A NOVEL OF TRAVEL BACK IN TIME
Four days before school was to start, I met with Mr. Throckmorton. He told me where the school was located. During our meeting, we discussed the number of the days the school would be in operation, with the hours per day and the curriculum of the school year. I had written out by hand the curriculum and presented it to him at the meeting. He seemed to like the ideas I had dredged up and gave his affirmation. He also warned me about the Sage boys.
The months that the school would be in session were from October 1st to December 22nd and from January 3rd to March 1st. Usually all the farmer’s children were in the fields by March 1st.
The days of the week that the school would be in operation were Monday through Friday 8:00AM to 3:00PM, with the hour from 12:00 to 1:00 to be designated for lunch and exercise, which I would be teaching.
My curriculum consisted of the following: (1.) Arithmatic-1 hour; (2.) English-1 hour; (3.) Geometry-1 hour; (4.) History-1 hour; (5.) Literature-1 hour; (6.) and Speech-1 hour. The hour for lunch would be divided equally between eating and the exercise that I was going to introduce.
As my next step, I dropped the above written information at each student’s home with the requirement that each attendee bring two dollars on the first day of school. All the families agreed to the school term, days and hours of the week, along with the payment.
All the parents were intrigued by the exercise that I was going to teach at lunch. I answered all their questions with, “It’s a surprise.”
The school was a 16 foot by 14 foot rectangular building one block north of German Street. It used to be a storage room for grain. I spent two days cleaning and sweeping the school house, plus getting caked-on dirt off the 18 desks that had been bestowed by the families who had originally organized the school.
I even got some very large sheets of paper that were nailed up on the wall behind my desk and acted as our blackboard.
There were three rows of student desks facing my desk, which was at one end of the classroom facing the students. A fireplace was located to my right, midway of one of the 16 foot walls, and a large stack of wood had been distributed along the wall. There were two 4’ by 3’ windows at the end of the building behind my desk.
On the day before the first day of school, I mailed a letter to Daphne describing my trepidation at the start of the school year. It was a rather mundane missive, but it did hint about our “talks” together. However, I put no passion in the letter, not knowing if Mr. Newcomer would be monitoring her mail.
I had a very different program planned for the first day of school. One that would either get me fired or judged to be a good teacher.