School Days

More of Our Canada - - In Your Words - Eileen Thur­low, Leth­bridge, Alta.

After read­ing The Way It Was story “My Early Ed­u­ca­tion” (Fe­bru­ary-march 2017) by Jim Soul, I won­dered how many other stu­dents and teach­ers en­joyed it as much as I did. As a for­mer teacher and ad­min­is­tra­tor (I’m now 91) with close to 40 years spent in ed­u­ca­tion, I’m still smil­ing at all the me­mories this story evoked. As an 18-year-old “city girl” from Medicine Hat, Alta., I was as­signed to a coun­try school in Travers, Alta. A gra­nary was brought in from a farmer’s field to act as my teacher­age—my home. Coun­try life, from get­ting wa­ter from the cistern and wood for the stove to learn­ing the in­tri­ca­cies of oil lamps and out­door “fa­cil­i­ties,” was a chal­lenge. My sav­ing grace was the school pi­ano.

I could ban­ish my home­sick­ness while bring­ing mu­sic and song into the school. Now, I look back and re­al­ize I likely learned more about life skills than the chil­dren did about math or read­ing. Thank you, Jim Soul, and Our Canada.

Reg Couldridge drops flow­ers off the bridge over the Ver­mil­lion River in hon­our of his late wife.

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