Welcome, Parents and Moji

Grade 7 families at Open House

At our Open House tonight I was able to introduce our new student, Moji, who comes to us from Thailand via a year in Singapore, to many of our middle school families.   Of course, we talked about our curriculum, especially our unit on Greek mythology, and I also showed our class blog and our Teddy blog to the parents.    I shared some of the letters authors have written to the students.  Everyone was interested to see where their children sat and to look at some of the books their kids are reading this year.  I also assigned homework:  check out our blog and write a comment.  Here’s a question for all parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and any other family and friends of our students:

How has school changed since you were a student?

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11 thoughts on “Welcome, Parents and Moji

  1. I went to a Catholic elementary school very much like Epiphany. We had eight grades with one class in each grade. There were some nuns and some lay teachers. We had one nun, Sister Antionette, visit us once a year for an art lesson, and another nun visit us once a year for music. She had a pitch pipe. Other than that, our classroom teachers taught us art and music. Each student had a shoebox with our art supplies, and on Friday afternoons we painted and drew pictures. Every March there was an art fair, and that was a BIG deal. As for music, we sang songs in our classrooms. I still remember a lot of those songs, “Hey, Penny Martin”, “Erie Canal” and “Peace is Flowing Like a River.” We didn’t have any sports teams, but we did have a gym teacher come to our school on Thursdays. We had no electives, no science lab, no computers, and no cafeteria. We brought our lunches every day and ate at our desks. There was NO TALKING during lunch time. The teachers told us they were afraid we’d choke on our food if we ate and talked at the same time. We did switch teachers once a day, starting in grade 5. No one used the term “middle school”.
    My school, St. Mary’s, was in Quincy, Massachusetts, and sadly, is closed now. I remember all of my teachers in elementary school. They were all excellent. Sister Lois, grade 5, taught me almost all the grammar I know to this day. Sister Alice, grade 8, was tough and strict. Sister Ramon, grade 6, taught math using stories about Uncle Spaghetti and Cousin Meatball. My first grade teacher, Sister Barbara, especially stands out because she always told us she loved us, and I believe it. She did love us. And we loved her, too.

  2. I went to Catholic School from kindergarten through 12th grade. Starting off in Cincinnati, Ohio and transferring to Incarnation then on to Cardinal Mooney for High School. A lot of things are the same–the uniforms, the small classes, the sports, the priests. The major change I see is the technology. We didn’t have personal computers or cell phones, ipods or ipads. In High School is where I took my first type writing course, so from then on reports were typed. But if you wanted a copy for yourself you had to use carbon paper. I’m all for progression, but prefer to read a good old fashion book instead of reading it off a kindle. 🙂

  3. I went to three Catholic schools while growing up in NY. I went to 1st grade at St. Bernard’s in Levittown. My family moved to Huntington at the end of 1st grade and I attended St. Pius X in Plainview from 2nd – 8th grade. Queen of the Rosary Academy in Amityville is where I went to high school, and this was an all-girl Catholic school. St. Pius reminds me a lot of Epiphany in that it was very small and everyone knew each other. I have so many wonderful memories from St. Pius and made many great friends and I’ve reconnected with several of them on Facebook. So one thing that is very different now is technology. If you wanted to keep in touch with your friends after graduation from 8th grade, you could call them on the phone or write a letter. Yes, there were phones back then, but not cell phones. Our phones were connected to the wall, so we couldn’t walk around and multi-task like we do now. There were no computers when I was in school. I didn’t use a computer until I was in college and even so they were very basic. There were no “Windows” programs. At St. Pius, the term “Middle School” was not used. However, there was a separation of grade levels. Preschool – 3rd grade were in one wing and 4th – 8th grade were in another wing. We went to a completely different wing for Art. We had to walk up a ramp to get there. Everybody loved the ramp! We had Music class in the auditorium which also served as the Gym and we called that class “Gym”, not “P.E.” There was a small lunch room and we could buy lunch on special occasions, but for the most part we brought our own lunch. Except for Fridays, that was pizza day. Our pizza was Ellio’s pizza. It was frozen and came in rectangles. So they had to have volunteers come in and cook the pizza for us. Another thing that I remember about lunch time that is very different from today is that our 7th grade Homeroom/Science/Music teacher would sell candy. She’d pull out her candy cart with gobstobbers, wacky wafers and bottle caps to name a few. We wore a uniform, too. The girls wore skirts (with shorts underneath, of course) and the boys wore pants. The girls were allowed to wear knee-high socks in any color. Looking back, we wore some crazy-colored socks! We were also allowed to wear any color sweater in the winter. Like Epiphany, we went to Mass every Friday, but girls were not allowed to altar serve back then. Even though there are many things that were different back then, one very important feature about St. Pius that is very similar to Epiphany is that there were so many wonderful teachers who really cared about their students. I have so many fond memories and feel so truly blessed that my parents placed me in Catholic schools. I am so grateful that my daughters can attend Epiphany so they will have many special memories from their childhood as well. 🙂

    • What a wonderful trip down memory lane, Kerry. You reminded me of some things about my grammar school, too. We also had a candy box. Every teacher had her own, and we could buy candy at our morning recess time, Mike and Ike’s were popular! Ten cents a box. We didn’t have a cafeteria at all, but my mom used to buy Elio’s pizza. It was such a treat back then. Another thing I remember now is that we used to collect money for the missions every Thursday, and at the end of the day two 8th grade girls would come around with the list of how much each class donated. We all wanted to be in first place. Our third grade teacher, Miss Cronin, would bring in some of her old stuff (although we thought it was great) and hold an auction every Thursday, giving the money to the missions, so needless to say, third grade was frequently on the top of the mission list. Thanks for the memories!

  4. I went to public school here locally. Middle school was a great time growing up. Many clubs to join and great teachers. A time when chalk boards were used and typing class was a requirement. Technology is the biggest change I see. I remember using a microfiche machine at the library to do my book reports and looking up the author’s name on index cards. Computers have definitely come a long way and allow us to get things done much quicker. Loving Google!

    • I remember everything you mentioned as well! I used to go to the public library on Saturday afternoons with my friends and do research in the stacks for hours. Thanks for dropping by and commenting.

    • Hi Matt,
      Brooke was very excited today to tell us that her cousin in the Air Force got on our blog! We looked at our map and saw your base in Colorado listed as a new visitor. Thanks for visiting and for helping Brooke get extra credit! We would also like to give a great big THANK YOU to you and all the members of the military for serving our country and protecting us. You are real life HEROES, even better than Hercules!
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

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