Saturday, March 01, 2008

The elementary school I attended was called Truman Elementary School, after the great Harry S. School colors: purple and white. Go Trailblazers! This was smack dab in the middle of the 70s, and the architecture of the school was completely open. At the time, I believe it was fairly unique. It was a big rectangle building with classrooms running the perimeter, and a sunken library in the center, a la Breakfast Club. The catch was that there really were no walls. The rectangle building housed 3rd-6th grades (K-2nd were housed in a smaller rectangle building on the grounds). Each grade had a corner room, plus the two classrooms on both open sides of that room. Roughly, three classrooms per grade. There was a separator between grades, but virtually nothing at all between the separate class rooms, and nothing between the classrooms and the sunken library. If you were in the 6th grade, you could stand up in class and wave across the building to your little brother in the 4th grade. I really have to wonder who thought it was a great idea to have an elementary school, of all things, without wall divisions. Basically, we couldn't be kids in there. We always had to talk with our "inside voices," and use "indoor applause" (done patting two fingers of one hand against two fingers of the other.

A couple of times a year for some special reason, the entire school would assemble in the library (I don't know why there instead of the gym), and we'd watch a movie - one actually projected onto a screen. It would usually be something like Freaky Friday (the original, of course), or Escape to Witch Mountain, better yet Return to Witch Mountain, or Napoleon and Samantha with Johnny Whitaker and Jodie Foster. They'd lead us in, one grade at a time, seated in rows on the floor, and while we'd wait for the projector to be set up, one of the teachers would lead us in a round of songs. I can't remember most of them but I do remember "If I Had a Hammer" and "Kum Bai Ya" (so much for that whole church and state division). Every once in a great while, when the entire school was assembled and singing, by some strange fluke, everyone would simultaneously hit the right note at the right time on the right pitch. In that fleeting moment, I always thought it sounded like angels singing.

Then I grew older and discovered that Angel was just a snotty girl on the playground who kept picking fights with me.

I can't remember what brought up this memory today, but it was something Rob and I were talking about (we both went to Truman together). It was up in the air. Either tell this story, or talk about the odd dream I had last night about being invited to skate in an NHL all-star camp. Maybe you can hear about that one tomorrow.


Blogger VirtualProducer said...

Time is going way too fast...

Do you also remember "All Night Skate" at Golden Skate? When we got older Columbia Skate in Hazel Dell?

My only memory of Angel was that she uh..."kicked me in the jimmy!" more than once on the playground. :-( ::OUCH!::

11:09 PM  
Blogger LA said...

Sounds like Angel was a real devil!

7:35 AM  
Blogger Diane said...

Until a few years ago, I continued to vote at my old elementary school - the Tamura Tigers. My main memory of a school assembly was when we all gathered in the auditorium to watch the moon landing on a little black and white set with a hanger for an antenna.

8:07 AM  
Blogger Auburn Kat said...

That is really weird about not having walls! I've never heard of a school like that!

8:35 AM  
Blogger Kings Fan said...

I remember Escape to Witch Mountain. I had such a crush on the girl (Kim Richards) that I think I tolerated that movie just to watch her. Remember, it was 1975 and I was 12 years old. Did you know she is Paris Hilton's aunt?

You think you have weird dreams. I fall asleep every night with thoughts of playing in the NHL and getting into a fight.

11:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tiffany, your description of Truman is right on the money. It was innovative to have open classrooms and yes, it had its challenges not only for the students but for the teachers as well. As teachers, we needed to meet continually to coordinate our lessons so that we had instruction, discussion and work time together so that we didn't disrupt the neighboring classrooms. That was quite a job. This building had its good points tho, it really meant everyone worked as a team- staff and students alike and we were able to provide instruction at 3 different difficulty levels within the same grade. Remember the "tote" trays? You simply carried your things to another desk with one of 3 teachers for a math, reading, English or writing lesson at, or near your individual learning level. Of course, it was when teachers could really teach to kids and not to tests; but that is a different saga about public ed. So glad to hear from you after all these years and know that you continue to do well in life. There is also something to be said about you remembering so much about your elementary school. I guess we did something right after all that we made such a life-long impact. Hugs to both you and Robert. Your former elementary teacher, Mr. Stan Cass

1:30 PM  
Blogger VirtualProducer said...


You know Reid, Tiffany and I were laughing the other day because Reid can remember all the word to "Hungry For Color"

I think we should have a "Rainbow Goblins" reunion! We will have to find Candy Jones.

1:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hungry for color, for colors what I eat, out of all the colors in this world there's only one that's best I think

11:49 AM  
Blogger Tracy Wegener said...

I was a part of the play I can't remember the color of my puppet was I think it was indigo but I remember we all put a lot of hours into the play and we got to perform downtown. Stan Cass was a awesome teacher I still remember the song he taught us "I'm a little piece of tin nobody knows what shape I am got 4 wheels and a running board not a Chevy or a Ford honk honk rattle rattle crash beep beep". Do we all remember this one? Would love to see the rainbow goblins once again for old time sake.

10:22 PM  

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