Sometimes school made me a dull boy

With school closing for the summer, it reminds me of the two best days of my school years. On the first day of school I had the opportunity to wear my new tennis shoes, and on the last day of school was when the summer fun began. When I was a freshman in Rochelle High School in 1944-45, the school board voted to cancel all ball games, and we went to school on Saturdays so we would get out in early April. I hated school. It was boring. As the saying goes, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” The recent school shootings reminded me of those years. We had a few school bullies and at 14-years-old you wanted to join them and not be pushed around. I had an old .22 rifle. I sawed the barrel and the stock off and made me a dangerous pistol. I carried it to school loaded and intended to use it. Thank goodness I didn’t. School was so dull that I passed only one subject’English. That was because I liked my English teacher, Miss Ruth Watson. For Christmas she gave the boys shaving lotion. I felt eight feet tall and really didn’t even shave. Also in the elementary grades, we had spelling bees every Friday. When you missed a word, you had to sit down. I was sitting down most of the time while the ones who could spell stayed up and spelled all period. They didn’t need the help that we did. I never did like to see P.E. teachers let students choose sides for their teams. The ones chosen last felt left out. I never did really graduate from high school, but did a lot better when we had sports and I matured a bit. I wasn’t like the little boy when the principal asked him, “How are you'” And he replied, “Fine.” Then the principal asked him, “Why don’t you ask me how I am'” The boy said, “Because I don’t care how you are.”

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