Monday, April 5, 2010

A Trip Down Memory Lane

Growing up in a small town definitely has it's charms. Prescott, WI (population of approx. 3,800) is home to one elementary school, one middle school, and one high school. Ten years ago I graduated in a class of only 94 people (or somewhere close to that). It was one of those situations where you knew every one's name, how well or poorly they were doing, and what their interests were. It was the kind of school where your teachers would either look forward to or dread having you in class depending on the reputation of your older siblings.

My favorite subject in school was always Art. Our Art program was pretty basic, Art 1, 2, 3, 4 and advanced. The curriculum was comprehensive, we got to try a little of everything. I had the same art teacher from Kindergarten through High School, Mr. "S". He was one of those teachers students considered to be a friend. He was realistic and encouraging. We'd get to listen to the radio while we worked on our projects and would often get to have "pop days". While I was in Advanced Art he gave me his old mat board cutter and then the Art Award at graduation. He wrapped up a new sketch book in my painting smock (we called them "schmucks") and gave it to me as a graduation gift. There was a group of us, 6 girls and we all adored Mr. S. He let us sign our names underneath the stools we sat on and added our pics to his bulletin board when we graduated.

I remember from time to time old students would pop in for a surprise visit during class. Mr. S' face would light up when they'd come walking through the door. He'd always tell us who they were and how long ago it was he taught them. Then they'd sit and chat while we'd work on our projects. Today I got the chance to be that visiting student. However, it was an in-service day so in the place of students was Mr. S' golden retriever. It was surreal walking into that old art room. Hardly anything has changed, not even Mr. S. He is still the likeable guy I remember. It was fun to catch up and talk as adults. I learned that he enjoys making homemade wine and bread. And he ever so generously offered for me use of the casting equipment since I don't have any of my own. He invited me to come be a guest speaker to his Advanced students working in metals. I am really excited to see what they are working on. It should be interesting...we'll see how it goes. I guess you could say that for me he was that one teacher who inspired me to take the path that I chose. Who knows, maybe one of these days I'll be able to call him Karl.

P.S. I looked and looked online and couldn't find a picture of the school...sorry!

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