Monday, September 26, 2011

A Room with a View

Photo by Joe Mabel
Tom and his friend Pat were reminiscing recently about their days at Queen Anne Junior/Senior High School in Seattle.

It was 1961; Tom and Pat were 7th and 8th grades.  The windows of the upper floors of the school offered a bird's eye view of the construction of the Seattle Center, including the Space Needle, all a part of the 1962 World's Fair.

Pat's math class was on the fourth floor, perhaps the best place in town to watch the Space Needle rise higher and higher each week.  As an incentive the teacher granted the students with the best grades on the weekly math test the privilege of sitting by the window the following week.  Of course the kids who scored the window seats didn't last more than a week there!

Tom was a floor below, in Mr Reed's science class.  At the close of each period Mr Reed would pick up one of Ernest Thompson Seton's books, perhaps Animals I Have Known, and continue reading where he had left off the day before.  Seton, a prolific wildlife author who wrote from 1886 to 1945, had a way of capturing the imagination of his readers.  With all thought of the Space Needle forgotten, Tom found the reading to be his favorite part of the day.  "It felt like you were in the skin on the animal he was describing," Tom said, "soaring with a mischievous crow or ranging with a surly silver back grizzly bear."

Hmmm... I wonder, which teacher had the more effective incentive program?

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Queen Anne High School closed in 1981 and was renovated into apartments and condos in 1986 with additional renovation in 2006.  The lovely window in the photo was not in the original building, otherwise nobody would have been able to pay attention to the teacher!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It was very interesting to think about good old Queen Anne. As you know I graduated from there in 1958. One of my teacher memories is of "3 x 5 Miller". Our task in US History was to write a 3 x 5 card for each and every paragraph in the text. The higher the stack, the better the grade. A boy sitting behind me called me "Bird Woman", the nickname for Sacajawea.

There were greasers and soshes, I was neither, just in between. We didn't know that we were actually living in the "50's". We were just going to school with our friends.

We walked home, sometimes buying a donut, or a dill pickle to eat on the way.

Playing in the band was fun, marching in the Thanksgiving parade, performing at football game half-time.

Marilee Kauffman Drew