Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Spare! - or - When the Supervision gets Lax, the Creative get . . . Creative

What did you do during Spare?

Spare.
The best part of the school day.
The period when one catches  up on things.
Gossip.
Flirting.
Sleep.
Okay, I admit it, one could even catch up on school work.
If one was so inclined.
I, however . . . never mind.
In Junior high, Spare was always supervised.
Nominally.
For the supervising teacher, it was also a time to catch up on things.
Reading.
Marking papers.
Sleep.
The class would steadily grow noisier and more unruly.
Until things reached a certain pitch.
The teacher would look up. “Okay class. Settle down!”
And the whole process would start over.
One time, the teacher had just lifted her head.
But before she could utter the fateful, silencing words, another teacher (obviously misled by the noise level), appeared in the doorway.
“Who’s babysitting you guys!” she demanded.
Loudly.
Then realized that her friend and fellow teacher was properly seated at the ‘supervisory’ post.
Oops.
As we got older, supervision became more and more . . . Slapdash? Haphazard? Cursory? Superficial?
I’m going to go with Non-existent.
We were required to police ourselves.
It wasn’t too bad.
By this point, there were several of my classmates who actually wanted to finish their homework.
Weird.
They would shush us if we got too noisy.
Kill-joys.
But we had nothing on my Dad’s class.
Oh, they weren’t noisy.
Or unruly.
Just . . . creative.
Case in point:
A girl in Spare was reading the newspaper.
For those of you in the virtual world who are unfamiliar with the word ’newspaper’, it was a collection of news and advertising, published daily, and printed on very large sheets of paper.
The girl was engrossed in an article in the top right-hand corner.
Her absorption left the entire bottom half of the paper unguarded.
Normally, not cause for concern.
But, remember – Dad was in the room.
As she read, he approached quietly.
And, squatting down beside her, lit the bottom left corner of her paper on fire.
Yes.
On fire.
So . . . creative, he definitely was.
Cautious?
Not so much.
The girl soon realized that something was amiss.
She glanced down.
Her paper was rapidly being consumed.
She blew on the flames a couple of times.
Then dropped the paper and stomped them out.
Spare.
The best part of the school day.
For so many reasons.

7 comments:

  1. Wow, I really love reading your stories. This was a fun one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, LeAnn! I won't tell Dad. It'll just encourage him . . . :)

      Delete
  2. Oh this makes me nostalgic! Many of our kids' lives today are much more structured, and I'm not sure that this is a good thing. Thanks for painting this wonderful picture of childhood, and the "spaces" in between!
    Blessings,
    Ann

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your visit, Dr. Ann! I love immersing myself in the past. It's quiet and peaceful there!

      Delete
    2. Suuuuuuuuuuuuure it is...

      Delete

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Diane was born and raised on one of the last of the great old Southern Alberta ranches. A way of life that is fast disappearing now. Through her memories and stories, she keeps it alive. And even, at times, accurate . . .

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