Last week, my daughter started 2nd grade. Her classroom is a typical 2015 eastern North Carolina small town school classroom — desks arranged in small groups, books, multiple centers for her learning pleasure, a whiteboard, and a smart board. A smart board… what does that make a chalk board? I used to get super excited if my teacher had an overhead projector! Who remembers fighting with their friends over who got to spray that thing down and clean it once a week when it was full? And my personal favorite was when the teacher made a mistake and licked her finger to wipe off the screen. Man — those were some good times. I reminisced over my school days gone by. I was in elementary school during the late 80s and early 90s and the changes since then have been enormous; but I wondered about the memories my co-workers and team mates might have and how they differed from mine. So, for fun, I reached out to First South teammates. It’s been such an interesting adventure hearing how everyone’s experience differed that we wanted to share with you.
From one school house to another….
I attended a Catholic Elementary School while in fourth, fifth and sixth grades in Florence, SC called St. Anthony’s. I’ll never forget that during class time we would all gather around the nun (who was the teacher) while she taught us our lesson. We would sit Indian style on the floor, and she would sit in a chair and read to us. If you weren’t sitting up straight, you’d get lightly rapped on the head with her ruler. They were always enforcing good posture and attention.
Joanne Holland, Mortgage Lender — Raleigh
attended elementary school in the early 1980’s
I remember when I attended Washington Street Elementary School in Plymouth. We said the Pledge of Allegiance and sang the Nation Anthem every morning. We also prayed before lunch. Oh! How things have changed!
Rebecca Mizelle, Accounts Payable — Chocowinity
attended elementary school during the 1950’s
My experience in kindergarten and 1st grade was far different from what kids experience today — there were NO computers! We didn’t get computers until our Senior year of high school (Washington High School). The school had one computer lab with 15 computers for our entire class of 363 students to share. Bet we kept our IT Department busy!
Mary Jo Chrismon, Manager of Administrative Services — Chocowinity
attended secondary school during the 1970’s
The assassination of President John Kennedy occurred in 1963, and that is honestly my most vivid memory from school. Back then, we had a black and white television that set on top of a rolling cart that was passed along to each classroom that we used to watch music or art shows broadcast from an educational TV station. It seems like our TV class was interrupted with the devastating news unfolding as we watched. Being so young, we did not really grasp the total meaning of what was happening and how it would affect our nation.
Cindy Sutorius, Special Assets Assistant — Washington
attended elementary school during the 1960’s
The friendships I made in school are what have stuck with me over the years. I have three friends that have been with me since 4th grade! We still get together for pajama parties. I attended school during the 70’s, and it was great times — long hair, bell bottom pants, hip huggers & platform shoes!
Crystal Oden, Audit & Compliance — Washington
attended school during the 1970’s
I started first grade in 1952. I attended a small country school. Our classrooms were small and so were the number of children in each class. There was no misbehaving in our classes, otherwise you went to the principal’s office. I recall one boy calling the teacher an ugly name — he was spanked by the principal and then again when he got home. Classes were simple: reading, writing and arithmetic. In those times, teachers were well respected in the community — an attitude and respect we don’t see much today. The children I went to school with were mostly from the farm or hard working low to middle class families. I recall that our “summer vacation” period was longer than the city schools, as we had to get the tobacco crop harvested and sold. I associated the smell of the tobacco warehouse with new school clothes. The higher the price the tobacco sold for, the nicer the clothes we got — sometimes even two pairs of shoes!
Bill Wall, Finance Reporting — Washington
attended elementary school in the 1950’s
What do you remember of school growing up? Were you on the cusp of the Silicon Valley era? Did you cover your books with brown paper bags to preserve them for next year’s class? Was Oregon Trail day your favorite in computer lab? Did your teacher rap you on the hand with a ruler or make you wear a dunce cap? Did you say the Pledge of Allegiance every day? Did you get in trouble for passing notes or texting in class?
It’s been amazing to hear about how things have changed and evolved over time across the decades. We invite you to reminisce on your own school days with your children or friends. You may find a lot of laughter or perhaps some pain, but the trip down memory lane was worth it!