Snapshots – 3

Today I get back to my Snapshots series that I started a while ago.

Once I got used to Kindergarten in public school, I loved school. My teacher was wonderful and I felt part of the group. Entering first grade was another difficult transition. The days seemed so long. The classroom was less relaxed, and the teacher was much more uptight than Mrs. Maloney had been.

There were three reading groups in first grade, Groups A, B, and C. I was in the B group, and I tried so hard to read well so that I could move into the A group. Then at some point I realized I’d never seen anyone get “promoted” from one group to another.

There was a routine in Mrs. Molzen’s class. She could get pretty stern with children. I managed to stay out of her way most of the time. In late afternoon, not long before it was time to go home, the janitors brought glass bottles of milk in crates to our classroom for snack time. One afternoon, they came up short. Mrs. Molzen was fussing over this. I wasn’t paying much attention until I looked up and saw three bottles sitting on the shelf inside the door. I jumped up out of my desk, pointed at the three bottles, and said, “There are some! They are right there!”

Mrs. Molzen grabbed me, and with her fingernails biting into my arm, she guided me back to my seat and said, “I did not ask you to get out of your desk, now you go back and sit down! We have already counted those!” I could feel my face become red with shame as the other children simply looked at me.

Below is a photo of my first grade class. It’s easy to see who I was, given I was the only Amish child in my first-grade class.

Click on the photo to enlarge

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7 thoughts on “Snapshots – 3”

  1. Did you puff your hair to have your picture taken? I remember when I was in first grade most if not all of us Amish children were not allowed to have our pictures taken because our parents told us not to.

  2. Katie, no I didn’t puff my hair. My mother braided our hair that way, and we hated it! It was old fashioned to twist the front like that.

    For some reason other Amish children posed for the class photos, but not individual ones (unless you were brash like I was in second grade). I think there was some pressure from the school, saying that it wasn’t fair to the others not to have a full class picture.

    Ian, wait till you see my second-grade teacher and hear what she was like — she makes Mrs. Molzen look like a good teacher.

  3. I had a similiar teacher in first grade. I was quite very lively and she clearly disliked me. For some reason, I was oblivious to her distain for me, until the day she made a red tongue out of construction paper and pinned it to my dress. I thought it was a reward until my mother asked me, “Why are you wearing a red tongue that says chatterbox?”
    LOL :) Manuela

  4. Mrs. Molzen looks like she could use a broom. You were such a little cutie, being different must have been difficut. Did the other kids accept you? Treat you kindly? Vicki

  5. I recently wrote about some of the habits of the Amish that I admire and in my internet wanderings came across your blog. Your book looks fascinating. There are not many people who leave the Amish from what I understand.

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