The very best spring and summer days of school

Ponoka News' Hammertime column looks at the fun days of youth, school and spring.

For those of us who have been out of school for a very long time and for our younger set who are lucky enough to still be enjoying the best years of your youth, we will all hopefully always be able to cherish and share our favourite memories and adventures of somehow surviving and mostly loving our daring dash through Grades 1 to 12.

There is absolutely no doubt that the most vivid highlights of all those busy but fun years in the hallowed halls of learning started with our first rather scary walk with our mother down the sidewalk to the front door of the Grade 1 class, and hopefully ended with yet another exciting stroll out onto the stage to proudly receive our high school diploma in front of our parents, family, and friends?

Of course there was a whole lot more that happened in between those milestones of our youth, all of which no matter what stage of our lives we may be at now, we will always love glancing through the old photo albums and year books, staying in touch with former classmates, and of course attending those galas, then and now, grad class reunions. Like so many of you, I so fondly remember making new friends and getting used to the next set of teachers each and every grade, riding on the big yellow school bus, phys-ed in the gym or out on the school-yard, experimenting with frogs, chaperoned school dances, and just hanging out in the hallways. As I now watch the kids of all ages heading off to school each and every day I really wonder if it has all changed that much over the years? It will always be a blessing to have that super opportunity to gain that great education that will forever fashion their lives and will always be the ultimate goal and reward after sharing lots of fun and friends along the way.

Do they still have those great big blackboards, brushes, and long pieces of chalk, along with the pencils, erasers, and ink pens to work in the lined scribblers, or has it all changed just a little more to the electronic wonders of computers, lap-tops, lasers, internet, and all the rest?

Our teachers and school staff will always be the leaders and the inspiration that will encourage and gently nudge us through our education adventure. But somehow, along the way, each and every one of their rambunctious students will manage to fondly remember all of them as: the coolest, the cutest, the kindest, the toughest, the funniest, or the strictest, and that they would never have made it without them.

As seniors looking forward to our next school reunion we will certainly never forget: those big old wooden desks with carved initials of past would-be sweethearts and scholars, the ink-well, and the big drawer for all our junk; those big leather loose-leaf books with a zipper in which we could pack in just about everything from a chocolate bar to comic books but often forgot our homework; and getting assigned to a locker, which contained a few books, our smelly running shoes and a half-filled lunch-bag, as well as assorted clothes and boots that we told our mother we had lost.

School clothes and the in-fashions in our 1950s and ’60s era were usually hand-me-downs, warm, informal, affordable, and patched to make them last longer, but watching our students now-a-days that has all changed drastically to a splash of vivid colours, spandex, and extremely less coverage. Our plain and ordinary hairstyles included pony tails and crew cuts, but now the girls’ cute curls come in blazing streaks and colours while the guys have gone to longer or the ever-popular ‘chrome dome’ look.

I guess there are no more big and heavy black lunch kits and thermoses full of mom’s healthy choices that we ate quietly in our home rooms and often swapped with our buddies? Today’s school lunches might include the same goodies and treats, but they are transported in fancy backpacks dedicated to sports and movie super-heroes, but quite often the whole noon hour crew will head off to the local fast-food outlets.

Some of the favourite memories of every school curriculum have to be the track meets and field trips, which are a mandatory day off away from the books; while our most stressful experiences were exam week followed by report cards. So what was one of the biggest changes around our school yards? The high school parking lots are now full of hopped-up cars and trucks and those rusty old bike racks are gone forever. Whatever the case after our vibrant young students (our future) were able to let loose during spring break 2017 they can now ‘dig in’ and head into that heavy and hectic three-month stretch towards glorious summer holidays. Always cherish and share the memories, keep making many more, and have a great week, all of you.