Meisel (Hardesty), Valerie Lu: Hakata, Japan

Our school year at Hakata, Japan did start a bit late in 1947 because the building wasn’t complete the beginning of September, but I went to second grade in the new building. First and second grades had their own classrooms, but 3/4/5 and 6/7/8 were together. My assumption was the four high school grades were together. The classrooms were large. There was an auditorium with a stage. The high school students were at the opposite end of the hall. Why do I think of it as a T? I don’t remember seeing older students – ever. The teacher was Mrs. Prechitt. I’m spelling it based on my memory of how it was pronounced. She was the wife of someone in the military there. The 1948-49 school year started on time. Mrs. Brown was the principal, and the teacher for the 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades was Miss Lindbergh. She would come over for the school year and go back to the states for the summer. My understanding is she was there for “enrichment” which would explain why we painted murals, memorized poetry, and learned the basics of charcoal drawing. Classroom instruction was limited because we used the Calvert System that is self-teaching. Some instruction could take place [I remember being taught fractions] and while it might be focused on one grade, everyone could play attention if they chose. Penmanship was taught to the entire classroom at the same time. Miss Lindbergh returned for the 1949-1950 school year when I was in 4th grade.

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