Marshall Historical Society

School Days
by Art Sanders

Our Deansboro Union School was completely destroyed in October of 1930, by a fire which started near the furnace. My friends and I were starting second grade and at first were happily rejoicing with our new freedom, but temporary classrooms were found all around Deansboro so our education could continue while a new school was being built, which opened in 1932.

Miss Clarabelle Stafford was trying to teach us fourth grade arithmetic, and called on me to answer the next question in the textbook. I do not remember the actual words of the question, but it was something about Farmer Jones and his chickens. He had a dozen roosters and a dozen hens and was getting a dozen eggs per day. It cost $2 for chicken feed for a week, so how much did each egg cost? Since my dad and I raised chickens in our back yard, I asked out loud why there were so many roosters, which were eating food but not making eggs. I said that we had about twenty hens and only one rooster, and one to two kids started snickering, and finally the whole room burst into laughter. I wondered what I said which was so funny, but Clarabelle was calling for silence, and told me to go out in the hall. When she got everyone quieted down, she came out and said I was a disruptive smart-aleck, and she took hold of my hand, and she slapped a ruler hard into the palm of my hand. I did not know what made her mad, but she was going to tell my parents about it.

That evening Clarabelle spoke with my dad and mom, while I waited in the kitchen, expecting some sort of punishment. Finally, Clarabelle explained to me that she misunderstood what I was saying, and she was sorry about slapping my hand with the ruler. It was not until I talked with Donnie and Ed the next day that I found out I had discussed a "forbidden" public topic.

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