Saturday, May 7, 2016

Sombreros, Stripes, and Strolling down memory lane...

Every Thursday my department has a theme we all try to dress by - yesterday it happened to coincide with Cinco de Mayo, hence the title of the blog!

And here's where I tell you I'm really lame, because I didn't get a picture of my striped dress and sombrero for you. Whoops...

The latter bit though, that I have pictures for!

A few weeks ago I found out that my old elementary school, Indian Prairie, was going to have an open house to celebrate it's 25th anniversary. I went to three elementary schools when I was little, and this one by far had the most positive impact. My mom worked there for a few years too and we both decided it would be fun to go back to look through the pictures and see some of the old faculty.

So after work (and lifting) my mom and I went over...and I was totally amazed by just how many pictures there were. Mr Kelley (the principal, who is retiring after this year), has taken thousands of pictures throughout his tenure, and I think they were all hung up for this event.

Every room was dedicated to one of the 25 school years since the school opened (ie 92-93, 93-94, etc). There were two tri-fold boards covered in pictures, that year's graduating yearbook, and a slide show playing with different photos and music from that year. In addition, outside every room was a board with different facts on it - who the president was those years, the price of gas and milk...stuff like that. It was a total throwback to what was going on in the world during each school year!

I only went to Indian Prairie for three and a half years (K-3), and my mom worked there for 4 or 5, so there were only a few pictures of me and my mom (and I did find one of my brother too!) but it was still fun to go through and name all the old classmates I could remember.

Here are the pictures we found. I don't remember what any of these were from, except the one of me and my mom in matching shirts - that would have been tie dye day!
My brother is on the left in this one.
The girl in the red sweatshirt under 1998 is one of my best friends, Danielle, who now lives in Germany. Seeing this picture made me miss her so much!!
In the center picture, my mom is helping someone in computer class.
Me (in my favorite-ever Cleveland Indians windbreaker) and my grade school friend Taryn.
Me and Roxy Viger...who I just saw recently! And oh, Tweety were all the rage back then!
My mom in one of the faculty pictures (third from right).
 And finally, my favorite photo from the excursion - my mom and me in matching tie dye t-shirts:
You don't have to say it, I know I was a totally adorable child.
I also took a few pictures when I felt nostalgic. Here's my old third grade classroom:

Back in the day we were arranged in pods of 6, and mine was all the way towards the left, where the end of the front row is. I sat between Guy and Tim, and I accidentally stabbed Tim with a pencil and gave him one of those little black scars you get from graphite.

Ahhh nostalgia.

I also decided to take a picture of the library, and for a very important reason. Harry Potter didn't come out until I was in 5th grade and I have my wonderful 5th grade teacher from another school to thank for introducing me to the series. But in the books, whenever they went to the library, I always thought of Indian Prairie's library...just with taller bookshelves.

When I was a kid, this library seemed HUGE, and I immediately thought of Hogwarts when I walked in.

So here's the library! Two notes about this friend Steffi's mom is all the way at the bottom, I totally cut her off. She's the art teacher at IP now. Also...bonus points if you can spot the Harry Potter shelf!

Next up - Wolf's Den! This was the "publishing company" the school had for all of us students who really liked to write. I probably wrote a half dozen+ books when I was a student there. We would write our stories, then a teacher or parent volunteer would help us edit them before typing them up on blank pages we could illustrate. It totally pulled at me to see that they still have this for kids.

I took one last picture simply because it was so crazy to see...

You're probably like, "Uhh...?" Well. 'Ms Tech' one of my friends from high school! She went to Indian Prairie all through gradeschool, went to college and graduated, and then was hired to work at her old elementary school. I saw her during the open house as well, and we were talking about how - even to her - it is cool and strange to work at your old school. She said she thinks part of her will always feel like a student.

When we walked by her classroom I couldn't help but take a picture of her name on that door, simply because it was so surreal to see!

The very last picture I took for the night was right before we left. Just a quick selfie, back at our old stomping grounds...

Walking around, the school felt just like it did back then, but it was very weird seeing different teacher's names on doorways as I walked through and thinking, "No, this is [old teacher's] room!" and silently resenting the name now posted on the door. I forgot how, when you're a kid, you don't realize your teachers also have homes and lives they go to outside of just seems like school is where they always are.

But now, pretty much none of those teachers I knew are there! And I still expected to see them, just 'cause.

Of all the teachers who were there when I was, the only one I can remember who is still at Indian Prairie is Mrs White, who I now know as Pam, and she's the one who invited me to the open house. I'm about to sound very adult here, but she gets her nails done at the same place I do, so I run into her every so often and that's how I knew all this was happening.

So there you have it...a little bit of a trip down memory lane. I didn't actually get to see any of my old teachers, but I did see a number of teachers I knew, and teachers my mom worked with. I also found out that various people I've known growing up now work at the school and I never even knew!

It was a fun little way to end a work day, and I'm glad we were able to find just a few pictures to snapshot and show off.

So here's to 25 Years from Indian Prairie, Mr Kelley, and all of my old teachers - who made it the best elementary school ever.


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