Memory Of My Old School Essay

Yesterday, I received a notification in Facebook that my old elementary school was soon to be demolished.  I will admit that I was a little teary eyed thinking about it as this was a place where I met many people that have been major influences in my life, along with friends that I am still close to currently.

I decided to write about some of my memories of school, and as I do when I write in this blog, I just wrote.  As I started to think back about my teachers, I decided to think of something about each one that I remember.  Leaving that school almost 23 years ago, I was amazed at really how much my time at the school has influenced what I am doing today.  I always loved school but I didn’t really realize how much until I wrote yesterday.

I thought I would share what I wrote in that post and hope that I can inspire others to think about their time in school and the impact their teachers had on them.

One of my first memories as a child was my mom walking me to school on the first day of kindergarten. I still can visualize the jacket I was wearing.I remember playing football and soccer in the fields pretty much every day we could. We would rush out and I remember my brother Alec always telling me how much I stunk from the sweat. I didn’t care because I could have played all day.
One memory I have was Kelly Bates making this amazing, one-handed catch in the front of the school playing football and we were all in awe. Who knew he would become a CFL player.

I remember auditioning for a play and telling Jay Kennedy that he would not get the part because his voice wasn’t low enough and he punched me in the nose. We still joke about it to this day.

So many good memories and friends from that place; many of whom I am still close with to this day.

Here is what I remember about my “Homeroom” Teachers:

Kindergarten – Mrs. Joan Stock (There is no better way to start school then with this teacher. She was just amazing.)

Grade 1 – Mrs. Batty (I remember how excited I was to print in her class; something that we take for granted now but was so special to me then)

Grade 2 – Ms. Debrune (I remember starting cursive in her class and thinking it was so cool.)

Grade 3 – Mrs Penrose (Inspired a love of music that I still have. Always taught us “Chisenbop” which I still use to count to 100 on my fingers. She wrote on my grade 8 report card, “Follow your dreams as you have the talent to take you anywhere you want to go.” Remember being teary eyed in how much she believed in me.)

Grade 4 – Mrs. Butler (My first crush! At the end of the year, she wrote everyone a card and told them something that was special about them. Better than any award I ever received.)

Grade 5 – Mrs. Sloan (White Elephant Sale! The year-end party at her house playing lawn bowling was legendary and was something every student in the school looked forward to before they were in grade 5.)

Grade 6 – Mrs. Buehler (Always firm but when you can get her to laugh, it was a great moment!)

Grade 7 – Mr. Moshinski (Probably one of the most influential teachers I ever had. He was always hard on us, but it was done out of pure love. He would sit and have some of the best conversations with us ever. They always meant so much to me.)

Grade 8 – Mr. Hill (Still a friend to this day; he was beyond cool and showed me that it is so important to connect with kids and share what you love with them. I bet him that the Lakers would beat the Sonics in the playoffs, and because he lost, I made him wear a sweater on one of the hottest days in spring. Still think how powerful that was.)

Principals for my time there were Mr. Schweitzer, who was my first coach and gave me a of love basketball. The “Century Classic” was my favourite tournament ever. If he did not help me find basketball, my life would have taken a totally different path.

Mrs. Carol Oleksyn who had to deal with me going through puberty and being a brat. I remember her saying that she would call my mom and that I didn’t care, but when she said she would call my dad, I would do anything. She always pushed us to be better and I don’t know what would have happened to any of us if we did not have her guidance.

Amazing that I can still remember that much about elementary school. Hopefully my students will remember me as fondly. What I realize writing this is that it is never a building that is important, but the people that make it feel like home. I will miss that place but am glad we will always be able to share our memories with one another.

Go Panthers!

            While looking through my stacks of pictures, I realize how important the memories in my all-school photos are to me.  One particular picture, from ninth grade, is especially significant not because I like to look at what my classmates or teachers looked like, but because it reminds me of how much my life has changed since the beginning of high school.  For years, school has been a part of almost everything I do and, except perhaps for my parents, has shaped my future more than anything else.  High school has not been the only cause of change for me in the last three years, but it played a pivotal role.  Not only did school teach me math, English, and lots of other subjects, but it also changed my outlook on life in ways I now realize aren’t immediately obvious, even to me.

            When this picture was taken, the only real activity I did after school, other than homework and my own projects, was tutoring other students once a week.  As with almost everything at my school at that time, the tutoring program was disorganized (the school was new then), but that didn’t matter, and I found it particularly enjoyable to know that I was helping other people.  While I’ve never had problems with classes, it frustrates me to see others fail, and I like to help them whenever possible.  To this day I still tutor students after school, and not only is the tutoring program better than it once was, but my tutoring skills have improved as well.

            While I’ve continued with student tutoring, since my ninth grade picture was taken I’ve also expanded my horizons by starting an Electronics Club.  For several years now I’ve wanted to start such a club because of my own interest in building gadgets, and because I thought other students might be interested too.  My club has only had a few meetings, and only has a few members, but people are coming back for more, even though I don’t think I’ve been making the meetings as interesting as I could have.  My hope is that I’ll not only be able to teach club members the basic theories behind electronic design, but also introduce them to my own interests, so that they’ll consider electronics not only as a hobby, but also as a possible career.

            Of course, school is only part of life.  While I may not immediately associate a school picture with what I’ve done outside of school, especially with my own interests, the principle of looking back to see what has changed still applies.  For years, I’ve focused some of my own time on designing and building electronic devices.  In ninth grade, I was still finishing what was, at the time, the most complex project I’d done, an odd radio-controlled device designed to fill the neighborhood water tank, which is useful at my house because I live beyond the reaches of the city water system.  I personally never thought that the device worked too well, though the neighbors were impressed.  Now, while I’m still working on plans for a better version, and while I realize that I have more experience now, I still look back and wonder, “Why did I do it that way?”

            At the time the picture was taken, although I did projects for the neighborhood, I was not very involved with the greater community.  Since then, I’ve realized that helping the community can be much more than simply fulfilling a school requirement.  So, while history has never been my favorite subject, I decided to assist the docents at the local history museum both because I knew the museum needed help and because I really did want to know more about the history of where I live—an area on the central coast of California once dominated by loggers and short-lived boom towns.  While working at a museum is not always entertaining, it is both fascinating to see the old photographs and rewarding to know that the history of the area will not be lost.  Looking back through the binders of old photos is especially interesting because the pictures show how much has changed since the days of horses and buggies, just as my school picture shows how much has changed for me since the beginning of high school.

            A picture is simply a snapshot of one instant, but a stack of pictures can, like a movie, describe the progression of my life.  And, as I said before, I mainly look at these pictures not because I want to see what my friends or my teachers looked like then, but for the memories of what has happened and changed in my life since.  When I consider the array of pictures as a whole, it becomes even clearer how much I’ve learned and changed, and on closer inspection, how much of this was because, directly or indirectly, of my generally excellent school experience.

Anonymous Student. "Memories: from Then to Now" Study Notes, LLC., 06 Oct. 2013. Web. 13 Mar. 2018. <>.


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