Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Week 24 of 2012 - Eye Glasses

I was 10 years old when I started to wear eye glasses.  It was in fifth grade as I recall...OK so now I know that you all are going to laugh over this but...There was a time when I was rather shy...loud mouthed and talkative but afraid of the silent moments in between. Probably sounds strange to you but...I would often try to sit in the back of the room in school, you know slide in a back seat and sit there unnoticed. Hopeful that I would not get called upon to answer questions which I was not prepared for or ones which I simple did not know the answer to. I always felt embarrassed or shameful if I could not come up with the right answer. I am not sure why. I was usually OK in the back of the room until my mouth got me in trouble, then I would be moved up somewhere closer to the front of the room.
Janet Smith - 1964 before glasses
In fifth grade, my teacher's name was Miss French.  I loved her.  She was a young new teacher right out of college.  She had the prettiest hands and nails in the world.  I told myself that one day I would have hands and nails just like her.  She always had them polished and they looked beautiful. Is that funny how something like a person hands can have such a lasting memory for you!    It was her class room in the fifth grade that I realized that I could not see the blackboard clearly anymore.  The first couple of times, the Miss French scoffed it.  But after the third or fourth time, she gentle encouraged me to trade seats with someone in the front of the room.  Which I did not mind because I could see her better and to my surprise, the blackboard too!  On Friday as we were getting ready to board the school buses, Miss French gave me a note which she had written to my Mother.   When she gave it to me...I protested...I did not do anything wrong...I did not talk too much today...She smiled and assured me I was not in trouble.

The whole way home on the bus I wondered what my teacher had put on the paper which was seal in an envelope.  I wanted to open it in the worse way but...I did not. I debated about not giving it to Mom right away but Miss French had told me that I was not in trouble...So when I got home, I gave it to Mom.  “Were you talking too much?”  She asked.  “I said NO, Miss French said I was not in trouble but to give you this”  She open up the envelope and took out the note. It was written in lovely handwriting worthy of the best teacher!

Dear Mrs. Smith,

I believe that Janet should have her eyes checked.  She seems to be having trouble reading the blackboard.  I have moved her to the front of the class for now but she ought to see an eye doctor as soon as you can get her an appointment.


Miss French

So within weeks, I went to the eye doctor and sure enough...I would become a member of the “4 Eye Club”!   “You should wear them all the time”, the doctor told me.  You can remove them when you are playing outside if you want so they don't get broken.  So that is what I did. I do remember forgetting to leave them indoor for recess on more than one occasion. They always seemed to get in the way, when that happened...You would fall down and the glasses would go flying... Or you would get hit by the ball and they would be mashed into your face...Or you would be swinging on swings and they would go flying...When you are an active kid, you are hard on glasses....

Sharon and Janet - Summer 1965 before glasses
At Christmas time a few months later....

Sharon Jan and Sue - playing a new game on Christmas evening in 1965
Hope you enjoyed this little memory.  Did you get glasses?  Let hear about your memories.

Jan Smith

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