Washington Monuments Again

You were all fortunate to have the same second grade teacher. All her students loverd her. She was a gem—loving, dedicated to her students, and just an all-around sweet heart. You would each come home from school and repeat some of the stories she would tell you during the day. I know that Jamie has done this in her classes, recalling how she enjoyed the days when her lessons were sprinkled with anecdotes of her teacher’s family.

I believe she Mrs. O  turned fifty the year Kelly had her. The class gave her a party and she was Queen for the Day which, not surprisingly, brought her to tears.

Like me, she hated snakes, but so much so that she refused to say the word “snake” and instructed her students to refer to them as “mm mm’s” (or something like that).

She brought a joy of reading to her students. I remember she had some kind of reading contest where she hung your names or something on the walls as your read a book (or was it five books). The goal was to go around the room a few times.

She had only one flaw, which was her Washington monument project. Daddy and I hated that project because it was clearly not a project that any of her students could do without great parental involvement.

Th first time, Dad really got into the assignment, and created the Jefferson Memorial out of some kind of styrofoam and dowels. It was quite impressive.

Two years later, Jamie came home and discussed the project, and Dad was not quite as enthusiastic that time. I think he also was not home every night so he was not thrilled with spending his weekend doing a construction project “for fun” after spending the week doing that.

So Daddy did the Pentagon that year, which was not nearly as intricate as the Jefferson Memorial. However, it involved angles and saws and nails so it was not simple to make and was still impressive.

Fast forwarding to Casey, we were hoping that Mrs. O’John had abandoned the project, but that did not happen. We gave Casey two choice. She could either recycle one of the two previous projects or do what she referred to as “the big stick.” The thought of bringing a hand-me-down project was humiliating to her, so that year, Dad made the Washington Monument and we were done. So long DC!


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