Flashback Friday: Second Grade

Miss Numer's 2nd grade 1974-75
Can you pick out Soupy Meg in this composite?

I found four elementary school class photos in a box of stuff this week.  The one above was second grade in the paleolithic era 1974-75.  The teacher, Miss Numer, recently retired from 40 years teaching second graders in our school district.

Sadly, Miss Numer died from cancer a few weeks ago. The online guestbook from her obituary includes comments that reflect the lasting impact she had on countless children, including the kids of some of her first students:

The year was 1972, and I was so excited to find out that I would have Miss Numer for 2nd grade… I can still see her long wavy red-orange hair molded around her gentle face and big glasses…29 years later, my daughter had the honor of being taught 2nd grade by…Miss Numer. …What a blessing it has been to have our lives touched by her.

Joan ‘Miss’ Numer had a huge impact on who I am today, as well as all the other students she impacted over her forty years of teaching. She entered my life as my second grade teacher. I always remember her as a kind, caring, and truly dedicated teacher who would do all in her power to ensure her students’ success.

My daughter and I are fortune to call Miss Numer our favorite teacher. Her ability to make each student feel like the most important person in the room for 40 years is remarkable.

I can’t help but remember how friendly, calm and admirable Miss Numer was. Not only was she teaching when I was in grade school but my son had the pleasure of getting to know her as well.

I myself have vivid memories of her classroom. It was situated at the top of the stairs, next to the girls’ bathroom, in the “old” elementary school building.  I can picture it as plain as day, though the building’s been gone for decades.  I remember beginning to learn cursive in her class. I also remember the life-lessons – no pushing in line and all that.

In high school, I joined a club geared towards encouraging students to pursue teaching as a career. I was lucky to spend time assisting Miss Numer in her second grade class. Although the elementary classrooms were now located in a brand-new school building, Miss Numer was the same teacher I remembered.  She took great interest in nurturing students throughout their school years.

Happy National Punctuation Day!

j0442128Today, September 24, is National Punctuation Day! Did you know there is a whole website dedicated to the celebration of this day?  But that’s not all the website does: It also contains helpful guidlines on correct usage of all of your favorite punctuation marks! For example, the Colon: 

The sign used to mark a major division in a sentence to indicate that what follows is an elaboration, summation, interpretation, etc., of what precedes; and to separate groups of numbers, as hours from minutes (5:30) or the elements of a ratio or proportion (1:2).

j0441428I am a punctuation freak.  Misplaced apostrophes make my eye twitch.  Too many commas cause me to hyperventilate.  I’ll break into a cold sweat if I see misused quotation marks.  It takes Herculean portions of restraint to keep myself from correcting signs with a fat red Sharpie.

And don’t even get me started on the mixing-up of words like your/you’re, they’re/their/there, too/to.  It’s enough to make me apoplectic.

Borrowed and reposted from the NPD website, here’s a game plan for your celebration of National Punctuation Day®. Take note and follow closely.

A few words of caution: Don’t overdo it.

  • Sleep late.
  • Take a long shower or bath.
  • Go out for coffee and a bagel (or two).
  • Read a newspaper and circle all of the punctuation errors you find (or think you find, but aren’t sure) with a red pen.
  • Take a leisurely stroll, paying close attention to store signs with incorrectly punctuated words.
  • Stop in those stores to correct the owners.
  • If the owners are not there, leave notes.
  • Visit a bookstore and purchase a copy of Strunk & White’s The Elements of Style.
  • Look up all the words you circled.
  • Congratulate yourself on becoming a better written communicator.
  • Go home.
  • Sit down.
  • Write an error-free letter to a friend.
  • Take a nap. It has been a long day.

Enjoy your day!