Cindy and Jean Start School

Cindy started kindergarten the fall that we moved, which was eventful for all of us. I was a little nervous the first time I walked her to school, Lincoln Jr. High. This was the overflow location for kindergarten because Washburn Elementary was full. Since it involved crossing several major intersections, I was a little afraid to send Cindy there. This was so different than my one-room schoolhouse, where everyone knew everyone else. But our next-door neighbors had a large family with older kids who helped her walk back and forth to school. And there were crossing guards along their route, so I let go of my anxiety.

Cindy met a new friend, Carol Fisher, and they became close pals. Fishers lived a block away from us, and the two girls went back and forth between our homes. When we joined St. Paul’s Lutheran Church (a few blocks from our house), we were delighted to discover that the Fishers were also members. Their younger daughter, Sue, was a year behind Jean, so we had a lot in common. I enjoyed the company of the mom, Delores.

I remember one evening while we were eating dinner, Cindy mentioned that she saw Jean in the speech therapy office, where Cindy was getting help to correct her lisp (“Thindy Thtorlie” was a problem). We queried Jean about what she was doing at Speech Therapy. She explained that while she was reading out loud to her class, the teacher stopped her and asked her to repeat herself a few times. Then the teacher wrote a note for Jean to visit Speech Therapy. We asked, “What were you reading?” She said, “cake.” We kept having her repeat it over and over again, not hearing anything wrong with her pronunciation of “cake”—and grew increasingly alarmed. When Jack asked her to say the whole sentence, we discovered that Jean was saying, “shocolate cake.” Whenever I eat chocolate cake, I think of Jean’s bewildering visit to Speech Therapy.




  1. jenny.schroeder3 on April 14, 2021 at 4:36 pm

    So when I met Cindy at Lincoln, that was your second time there!
    Were any of these kindergarteners in these photos in our high school class?

  2. CindyP on April 3, 2021 at 10:51 am

    Love those shirtwaisted dresses girls all wore to school everyday. Cutoffs underneath so we could play on the monkey bars w/o revealing our underwear?
    It stuns me now to remember that even in high school, I was not allowed to wear pants to school until senior year. You got sent home if you violated that dress code!

    • Jean Storlie on April 3, 2021 at 11:05 am

      It is weird to think that we could wear pants to school. I remember having to pull my dress up around my waist to put on snow pants. I’d go into the classroom closet and close the doors so the boys couldn’t see my underwear! It was really cramped and hard to maneuver in the dark space.

      You look so cute in your class picture—Mom thinks so too. I don’t recall you wearing pigtails very often—first day of school must have been a special occasion!

  3. Jean on April 3, 2021 at 10:41 am

    Even though I was really young, I vividly remember this episode. My parent were getting so upset and animated that I was saying cake incorrectly. I got really flustered.

    It goes to show that teachers should talk to parents before sending a kid to special services.

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