Friday, August 27, 2010

Corner of Change

She stood in the corner, this quiet little girl. How she got there is a mystery to this grown woman. The fact that Mrs. Delaplaine would do such a cruel thing to such a shy girl seems out of place. Did the little girl put a mouse in her desk? Did she beat up an underclassman beneath the stairs next to the music room? Hm. Not likely since she was as underclass as a child could be. Perhaps she stood up on the bus causing the driver, Louie, to swerve off the road into the ditch on Neff Road. But that never happened. Maybe she was just a baaaad girl.

How I ever got into enough trouble in kindergarten to find my face looking at a corner while the entire class looked at my backside is a mystery to me. None of the Loxley girls were allowed to be bad. I'm sure I was terrified, especially since the principal had a thick, wooden paddle on the wall of his office for all of the children to see. I think I'm still reeling from the humiliation of it all.

I know this mystery will never be solved. My guess is that Vivian (who could never be quiet) was talking to me or distracting me, and I fell victim to her chatter. But things were different at Franklin Monroe. It was a different era, a country school.

Farm kids learned to work at an early age. Discipline was quick and well met with a warmed backside. Back talk was never an option. However, we did hear plenty of stories about the times Mom and Dad got into mischief when they were growing up.

As we grew up, changes took place. We were in the middle of the change. Women were trying to find their independence, teens were listening to new music and dressing accordingly. Parents and teachers were caught up in trying to hold on to the past pushing back the invading future.

In high school one of the boys was kicked out of school because of his long hair. It probably didn't help that he wore a leather jacket as well.

In Home Ec we were being taught how to pluck a chicken and fold our future husbands shirts. Something that I have never done since that class. The changing times were moving forward.

I'm pretty sure that kids are no longer stood in a corner humiliating the child. Now they miss recess or are sent to the office to have a time out. Discipline in the school is more focused on helping the child learn from their mistakes and changing their actions. Rulers over the knuckles, spanked bottoms are a thing of the past.

I don't remember much of what I was thinking of while standing in that corner. Perhaps I was just mortified. Or maybe I was hoping that the back of my dress looked nice. Heck, I don't even remember what I did....but I do remember that corner. Little did I know that this child stood in a corner of change.

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