My third-grade teacher was Mrs. Canto. I don’t remember my second-grade teacher’s name or my fourth. Mrs. Cantu made an impression on me at Patrick Henry Village Elementary School when I was eight.
She was pretty with long blonde hair. I don’t think that’s why I remember her fifty years later though. She noticed me.
We were watching one of those films in class. The one where the film has to be loaded into a projector and the projector is pretty noisy as it plays the film on the screen that pulls down in from of the blackboard. It was a cartoon about the big bang theory. I was eight and thought it was silly. After it was over, Mrs. Cantu asked if there were any questions. I raised my hand, stood up and asked, “Where did the two particles come from?” She smiled at me.
I clearly remember reading a sign on the bulletin board, about the first part of July, at George Peabody College in Nashville, TN, where I was working towards my Master’s Degree that summer. It stated that Major Bell, from the Military, would be interviewing teachers for the Overseas Military Schools which were being organized to start school that fall. If we were interested, we were to come on a certain date at 9:00 (I think it was).
I had wanted to go overseas in Red Cross work for some time, but this seemed better. I was there on that date, as were about 75 others. Major Bell was there looking very peppy and pleasant. She began by saying that if we weren’t 35 or over, nor had a school for next year, we were to leave. We were also to have half or more hours towards our Master’s. She said that they didn’t have time to get references and felt if we had a school, we were OK; and if we had taught for some time and were over 35, we would know how to organize schools. She also said we must be able to get a leave of absence” from our school. She said we were to be able to get a reference by the next day. I told her I couldn’t because I was from Kansas. She said if Dr. Southall, my professor at Peabody, would give me one that it was OK. Dr. Southall gave her one that day so I, along with several others, was hired. She told us we should be ready to leave for Europe by the 3rd week of August. We had a number of papers to fill out and we were told we would be expected to fill them out so we could get papers to take care of expenses going to Europe. We were told we should bring about $700.00, as I remember, in case we didn’t get paid or get vouchers right away. (more…)