Friday, September 21, 2012

Fourth Grade and Mrs. Knoll

Lord, make us mindful of the little things that grow and blossom in these days to make the world beautiful for us."

- W.E.B. du Bois  


  • DID YOU KNOW...?


bringing you the quirky, funniest and most interesting tweets from Twitter that we came across.  
I always leave a trail of breadcrumbs when I go into the forest so that if I get lost, a duck can come to my rescue @bridger_w

Choking Danger for Dogs : Dogs that enjoy retrieving balls and carrying them around in their mouths sometimes get those balls lodged in their throats. When that happens, there isn't time to get to a veterinarians office- the dog is unlikely to survive more than three to five minutes if its airway is not cleared.

The best solution is prevention- select toy balls large enough that they can't fit in the dog's throat, yet small enough that the dog can carry them in its mouth. Tennis balls often are too small for large breeds.

If your dog does get a ball lodged in its throat, first try to open the dog's mouth and reach a finger behind the ball to pull it free. Do not attempt to grip the ball from the top if you cannot get a finger behind it-that's more likely to push the ball farther down the throat than pull it out.
If that fails, pick the dog up if it's small enough to lift, turn it mouth-end down and give a few shakes. If the dog is too large to pick up, lift up its back legs, tilting the dog forward.

If that too fails, try the Heimlich Maneuver. While standing behind or over the dog, reach under its belly with both hands and find the last rib with your thumb. Position your hands just past the end of the rib cage, make a fist with one hand, wrap your other hand around this fist, then give a quick jerk inward and upward into the abdomen. Use enough force to lift the back end of the dog up off the ground. Repeat several times if necessary.
What a delight it was to be outside and watering. Indian Summer, my favorite time of year. When I went outside at 9am it was 64F. After watering, it finally made it to the 90's F.
Growing up in a large Catholic family, of course I went to Catholic school, like all my brothers and sisters before me. 

In the 1960's, most of the teachers were nuns, but there were a few stalwart souls who braved the low pay and were lay teachers. I'd like to tell you about my fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Knoll.

Looking back as an adult, I can appreciate now the things she did for us...back then you pretty much sighed and put up with it, because you had to; But now, I can see where the woman was a qualified miracle worker.

Mrs. Knoll was a no-nonsense Caucasian woman of advanced years (at least it seemed to me being only 9). She probably was in her 60's and after my class graduated, she retired. She wore her hair in a take-no-prisoners bun, but still gave off the reassuring grandmotherly vibe with her plump visage and twinkling blue eyes. She ran her classroom with discipline but kindness and her heart was as big as anything, even if she WAS awfully uncool to a 9 year old.

She brought in her own personal electronic organ and played and sung with wild abandon; it didn't matter that she had a terrible voice, she raised her voice in praise, with great joy. She taught us songs and ditties and sometimes played songs while we worked. She did the most important thing, which was make that classroom a safe, secure place where children could learn.

She taught us the arts and made us memorize poetry and prose and then recite it in class. Not only did that teach us memory skills, but it introduced us to art and literature and provided public speaking skills. This was in the time when Catholic schools did not have art or music classes, and most teachers did not include these subjects.

Catholic schools are notorious for no air conditioning, and we all watched the outside temperature gauge because, as childhood rumor went, if it went over 103F we got to go home. As a child I never realized what a scheduling nightmare that would be to call all those parents and hope they were available to pick up their children; and of course, this was before the days of cell phones and instant contact solutions. So, I can only remember one time we got to leave early.

On those very hot days, when you had gulped down lunch so you could get out to kickball and get picked for a team (even if it was last), you tore around the playground and when the bell rang, you stood in line, panting and sweaty, ready to go back into the classroom. Being a smart lady, Mrs. Knoll had us line up, girls on the right, boys on the left. She would wait for all the other classes to go inside and then she would march us to the restrooms, where the girls would go in first and then line back up; then the boys would go in. You got paper towels and wet them and wrung them out. You then put them around your neck or on your head, or you sucked on them to get the coolness on your face. She would march us into class, where we would all lay our heads down on our desks and she would start to read aloud. Instantly, we calmed down and were transported to the Island of the Blue Dolphin, following Karana, the Indian girl on her island as she discovers she is alone. Just when it became exciting, she would close the book and tell us to get out our math books.

In later years, I would teach elementary school and I marvelled at her wisdom. She might have been old and underpaid, probably underappreciated; but she knew children. She understood their needs and took them to places to open their minds. She inspired them to learn and provided a safe environment where everyone was equal.

I wish I could have let her know how 40+years later, I can still recite the lines of poetry she assigned me; how I remember her math games and holiday homemade treats she made in her wee hours at home. How the love came through and we were better for it. We need more teachers like her today so our children will use their imaginations, read, sing and learn. So, up there in heaven, thanks, Mrs, Knoll. You made my fourth grade something I have remembered all these years. You made me a better teacher and touched a new generation of children.


 A woman stopped by, unannounced, at her son's house.
 She knocked on the door then immediately walked in.
  She was shocked to see her daughter-in-law lying on 
  the couch, totally naked. Soft music was playing, and the aroma of perfume filled the room.
 "What are you doing?!" she asked. 
  "I'm waiting for Mike to come home from work," the 
  daughter-in- law answered.
 "But you're naked!" the mother-in-law exclaimed.
  "This is my love dress," the daughter-in-law explained.
 "Love dress? But you're naked!"
  "Mike loves me and likes me to wear this dress," 
  she explained." It excites him to no end.
  Every time he sees me in this dress, he instantly 
 becomes romantic and ravages me for hours on end.
 He can't get enough of me"
  The mother-in-law left.
  When she got home, she undressed, showered, put on 
  her best perfume, dimmed the lights,
  put on a romantic CD, and lay on the couch, waiting 
  for her husband to arrive.
  Finally, he walked in and saw her lying there so 
  "What are you doing?" he asked.
   "This is my love dress," she whispered sensually.
  "Needs ironing," he said. "What's for dinner?
  He never heard the gunshot.


On today in American history, people in gardens everywhere were talking about:
1792 First French Republic is proclaimed
1862 Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation
1949 Soviet Union explodes its first atom bomb
1961 President Kennedy signs Peace Corps legislation
1975 Gerald Ford survives a second assassination attempt
1985 The first Farm Aid concert is held
1994 The TV show Friends debuts
2012 Endeavor lands at LAX

As always, we would love to hear from you! Please share here; Or find us on Facebook Or Pin us!Follow Me on Pinterest    Delicious

No comments: