Back at School

Nov 27, 2013

Yesterday I spent the day back in a building that I know so well and that was such a huge part of my life. In 1969 I walked through the doors of Macdonald Consolidated as a scared, grade seven kid going to a new school and living in a new community. I had summered on the Kingston Peninsula all my life but now we were living here year round. I have lots of memories of the three years I spent as a student there,some that involve the tall, gangly boy that became my husband .I can vividly remember the way the school was before the new addition was built in the late 70’s. Only my generation and before remember the steps that led to the boy’s bathroom that were off of the landing half way up the stairs and all the many other things that changed when the new part was built. Zac started school there in 1984 and the other kids followed, the last one leaving in 2004. In 1986 I came to MCS as a teacher after teaching six years in Rothesay and taught there for 23 years.So when I enter that building it is filled with so many memories .I visited the Grade 5 class first. Those kids were in kindergarten the last year I taught. Next I went to the grade 4 class. Several of those kids were kids of Zac’s friends and that always brings tears to my eyes when I think of the children my son did not get to have. I stand before those kids reading from and talking about a book that holds the memory of a boy that their Dads grew up with,played Lego with,built treehouses with, had sleepovers with, partied with. I stop there with my thinking as thinking too deeply about it would render me unable to finish this post.Grade 3 was delightful. They were reading Ten Thousand Truths. I read them the last two chapters.I had some concerns when I heard they were reading it and perhaps their understanding of some parts is different than an older reader might have but they certainly brought an insightful and compassionate perspective to it.So overall ,I spent the day in a familiar place, stood in classrooms where I had taught, sat in a staff room with some of the staff that still remembers me,shared my three books with 60 kids who now eagerly wait to sign them out of a library that happens to be named after my father, in recognition to his years of dedication on the local school board.My friend Alice would say that’s how I got my job. Macdonald Consolidated School , a special part of my life as a mom, a teacher and now an author.


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