Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Miss Doyle

Miss Doyle was my first grade teacher.  This was during an era when the elementary school teacher requirements stated that the median age was 65.  Miss Doyle had left 65 behind at least ten years prior.  She could have been home collecting Social Security, but decided to arrive every morning at eight am to teach us little scamps.

Aside from being elderly, she was frail, but she was an excellent and gentle teacher.  These were the days when old ladies dressed modestly and the uniform of the day consisted of a flower-patterned dress, opaque stockings and unique orthopedic shoes.

All the old women wore these shoes. They came in one color; black.  The looked like men's oxford shoes that tied up the front, but had a two inch heel in the back. The front of the shoe was wide to accommodate arthritis, corns and bunions.

Miss Doyle was an expert at teaching us to spell.  We had mastered the alphabet in Miss Moat's kindergarten course and were now ready to tackle putting those letters together.  We did this through the aid of those marvelous children, Dick, Jane and Sally accompianied by their dog, Spot and their little cat, Puff.

We spent hours each day reading about Dick running. See Dick Run. Run Dick run. I believe he must have been a marathon runner.  Jane did a fair share of jumping.  See Jane jump. Jump Jane jump. Sally did a fair share of looking. Look Sally look. We also saw Spot. And of course we saw Puff. See Spot. See Puff. See Spot and Puff.  They sure were a swell family, what with the running, jumping and looking.  I am sure they all enjoyed great health.

My favorite part of the day occurred when the vocal music teacher arrived.  This occurred twice a week. Mrs. Reif was our music teacher and was a lady of Italian descent.

She was tall and tan and young and lovely...  I didn't have words at the time, but I thought she was the most beautiful woman in the world.  We progressed from the popular childhood tunes that Miss Moats had sung, to new works such as The Red Bird, Safety First and Row your boat.

Not Mrs. Reif,
but a reasonable facsimile
One of the best days of my six year old life occurred when Mrs. Reif came over to me and said, "Marc has such a wonderful voice. He sings on key. Listen to him class. Now Marc, I want you to sing right into my mouth."  Oh my sweet Lord!  Singing into Mrs. Reif's  mouth with those pouty red lips. For two minutes I was in Heaven.

I cannot recall many other antics that occurred on Miss Doyle's watch, except this boy had gone into the girls bathroom during our potty break. He was the same exhibitionist from Miss Moats class.

This boy was a little different than the rest of us and did not follow instructions very well.  He was not only punished, but he was never seen again.  This put fear into the rest of us boys. A rumor went around that he was taken to the scary boiler room and used for fuel. We would never, ever sneak into the girls restroom.

I think what actually happened was this child had some psychological issues and was sent to a special school for help.  But since everything was hush-hush in those days we were not told what happened to Dennis.

The rest of the year was uneventful.

I still think back and wonder what Dick, Jane and Sally are doing.  ...probably running, looking and jumping.

1 comment:

Van Roof Bars said...

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