I remember being a toddler in Miss Fairy’s class (yes, that was really her name). She was an older lady who had taught the toddlers forever. I remember sitting on the rug as she led us in singing “Only a Boy Named David”. When she got to the part about the sling going around and around, I became so fascinated with the skin on her upper arm flapping back and forth that I couldn’t even concentrate on the heroics of David.
Growing up, there was always a boys and a girls class. I’m amazed the church was able to find volunteers to staff all these classes: first grade boys, first grade girls, etc. – all the way up to junior year in high school. The “reward” of being a senior was a co-ed class. And by the time I reached 18, I don’t recall that as being any particular perk.
I remember third (or maybe fourth?) grade class clearly. We had an old clunker piano in our classroom, and Miss Harrington (another kindly older lady) sometimes let me play while the class sang some hymn or another. She encouraged us to memorize, and once showed us prizes we could earn for learning several things. I can’t remember what we had to memorize, but the final thing was Psalm 12 (“I will lift up mine eyes to the hills, from which cometh my help …”).
My daughter likes wearing it!
Moving on. My Sunday School classmates were an unlikely bunch for a church. Rhoda was adopted by a family in our church, and I remember being young and my mom taking me to meet her – “the indian girl” they had adopted. I was hoping Rhoda would be wearing a feather headdress and maybe even have a doll papoose-style on her back, but alas she was dressed similarly to me. Rhoda was quite a character, in her teens running away from home often and using various illegal substances.
Robin was another adoptee in the congregation (I’m afraid our church families’ successes with adoptions is not looking great), from Japan? Korea? Somewhere Asian. She and Rhoda were friends and co-conspirators.
Laura was a native-born member of my class who was also friends with Rhoda and Robin, and she loved the wild life as well. Not friends with them, but as anti-establishment as they come, was Bekki.
These “bad girls” for the most part hated me. I doubt it was anything personal honestly, but since I was the textbook “good girl” I was probably held up for admiration at their homes – a sure ticket to unpopularity. I remember Rhoda being asked in fifth grade to hand out pencils. She gave one to everyone except me. When the teacher asked her why, she said, “I don’t like her!” Hey, at least she was honest.
In middle school, we had another sweet old lady teacher (what is it with nice old ladies teaching Sunday School?). To picture Miss Eades, imagine a lady in a prim floral dress with a little matching hat and maybe even white gloves. That’s her. She was so proper, and you just knew that she lived for the hour each week that she taught Sunday School. One Sunday she was teaching fervently, when Bekki began smacking on some gum. Miss Eades politely asked her to stop, and Bekki crossed her arms and said, “NO! I’m not getting rid of the gum and you can’t make me!” Miss Eades seemed embarassed and asked her again politely to stop, but Bekki became more and more adamant. I was so embarassed … feeling bad for the teacher but knowing the powerful force that was Bekki. It was a memorable moment.
This is becoming long, so I’ll stop for now. A brief glimpse into my Sunday School days …