Posted tagged ‘learning’

“Coins always make sound but currency notes are always silent, so when ever your value increases keep yourself calm and silent.”

January 16, 2014

Yesterday was lovely with sun and unseasonable warmth. Gracie and I had some errands, but first I wanted a bit of fun shopping. The store, though, was closed as was the candy store beside it where I could have salved my disappointment with a bit of chocolate, my panacea for any ills or low spirits. Sadly I was left with utilitarian shopping for dog food, cat litter, bread and eggs. I did buy a cupcake, a chocolate cupcake, which raised my spirits.

Today is dark and damp, the air perfectly still. It is not the sort of weather which tempts me to go out or even to get dressed. I will make my bed and pay my bills and consider it a day well-spent, yup, well-spent.

I remember learning about money. The worksheet had drawings of pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters. I guess the 50 cent piece wasn’t important or the nuns thought we could figure it out by elimination and, if that didn’t work, by reading the coin. The worksheet was filled with math problems using money. What coins would you use to add up to 12 cents, 28 cents or 30 cents? I, who never liked math, enjoyed the coin problems. They were more like a puzzle. What coins would you give back if the person gave you a quarter for a purchase of 17 cents? Even though that was real math, subtraction, you still had the puzzle of which coins. For a long time after that I always counted out my coins one at a time from one hand to the other. I’d say ten cents for the dime then eleven cents, twelve cents and on and on when I added pennies. When I was older, I got an allowance of 50 cents a week, always a single coin.

Most birthdays I got a dollar in my cards from my aunt and my grandmother. That opened up a whole new can of worms. Counting money got just a bit more complicated

“Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere.”

September 16, 2010

The day is sunny and still but a bit chilly. I was outside earlier watering the deck plants and, as usual, got caught up in all the activity. I watched my birds and I watched Gracie. She ran at full tilt the circle of the yard including up one set of stairs and down another. She did this a couple of times until her tongue was hanging and she had exhausted herself. She does this run just about every day. When she runs the straight back of the yard, she reminds me of a greyhound. Gracie is lean and leggy.

When I was in the sixth grade, I was finally on the second floor of the new school, the floor reserved for the older kids, for the sixth, seventh and eighth grades, two classes of each. The supply room, the janitor’s closet and the principal’s office were also on the second floor, their doors beside each other all in a row. I used to sneak peeks into the principal’s office on my way back from the girls’ room as her office was almost directly across from the girls’ room door.

We never asked to go to the bathroom in elementary school. I have no idea why. In the old school, we’d ask to go to the basement because that’s where the bathrooms were, but in the new school we’d ask to go to the girls’ room or the boys’ room. A bubbler separated the two doors.

My sixth grade teacher, Miss Quilter, is my favorite teacher of all time. I remember her standing between rows of desks in the front of the class. She always wore a 1950’s shirtwaist dress, usually with a belt, and she’d hold a book in one hand and gesture with the other. She wore the thickest glasses I’d ever seen, and they made her eyes looked enormous. Miss Quilter made lessons come alive. History was like listening to a story. She even made arithmetic interesting, a labor Hercules could admire. She made me hungry to learn, and I digested everything she taught and wanted more and more and more.

The sixth grade is one of the most important years of my life. It was the year I started to love learning, and I will forever thank Miss Quilter for opening up a whole new world for me, one I inhabit still.