After Vivienne and I came home from Honeywood Farm yesterday, Mrs. Walton had the radio on while she was cooking dinner. There was an announcement that school would be open tomorrow. I wasn't sure how I felt about that. I mean, Vivienne told me that school would be closed for the whole week. I don't know about the future weathermen, but the ones here in the 1970s are hardly ever right. I wasn't expecting to go to school. I didn't have any school clothes with me, but Vivienne said I could borrow one of her dresses. I didn't have my lunchbox. Mrs. Walton said she'd pack me a bag lunch. I didn't have any books, but I did still have some of my homework packet to finish. So I guess I'm going to Spring Mills Elementary School. (Hey, doesn't that kinda sound like Springfield Elementary School?)
On the bus the next day, I was a little nervous. Vivienne told me that school was kinda fun. It was Thursday, so they'd have Music and Art class. Wow, all in one day? At my school we have Art on Tuesdays and Music on Thursdays while Miss LaSalle has "Prep Period". Vivienne said her teacher Mrs. Galbraith was kinda nice, but a little strict. I really hoped that she would like me!
The bus stopped in front of the school. I thought the sign was pretty.
It was much bigger than my school. I was hoping I wouldn't get lost! Vivienne showed me where her class lined up. There were lotsa kids in her class, mostly girls. I was happy to see someone I knew, because Betta is in that class! The bell rang and Miss Gallbrath came out to take us to the classroom. As we walked through the halls, I could see all the groovy bulletin boards. They sure were colorful!
When we got outside the classroom, there were hooks for everyone's coats. I didn't have one, but a girl named Charlotte was absent, so Vivienne said I should use her hook. We went inside and all the kids sat down at their desks. I sat at Charlotte's desk, and it wasn't next to Vivienne, since the desks are in alphabetical order, but I was next to Betta. Mrs. Galbraith stood at the chalkboard and raised her hand for us to be quiet.
"Class, before we recite the Pledge of Allegiance, Vivienne Walton has a visitor from California. Vivienne, would you like to introduce your friend to the class?"
"This is my friend, Julie Newman. We've been pen pals for awhile now. She lives in a little town called Springfield."
"Julie, would you like to show us where Springfield is on the map?"
My mouth went all dry. I cleared my throat.
"Umm...it's in the northern part of California. It's such a small town, that you probably couldn't find it on this big map. You'd need a map of the State of California. "
"Well we're happy to have you with us, Julie. You may take your seats girls."
After we said the Pledge, Mrs. Gallbrath told us it was time to do seat work. The class had to write some words from their spelling books 3 times each. Mrs. Galbraith gave me a book on West Virginia History, and said I should copy down some facts.
After seat work, it was time for Art. They don't go to another classroom like at my school. But sometimes Miss LaSalle does Art projects with us, too. Today's project was snowflakes. We had to follow instructions from a ditto sheet about how to do it.
We learned that all snowflakes have 6 sides and that no 2 are alike. I didn't know that! The paper had to be cut a special way, and I messed mine up twice. *sigh* But Vivienne, Betta and another girl named Evelyn helped me, so on the 3rd try I did it!
After Art, it was time for lunch. We went down to the lunchroom. At this school they have lots of tables, and you can sit where you want to. Vivienne and I sat down, and after Evelyn bought her lunch, she sat down with us. Oooh, did her pizza smell yummy!
Vivienne spotted Betta and waved her over.
"Hi Julie, hi Evelyn, hi Vivienne!"
"Hi Betta. Sit with us."
"OK...so how do you like our school, Julie?"
"It's OK...it's so different than my school, and so much bigger!"
"I can't imagine what living in California must be like", Evelyn said. "Do you ever see any movie stars?"
"No, I don't live in Hollywood. But I'm dying to meet David Cassidy."
"Oooh!" sighed Betta. "He's my favorite TV star. He's so groovy!"
"Do you have a swimming pool?", asked Evelyn.
"No, but my friend Jennifer has one of those giant ones you have to blow up."
"I thought everyone in California had a swimming pool", Evelyn said, kinda disappointed.
"Nope, that's just one of those stories fan magazines want you to believe."
"Hey, do you read Tiger Beat?", Betta asked me.
"Every chance I get!", I laughed.
We were so busy talking, I hadn't opened my lunch bag yet. What was that sticking out of it?
Wow...next to my mom, Mrs. Walton's gotta be the grooviest mom ever!
After lunch, we played jump rope games until the bell rang. Mrs. Galbraith gave her class a pop Math quiz! Ugh! I'm glad I didn't have to take it! I just took out my homework from Miss LaSalle instead.
After the quiz, we went to the Music room. I was just going to watch, since I don't know any of the songs this class had learned. Betta, Vivienne and Evelyn got up and sang "The West Virginia Hills", while their music teacher, Mrs. Hargraves, played it on the piano.
Mrs. Hargraves gave me a copy of the sheet music with the history of this song so I could show my teachers back in Springfield. Mrs. Taylor would be very interested in this.
When Music class was over, we went back to Mrs. Galbraith's class to get our stuff together, and get ready to be dismissed. We lined up and walked back through the halls to the front of the school to catch the bus back to Vivienne's house. Kevin and C.J. were sitting behind us. I hadn't seen them since we caught the bus this morning, 'cos Kevin's in 3rd grade, and C.J. is in the 2nd grade.
"Hey Julie", Kevin said. "What did you think of Mrs. Gal-breath?"
"Kevin! Stop being such a brat! You're probably going to have her next year", Vivienne told him.
"Ugh! That's a fate worse than death! Gaaaaaghh!"
C.J. giggled. Vivienne just rolled her eyes.
"She was OK, I guess, but she doesn't smile a lot. She reminds me of a teacher who used to work at my school, Mrs. Alden."
"What happened to her?", Vivienne wanted to know.
"She left to have a baby", I explained. "Our Music teacher, Mrs. Johnson took her place. She's much nicer."
"I wish Mrs. Hargraves was our regular teacher", Vivienne told me. "She's nice."
"And pretty, too", I added.
"But I guess Mrs. Galbraith is alright", Vivienne sighed.
Kevin just kept making gagging noises, and saying, "Beware the wrath of the Gal-breath!" Boys!
When we got to Vivienne's house, we changed into out play clothes and went in the kitchen for some milk and chocolate chip cookies. Then we put on our coats, 'cos Vivienne said we were gonna play with her new snow saucers. I had no idea what that was. She went out to the garage and pulled out 2 things that looked like giant frisbees. Vivienne explained that these were more fun than sleds, because they spin around when you're going downhill! We stood at the top of the hill and I suddenly wished that I hadn't eaten so many cookies! Vivienne was the first to go down.
She landed in a snow drift at the bottom of the hill and yelled up to me, "C'mon Julie! It's fun!"
I sat down and scooted my saucer until it starting moving. Whoa! Was this thing ever fast! And yeah, it was so much fun! Much better than a sled!
We went back to the top of the hill and went down together. I led the way this time!
By the 3rd try, Vivienne raised her hands like she was on a roller-coaster. (which is kinda what this felt like!)
Woweee! Up and down we went again and again, until Mrs. Walton called us in to do our homework. (darn it!).
I gotta go now...I have to finish my Math and my composition for Miss LaSalle.
Until next time, future readers,