Sepia Saturday 514. D is for Darn: I change fifth grade classes: Fourth of twenty-six posts in the April 2020 Blogging From A to Z Challenge on the theme “Endwell: My Elementary Years”— where my genealogy journey germinated. Wish me luck!
Starting with fifth grade, we Baby Boomers were disbursed among rental and other classrooms around Endwell while the school district scrambled to build larger facilities.
Methodist Church classroom drama
That’s how I ended up attending the first half of fifth grade in a classroom attached to the local Methodist Church — the scene of a major drama in my young life.
I began fifth grade in Mr. Fenson’s class. He was a conservative , suit-wearing Nixon supporter and just nerdy enough that all one of my female classmates and I had to do was look at him, or each other, to burst into riots of laughter.
I was a veteran of Miss George’s strict fourth grade class (more on her in my letter M post) so being able to laugh until my sides hurt in fifth grade may have been an antidote.
But apparently not a good one, because next thing you know I was called into a one-on-one midyear meeting with our school principal Mr. Pierce — an event so earth shattering I entered it in my diary.
Thursday, Feb. 3, 1961, 11:45 — Today Mr. Pierce told me I am going to have Mr. Hazlett for a teacher when we move to the Junior High School. I will always try to hate him. ALWAYS.
A major change at a new venue
Wow, the humiliation! I didn’t know anyone who had changed their class midyear. So after spring break, I harrumphed into Mr. Hazlett’s fifth grade class in the Junior High building — the next place they housed us — and tried my best to dislike him.
But he was young and handsome, wore his necktie loose with his shirtsleeves rolled up — and his pretty wife Sherry sometimes dropped by the side door near our classroom to visit. So a month later I had changed my tune.
Wednesday, Mar. 15, 1961, 4:00 — I like Mr. Hazlett much better than Mr. Fenson. Mr. Hazlett never yells. Mr. Fenson used to yell a lot.
My parents had a hand
Decades later I was reminiscing with my dad about my midyear fifth-grade class change, and it turns out my parents were behind the whole thing. How did I not know this before?
“You were doing terrible in school,” Dad said. “We wanted to get your little girlfriend’s class changed but her mom was Class Mother, so you had to switch instead.” Turns out I did well in Mr. Hazlett’s class, so in retrospect the change was a good one.
True, when I told Mr. Hazlett I wanted to be a lawyer or a private detective as my vocation, he said, “Why don’t you try something more realistic, like being a nurse or a teacher?”
But I ended up becoming a genealogist and family historian — plenty of legal and detective work there — so I guess I got the last laugh!
Up next: E is for En-joie Pool and Elks Bake Shop. Please stop back! Meanwhile, please visit the blogs of the other Sepia Saturday participants here.
© 2020 Molly Charboneau. All rights reserved.