All In The Family... Another Trip Down Memory Lane... Life in The Nebraska Sandhills...
In the early 1970's, I taught three years in a two-room school out in the Sandhills south of Newport, Nebraska -- Pony Lake District 30. I had taken the required 60 hours of college credit for teacher certification for rural schools (in those days) and returned to Rock County as a teacher. I learned then that the school Christmas program was an exciting, but exhausting and nerve-wracking event from the teacher's point of view.
The photo at right was taken at the Christmas program of my first year there. I'm pulling the curtain, and I have the script in my hand. (I still have that little notebook into which I hand-copied everything in the program that my students and I were responsible for.) Behind me, one of the shepherds is exiting the stage. (Of course he's a shepherd: he's wearing a bathrobe.)
My parents, my sister, and my brother and his wife-to-be were all in the audience that night to give me moral support. I think my sister probably took this photo.
A few days after the Christmas program, I received a Christmas card from one of the school board members and his wife. She wrote in the card that they had enjoyed the program so much. I really felt like I had passed a test. The importance of that compliment to me is indicated by the fact that I still remember it today! In those days, the quality of the Christmas program influenced the community's opinion of the teacher -- and it was a fair assessment because the Christmas program reflected her ability to teach as well as the student's natural talents.
Ghosts of Christmas Past (10) in which I write about some of my childhood memories of Christmas programs at Duff Valley School in Rock County, Nebraska.
Remembering Pony Lake School in which I write a bit about the current status of Pony Lake School and about the experience of teaching there in the early 1970's.
Why am I still writing about Christmas on January 2? I am a Lutheran and to Lutherans, Christmas is a season not just a day. It begins on December 25 and continues through January 5, the day before Epiphany. These are the twelve days of Christmas, referred to in the familiar Christmas song ("a partridge in a pear tree," etc.)