Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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



Saturday, September 23, 2017

An Eight Grades Education

It’s the weekend and I’m enjoying the break from teaching.

So, what could be better than a story about teaching . . .
Grandma Stringam. A few years after this story . . .
It was 1903 and my Grandma Stringam, just turned eighteen, was asked to teach school in Aldrich, Utah, forty-five miles from her home town of Teasdale.
Possessing only a grade eight education, she felt ill-equipped for such a task and hesitated to accept, but the family who had approached her were insistent, even going so far as to secure a special teaching permit.
Suddenly, she was a teacher.
Her fourteen students from grades one to six - some of whom were even taller than she was - gave her numerous experiences in her little one-room school house.
This is one . . .
In March, the weather was still quite chilly and she had a lively little fire going in the fireplace. Class had just been called to order and she was busily putting work on the board.
Suddenly a shot rang out.
The bullet took the corners of fourteen pages off the reader held by her first-grader, then ricocheted and parted the teacher’s hair before burying itself in the blackboard behind her head.
For a few moments, all was quiet in the room. Then, realizing that someone had to have tossed a bullet into the fire, she scanned the rows of children until she spotted the one with the most frightened look on his face.
She glared at him. “Arthur! Come up here!”
“I didn’t do that!” he said, refusing to get out of his chair.
Again, she asked him to come up.
Again, he refused. “I had fourteen bullets in my pockets when I came to school this morning and I can show you all fourteen!”
She had him turn out his pockets. Sure enough, there were only thirteen.
“That’s all right,” she said. “Give me those bullets and come with me. I’m going to take you home to your parents.”
She told the rest of the class to keep on with their work and she took Arthur home. Handing the bullets to his mother, she said, “I want to see the school board before this boy comes back to school. He can’t come back until I do.”
Arthur never returned.
A few days later, she spotted him out on the hillside, cleaning out a ditch. Punishment meted out by his father for a boy who wouldn’t behave in class.
Grandma wasn't tall. 
But she certainly had, for want of a better term, control.
When I grow up, I want to be just like her!

P.S. Grandma had an eighth grade education. That may not sound like a lot, but here is an example of an 8th grade exam from about 8 years before this story took place.
I couldn't pass it . . .

5 comments:

  1. I would certainly have failed the 8th Grade Exam.
    Your Grandma might have been little but she WAS the boss.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I remember trying to take that exam back when it was circulating (in emails, I think). I would have failed it, too, even the history part (and I started college as a history major - well, over 45 years ago, that is.) One of my aunt's mothers taught in a one room school house, by the way, and my aunt went to elementary school in her mother's school house. She was quite educated, too, eventually ending up with a master's degree.

    ReplyDelete
  3. It's unfortunate we don't still learn those things in school. And by we, I mean the current generation, I guess, because much of it was still taught when I went to school. Now do I remember all of it? Err ...

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is a really good idea that you have going on. manufacturing
    หนังการ์ตูน

    ReplyDelete

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