Posted tagged ‘Wizard of Oz’

“Mathematics was hard, dull work. Geography pleased me more. For dancing I was quite enthusiastic.”

February 26, 2012

Today is winter. The dump was freezing and the wind felt Arctic. I swear the people in the car beside me were speaking Russian. If records were being kept, the fastest dump runs in history would be today’s.

Last night the wind howled and the house shook. I was glad the new palm tree was nailed in places to the deck or it would have gone flying, a bit like the cow and the rowboat in The Wizard of Oz cyclone. All I did was snuggle even more under my down comforter and go back to sleep.

Monday was the worst day of the week and the worst of all Monday’s was the one after a vacation. That would be tomorrow around here.

We all knew school was inevitable. Hating to go only made it worse so abiding it as a necessary evil made it a bit more tolerable for those for whom school was anathema. I liked school or at least I never minded going. I liked most subjects except arithmetic because it was the only one which ever gave me any trouble. I used to hide my fingers under my desk so I wouldn’t get caught using them. I was a great carrier of numbers though. It was always the smaller ones which tripped me up, never those with three digits. I remember writing the 1 over the number the way I had been taught while in my head, I’d be saying, “And carry the one.” It was almost like a prayer, something we all learned by heart. My favorite subject was reading. We had a book series which we used from year to year. The books were filled with stories and poems with questions at the end. Lots of times we’d have to read aloud. I always felt bad for the kid who had trouble with words and for whom reading aloud was torture. “Sound out the letters,” was always the nun’s directive as if that easily solved the problem. What I thought was strange was our report cards graded us on silent reading, never reading aloud so I didn’t understand why we did it. I suppose to prove we could read.

I’m sorry geography as a separate subject has disappeared from most schools. It was always a favorite of mine. Only one part, learning the exports of all the countries, was never all that important to me. I liked the pictures and mostly I liked the stories of the way people lived. The tulips and the windmills, the snow on the mountains and the goats and sheep were far more fun than bananas and coffee beans.

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