Monday, June 28, 2010

A Memory For Monday (With Underwear)

(My brother Matthew, and me in 1982)

My kindergarten through second grade years were spent at Cheam Park Farm Infant School in England.
It was the late 1970's...
It was England...
And apparently somethings were normal to do...

Each day, I wore the required school uniform to school.  A grey or green skirt or dress, a white button down shirt and a grey or green cardigan.  Black shoes and white knee-high socks.  (I wore the same uniform 3rd-6th grades with the addition of the required tie.)

PE was held in the lunch room.  Climbing frames, ropes, jumping mats, etc. were pulled out from the sides for the PE class.  Before each PE session, we would stand at our desks in our classroom, girls and boys together and remove our skirts/trousers, sweaters and shirts.  We would then walk down to the lunch room in our underwear and vests (undershirts) and our shoes and socks.  Once in the lunch room, we would remove our socks and shoes on the stage and then begin our PE activities.

This was normal to me. I didn't think anything of it, until in high school (by then living in America) and I randomly mentioned it to a friend. She laughed and laughed in disgust and unbelief.

It's just what we did. There was no impropriety or insecurity.  It's just how it was done.
Although, there were a few things that seemed amiss,even to a young child...

The identical twins, Louise and Kate, who had to leave their shirts on, because their pet goat ate their vests (undershirts)...

And, Alex.  The boy who more often than not had to keep his trousers on during PE, because he would frequently forget his underwear...

And that is the truth.

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