Saturday, August 22, 2009

Kindergarten through time

I feel it in the air.
School will be starting around here this Monday!

The following 3 pictures are all Kindergarten.
I don't know any of these people, but I love these old pictures.

What I wonder is why do the kids look so old?
I know this was a long time ago,
but still, these were just little children.
Check out the face of the 2nd girl from the left on that first table.
She looks at least 55
click to enlarge

(not my class, but the year I started school)
In my class if anyone was "bad" (that's what they called them)
They had to sit in a special chair facing everyone
and wear a dunce cap.
Not my first son's class, but the year he went to kindergarten.
The boys are wearing the same bowl cut he had.
I don't remember much about kindergarten or 1st grade, but I do have some memories of 2nd grade. That was the year I told my friends I was not afraid to go into the boys' bathroom. So I did. The yard duty teacher came after me with her whistle. Scary times.

And don't we all wait for this commercial every year...


grandmapeg said...

This is one of my most favorite commercials of all time! Thanks for putting this on. I loved having my children home for the summer but by the middle of August they were ready to go back to school and I was ready to have them go back. I don't know if it's because the pictures are black and white but the children in those pictures do look older, especially the one that you pointed out. Wow!

Dad and Susan said...

My daughter Jamie and her friend Tami call each other on the first day of school and they sing at the top of their lungs a song that has the words "Free at last!" in it. Not sure of the song, but they've been doing it for 15 years. We always get a chuckle out of that commercial too. Love, Dad and Susan

Tom and Karen Mortensen said...

Love those old pictures. I have always thought that too- that the people back then looked so old. I love that girl you pointed out. I wonder who she is and what happened to her. She must have been something else.

Love that ad. I am not sure I have seen that before. It is so funny.

darlene said...

Look at the oldest picture and you'll see that not one child has a book or appears to be writng. They are all playing with blocks, crayons, dolls, clay. (Although they don't appear to be having that great of a time!) That's what kindergarten originally was. Kinder-garten= Child's garden. It was supposed to be an adjustment time for little ones to get used to being away from mommy. It was not about teaching them to read, write, or do math like it is today. In my opinion, we push our four and five year olds too much academically these days.
Yes, I've often noticed in old photos that the children look unusually old and serious. You rarely see them smiling. It's strange. The kids in your most recent photo look young and energetic and very CUTE! Not so with the first photo. Maybe somebody can explain why that is. Were children TOLD not to smile?

Tom and Karen Mortensen said...

I love Darlene's point about kindergarten. There is way too much pressure on kids that age now. They expect them to be ready for college.

Richard said...

Second grade was also the year you were allowed to take the city bus to the Fulton Mall as long as you were with someone...even if it was just Johnny age 5 or Robin age 3. No wonder boys restrooms did not scare you.

Kathy's Red Door Welcome said...

I had know idea you were such a wild child Jill. L.O.L. Somehow I can't quite picture you going into the boys bathroom, but kudos to you girlfriend! I'm all for living dangerously.
This back to school video is a little terrifying. When kids look like these two at the prospect of going back to school, you kind of wonder what's going on in the schools.

Jill said...

Kathy...You know I was not a wild child. I think if I felt like being wild in the least that one episode in 2nd grade probably changed me forever. I was so scared for years and years after that happened. The yard lady did not send me to the principal or anything like that. She just told me not to EVER do that again. I was so totally scared after that. So much for living dangerously. It was not for me.

darlene said...

Notice also that the 1959 class had only 12 students! And the 1982 class had 18. Nice numbers.

Jill said...

Darlene...I think I read once that long ago it took a very long while just to take a picture...lots of waiting for it to be complete. So maybe after sitting or standing there for a long while they just could not keep that smile going. If I look back on any old pictures I never see the people smiling. Those kids back in that 1940 picture sure looked either sad or bored...all except for one little girl at the table to the right...she is the furthest child to the right.

Dennis said...

That lady...err, child on the second from left looks like someone I know. She would probably be in her late 70's now. Come to think of it...she looks like several folks I know.

Seriously, though. It would be interesting to know what happened to these people. I'm sure they all have a story.


darlene said...

You're right Jill. I'll ask my father, who's 90, what's up with that. He was a photographer in the 40s.

Jill said...

I agree with you Den...she looks like many people I know!

Please do let us know Darlene what you find out from you Dad. He would know.

Anonymous said...

I love looking at old pictures too! Infact I have a picture on my wall of a Fresno's first kindergarten class of 1885 because I think it is so fascinating. Miss Gertrude Wilson's own donkey cart served as the school bus. I've also wondered why the people in old pictures always look so somber. Perhaps the concept of "smile for the camera" hadn't yet been invented. I always heard that cameras were slow in the 1800s, but thought they would have sped up by the 1940s.


Kris said...

What great pictures Jill!! Such a treasure.

Eileen said...

Great post! I really enjoyed this! And you are so right about the Class from 1940, the children's faces all look as old as the teacher, who also looks really old (I wonder how old or young she really was?)!

And I agree with the comment about how kids are pushed too early now. My grandson was in Nursery last year and already was taught his letters, colors, numbers, etc., Parents are in a panic if their children aren't reading by the end of the Pre-K session, and by the time they get to Kindergarten they are given homework to do in a few subjects, I find it sad. When do they get to be kids?

I can remember my children's work load in school being so tremendous that one Christmas Season I wrote a letter to the principal begging her to ask the teachers to make at least one homework assignment be to trim the tree, or sing Christmas Carols, or bake Christmas cookies, or pray with their family to have a Blessed Christmas, and thankfully, that good woman at the next teacher's meeting did just that! It was a wonderful Christmas Season, as all the teachers did give out assignments like that each night the week before Christmas!
I guess there is no hope of that in a public school though.

All the best,