Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



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Friday, January 15, 2016

Grit

Or something similar...
Teaching school has never been easy.
Even in the heavy-handed discipline days of 1903 . . .
Eighteen-year-old Sarah hadn’t really considered teaching.
When she was approached by a family, her response was: “Well, I really can’t teach. I’ve only passed the eighth grade. I couldn’t teach unless they gave me a permit.”
A week later, she was facing the fourteen students of Aldrich, Utah.
Some of whom were taller than she.
The woman with whom she boarded told Sarah that the children had run the last teacher out.
Somewhat alarmed, Sarah made some inquiries.
She discovered that the students had flipped rocks at the woman. Constantly. Nothing she could do seemed to help.
They had brazenly done the same to the Superintendent when he came to investigate.
It had finally gotten so bad the teacher quit.
Sarah quietly determined that wouldn’t happen to her.
She called the class to order and assigned seating. Then she told them to get on with their lessons while she put some work on the board.
When she turned her back, two rocks flipped.
She stopped and ordered all of the children up to the front, boys and girls, and made them turn their pockets inside out.
Most had said pockets filled with little stones.
Sarah confiscated all the rocks and had peace until recess.
After recess, she again lined everyone up and turned out their pockets. Again, many of them had been filled with little stones.
After lunch, she did the same.
And the afternoon recess.
This went on for several days.
Finally, the children tired of the exercise and she had no more trouble.
Sarah might have been tiny.
And only possessed a grade eight education.
But she had the right skill for the job.
Grit.
Beats rocks every time.

11 comments:

  1. This post could provide material for another chapter of "Little House on the Prairie!" I love how your posts magically transport me to another time Diane! And I am ridiculously behind in reading them this month. Planning to catch-up today though, as it is a shame to miss anything that you have written!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Grit ... and smart thinking. I want to stand up and cheer for Sarah! A born thinker! Because not everyone is.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Grit, and nouse, and determination. Which are soooooo much more important than learning (valuable as it is).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. EC, thank you for "nouse" - new to me :)

      Delete
    2. Nouse (or nous) was a common phrase in our household. And having none was a very serious condemnation.

      Delete
  4. What a great story! She may have only had an 8th grade education but she was certainly clever!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Ah Grit..how I love that word! It's one of those words that, to me, sounds exactly how it means. Loved this post, Diane! I enjoyed the images and of course the insight! Thank you for this wise reminder :-))

    ReplyDelete
  6. Or maybe she had lots of brothers and sisters.

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  7. Nice story here. Well written. Thanks for this.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Clever Sarah outsmarting them that way.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Ha! Good for Sarah! I loved this one Diane. I'll have to show it to my daughter Sarah who is going to school to become a teacher!

    ReplyDelete

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