to my buddy Mark Emory from kindergarten. No sooner than I said hello I was whacked by Sister Procla and the suddenness of the smack startled me and I started to cry. She then told me talking was not permitted and I cried more, I cried louder and she eventually hugged me and patted my back to comfort me. I still remember that her habit felt and smelled weird. I stopped crying and the school day got underway.

When I got home I explained to my parents the new way to pledge to the flag. I'm not sure if they called the school of if it was other parents, but the next day we we instructed to do it the regular way. So there is first grade in a nutshell. The main two things I remember happened in the first hour of the first day.

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