School Stories

1954: A Turning Point

It was 1954 and Bob L. and I had been out after a class at the UConn branch in the Brooklyn section of Waterbury not far from St Patrick's Church. The old Begnal School. I had played football on the grass behind that church even tho' I went to St Joseph's down the street. My father had gone to St Pat's since he didn't like the Lithuanian masses at...

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1968 and Me

The year 1968 saw many horrendous events take place. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Bobby Kennedy were assassinated. The TV showed the killing of a man by a Vietnamese Officer with a gunshot to the head of a bound prisoner. 70,000 North Vietnamese troops took part in the Tet offensive which took the battle from the jungles to the cities. The USS...

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9/11/2001 Glynnis Eldridge

Glynnis Eldridge “This will be our response to violence: to make music more intensely more beautifully more devotedly than ever before. —Leonard Bernstein I sat speechless in the empty classroom, listening to the blasting talk radio. Out the window millions of army vehicles sped downtown on the barren FDR drive. Countless amounts of bewildered...

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A 9-11 Oral History from West Texas

In the weeks following the bombing of the Pentagon and the World Trade Center, Tumbleweed Smith was teaching a class in techniques of preserving and presenting oral history. One class project became interviewing people in west Texas about those events to prepare a program of local reactions. The 13 minute program has been broken into 3 segments for...

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A Decade With Jesse

Jesse lived through one of the most transforming, eventful and tumultuous decades in human history. This decade in its own unique way equals the far reaching political, social and cultural occurrences such as the Renaissance, the Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution. This decade Jesse lived through in the late twentieth century in the United...

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A Modest Proposal

With apologies to Jonathan Swift, I suggest the following modest proposal. There are many people who are concerned about rights given to them by the Second Amendment which confers the duty to bear arms to every citizen. This necessity, for everyone to bear arms, supposedly protects us from the tyranny of the government when it tries to take over...

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About School

About school – well actually I sort of like it. Not tests and homework and so on, but I was always ready to go back. As a kid we lived in the country about a mile out of town. Of course I had siblings and friends but I felt sort of isolated at times and by September I was ready to return to the City and to school – to more friends, more people and...

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Alice's Traditional Thanksgiving Pizza

Normally when I told this story, there was a classroom of students who were thinking more about the break in classes that was about to begin. I knew better than to attempt serious discussion on the last class before the Thanksgiving holiday and instead focused on communicating traditions rather than the traditions of communicating. This story...

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Back to the Line of Scrimmage

When I was a new teacher in 1974, some young male colleagues came up with the idea of having a faculty football pool which was designed to pick the winning teams each week. Now these guys were rabid fans and knew the teams, the players and their injuries, the coaches, the odds, etc. Nevertheless, everybody knows that there’s a lot of pressure to...

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Carol Rupprecht Has Passed

Sorry people. I know this is not the best way to encounter this information, but a person beloved by most of us died just a few days ago. Her husband, Pete Suttmeier was good enough to share her obituary and I reprint it below: Carol Schreier Rupprecht of Keene Valley, NY, died suddenly on Wednesday, November 14. Born June 30, 1939, in Stafford...

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Change

Change. I would not want to be looking for a job in this economy. My daughter, who has just reached the half century mark, has been searching for a teaching position since she came home from Singapore two years ago. She has a Master's in Fine Arts, taught five years at Nanyang University in Singapore where she received the university's Excellence...

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Comfort Cary Richardson

Professor of Physical Education Emeritus Comfort Cary Richardson died Friday, Oct. 26, in Kennett Square, Penna., where she and her husband Channing had retired. They first came to Clinton in 1952. Comfort pioneered women’s athletics on College Hill. When Kirkland College students first expressed interest in athletics, Comfort was hired in 1969 to...

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Did You Ever Have To Wear Long Underwear And High Topped Shoes?

Cold Iowa winters made these necessary clothing for me. It was awful for a 4th-5th grade girl to go to school with lumpy legs. This condition was caused by tucking long underwear into dark cotton stockings – a garter belt added to the problem too. I would struggle every morning, folding the stretched out underwear neatly, then pulling the stockings...

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Education and Jobs

EDUCATION AND JOBS How would you like to be graduating from college and looking for a job in today's market? Pretty scary, right? The cost of higher education has skyrocketed and even post high school vocational-school fees are prohibitive and do not guarantee a job. The American Dream was achieved by an education system that became its means to...

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Eggs

It is funny because most times we never think about eggs or buying them. Still with the recent Easter/Passover holidays, eggs played a big part in my shopping and cooking plans. Way back when, my widowed grandmother had a small grocery store and of course she sold eggs. She bought them in bulk. At our house, we saved every egg carton and took them...

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Elementary School

Recently a friend and I had the chance to visit our home town and stop by our elementary school. It still was the grand brick building, built in the early 1930’s, and oozing substantial educational opportunities. No sooner had we entered when I was forced to punk down on the steps as my mind flooded with long-ago memories: The very tall First Grade...

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Experience of a Lifetime: Kirkland College

I went to a wonderful college in upstate New York. It was the sister school to a very prestigious men’s liberal arts college. It only survived 10 years but I always saw the men’s school as the poor little brother rather than the other way around. Kirkland College was a glorious experiment in education built by Hamilton College in 1968. It fostered...

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Foreclosure

Foreclosure 1929 This is a real live story from my own life. When I was a child we lived in Reading, Pennsylvania, in a neighborhood with lovely homes. My father built houses. He would buy a piece of property and build a house on it and sell it. And I guess you would say he was a real estate contractor, real estate salesman and contractor of new...

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Graduation Day

Rituals are important, usually more important to the observers than the participants, but still very important parts of the stories that we tell. If there was a section of Story Chip devoted to the first time I had too much to drink, how many of the stories would be about a wedding celebration? It is probably a good thing that the first drunk...

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Integration

I I lived in government projects in the north end during and after World War II. I used to walk to Woodrow Wilson School during Kindergarten (I think) and from grade 2 (1945) through grade 6 (1949) when my family moved to a house in the Fairlawn section of Waterbury’s east end. In grade 1 (1944), I attended a special reading class at Slocum School....

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