I had 4 first days in a new school during my 12 years of school and vocational school. The first day of first grade, we didn’t have kindergarten back then in Mullinville, was just a blur to me but I can remember walking in and seeing the teacher, Ms. Likes. To me she looked ancient with her long ankle length dress and the lace up black heels she was wearing. My first impression on meeting her wasn’t good; she looked like she was mean.
Then within a month of starting with this teacher and finding out she was not as mean as I thought she would be, but not the sweet grandmotherly type she looked to be, I was uprooted and moved to Satanta.
When I walked into that classroom for the first time and met the new teacher, I wondered if we were back in Mullinville or had they moved Ms. Likes right along with me to Satanta?
No, it was not Ms. Likes; Ms. Stump was her name but the two could have been twins from the top of their heads to the tip of their shoes. But unlike Ms. Likes Ms. Stump was way too old to be teaching and I think she hated kids.
Then in April of my third year when I had a really nice teacher, Mrs. Smith, we moved back to Mullinville so Dad could manage the Co-op there. So it was another first day with a new teacher; Mrs. Dawkins.
After the easy name, Smith, it took the rest of that year to get my tongue wrapped around Mrs. Dawkins or even remember it. I am surprised she didn’t get mad at me for mispronouncing her name but she didn’t. By the end of the year she had won me over and I really liked her.
From the third grade until my senior year my Dad ran the Co-op and I didn’t have to endure any more of the first day at a new school jitters. But then just a month into my senior year Dad announced that he had been asked by the Co-op to take a position in western Kansas in a small town.
We had already had our senior pictures taken in Mullinville by the Marquise Studio in Enid, Oklahoma and they had miraculously gotten them back before we left Mullinville a month later. So Mom had chosen the ones she wanted and I chose the one I wanted in the year book.
If you remember from the story about the senior pictures in our town, the girls all wore the feather or velvet drapes in their photos and I wore the pink feathers. In the new town the girls wore sweaters with a white blouse under it.
I refused to have my photos taken over and since it was Marquise that took them out there I told him to use the one from Mullinville. So to this day you can walk down the hall and pick out the wild child that moved there, in the class photo for 1966.
The first day of school arrived in the new school in western Kansas. It was a real culture shock to me when I arrived at the school for my first class. The school was a unified school, which was way ahead of the times, and the high school had about 300 kids. Mullinville had about 70-80 in the high school.
I arrived at school in my teal blue box pleat skirt with matching sweater and argyle print tights. I had my hair styled with the teal blue head band to hold it off my forehead.
On my feet were my white go-go boots. I looked like any other girl at Mullinville. The girls in the hall when I arrived at school out there looked at me like I was from Mars. Their styles were a few years behind what we wore in Mullinville.
The girls in the new school ignored me or gave me glares. I am not sure if they thought I was there to steal their boyfriends or what. I was wearing a boy’s class ring and going steady with a boy from home so I was not interested in any of their boys.
I had at least a month of first days in that school until one day I finally had had enough of it and blew my top and told them what I thought of having to move out there and that all I wanted to do was get through the year and get out that town. I then turned and stormed out of the school and went home. Surprisingly that day was the turning point and from then on it went smoother.
After the blow up I had what should have been the first day at school and they finally treated me better and wanted me to join in everything. But I only developed two good friends that year before I graduated and came back to Dodge City to go to Beauty School.
First day of Beauty school we met a teacher that we learned later the class ahead of us called the Black Widow. No she was not a widow and was full blooded Cherokee Indian and she could be really mean. But I learned to do things her way (at least when she was looking) so she wouldn’t bite my head off and she taught me a lot.
First day when they called the names of the girls to see if we were all present, I received my nick name and it stuck. There had been a typo and my name had been typed as Dandy instead of Sandy and I went all through beauty school with that name.
First day in a new school ran the gamut from terrifying to fun but I survived them and moved on. They made me who I am today. To contact Sandy: [email protected]