The Paw Paw River Journal
Teaching young ladies A new semester starts and the teacher is confronted by classes of students. There is an awful temptation to view them as masses of people… sort of confusing at first. So then out of the 100-125 people to be taught, they can be sorted into all sorts of demographic groups… ethnic backgrounds, socio-economic circumstances, mental capability, emotional maturity, and finally whether they are boys or girls. This last division is the one I’d like to discuss today. I never tried to categorize my students, but as the year progressed they would sort themselves out. And I tried very hard never to treat them differently. There was always something a little special about the girls I’d meet in my classes. And I did have to treat them a little different physically. For instance, I made it a strict policy never ever to touch a girl student. Hard sometimes not to put a comforting arm around a suffering girl, or even give them a friendly pat to let them know I was there for them. No, I had to do it all with words. And perhaps those parameters made me become more skillful using words to help them. Large city high school, and I was an almost new teacher there. I had several 9th grade classes. That means the kids were all in the throes of puberty. Growing pains… too old to cry and too young to swear. Desperately trying to be cool and not knowing how to do it! And I had one girl who was a real trial. She evidently had many problems at home, and would act out her frustrations in school… especially in my class. Now, mind you, I felt I could not touch her. One day I just had it with her shenanigans, and I told her to pack up her books and leave class. This was a desperate measure, and one I did not use often. Any teacher should be able to deal with most of his/her problems. In this case the girl just gripped the arms on her desk chair and said, “No! I ain’t going to leave!” Her jaw was set at a determined angle… so was mine. I looked at her a moment, then walked out of class and down to the principal’s office. Mac was a huge man and a former coach. I told him what the situation was, and he also set his jaw, saying, “Well, we’ll see about that.” And we marched down to my classroom. There she sat, still gripping the sides of her chair. Mac pointed at her and said, “Young lady, pick up your books and leave… right now!” She repeated her grim vow, “No, I ain’t going to leave!” Mac turned and looked at me in frustration… I looked back at him the same way. Just then the bell rang, and all the students who had been watching this drama intently just got up and filed out the door. And the young lady did too. Mac and I both looked at each other in relief. Saved by the bell! Next day the kids were all there and quiet as mice. So was the determined young lady. And she didn’t cause any trouble after that either! Another time in that same school, I had a 9th Grade Civics class… all girls and evidently all leftovers in the planning schedule. They were a rough bunch and I had my work cut out for me. So I set about civilizing them. Then tragedy struck… I got the flu and was out for several days. When I came back, at the office they told me they had all but run the substitute, a mild mannered young man, out of the class room. When they all filed in that day, silence hung heavily over the room. They all had hangdog looks… they knew I was going to be very upset. So I started the class by telling them I had heard about their bad performance while I was out. More silence. Then I said, “Well, would you like to talk about it? No use going into the books unless we get this settled.” More silence. Then one by one they began to talk. They told me about the horrible reputation they all had at the school. How their parents were all down on them. Life was just a stinking situation. And I responded by telling them they had their fate in their own hands, and their life could be what they wanted it to be. As we got warmed up, they began to become enthusiastic and finally I said to them, “If you will all turn over a new leaf, we can put this behind us.” Surprise! They were willing to try it. So we went on with the subject matter, but I set aside one day every week to talk about problems. As they tried to change their lives, we marked their stories with encouragement. One girl said, “I tried something new. For a day I tried to do everything my mom asked. She was so amazed; she took me down town and let me buy a new record album I’d been wanting. I’m going to try it again!” So they went on and we cataloged their successes and failures. The good times began to tip the scales. And Christmas was approaching. One day as class ended, one of my most rebellious ladies stopped by the desk. She said, “Mr. Davis, I don’t live with my folks… I’m in a home for girls with problems. We are having a Christmas party. Would you and Mrs. Davis like to come as my guests?” I was so pleased… and my Chief Accountant was enthusiastic. We went, and the home was decorated with a beautiful tree in the foyer. Our young lady had her hair done and wearing an attractive dress. We had a great time! We were proud of her. And thereafter the semester ended on a successful note. I’d be lying if I said I always won all of those battles, but I didn’t lose too many. I wouldn’t have stayed in teaching all those years if it had been any other way!
Watervliet District Library News Local history displays Paper Mill Memories – Celebrate Watervliet’s community history, share your Paper Mill stories, and peruse our local history resources! North Berrien Historical Museum display – Big bands, big venues.
Hopie Jo live @ the Library Thursday, July 26, 7 p.m. Hope Thomas, singer, songwriter, guitarist, and ukulelist, brings her unique brand of alternative folk to the Watervliet Library. Vocals as smooth as silk and sweet acoustics make Hopie Jo’s performance a musical treat!
Summer Reading Program July 12 Dr. Zeemo’s Science Palooza; July 19 Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra Instrument Petting Zoo; July 26 Ice Cream Party Make-It Music Mondays Musical instruments to make-n-take for K-6th graders & family from 1-2 p.m., July 16, percussion and drums and lots of loud stuff!
In Stitches Knitting Group July 13, 2:30-4:00 p.m. Second Friday of every month – it’s never too hot to knit! Third Monday Book Club July 16, 7–8 p.m. The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd Pinteresting Monday, July 30, 6:30-8:00 p.m. Arts & Craft for Grown-ups: Distressed Wood Flag
Volunteer Nothing looks better on a resume! Best times to help out: Mondays & Thursdays, program times. Stop by to pick up a form.
Library Garden Park Purchase a Legacy Walk brick and celebrate a memory! Bricks are $75; 13 characters, 2 lines. Pick up a form at the library.
Yoga Monday 9-10 a.m.; Wednesday 7-8 p.m.; Chair Yoga Wednesday 6-6:45 p.m. Call 463-6382 with questions on any Watervliet library activity.
NEWS FROM THE COLOMA COURIER
100 years ago – 1918 Miss Bernice Chorpenning traveled to Camp Jackson, South Carolina. She then met up with Lieut. Spencer D. Guy and they were united in marriage. A luncheon and shower was given prior to her departure. The couple is favorably known in and around Coloma. The Imperial Russian Quartette, dressed in full Russian military costume, will portray many phases of Russian life. Their performance takes place the third day during the Chautauqua. Uncle Sam is calling loudly for more sailors to man the many new ships. Coloma Township is called upon to furnish several of her best fitted young men. 60 years ago – 1958 Marshall Badt, druggist at Badt’s Pharmacy, was instrumental in obtaining a serum to treat a rattlesnake bite. Billie Jay, 11, was bitten on the ankle while playing outdoors. Two troopers rushed the serum from University hospital in Ann Arbor to Community Hospital. Susan Stoddard, Janet Emhoff, Paul Friday and Robert Randall received music scholarships. They will attend summer music camp at Western Michigan University. Clifton C. Wells has been named city editor of the Muncie Star. Formerly, he managed the Coloma Courier, the same paper his father had managed. 30 years ago – 1988 Representatives of the North Berrien Senior Center have launched a campaign to pass a proposed tax increase request. This will appear on the August 2 ballot. The center is located on Logan Street. Marie Krieger and Florence Cook have spearheaded the endeavor. A surprise 50th anniversary celebration was held for Mr. and Mrs. James P. Barry of Jackson Court. Their two daughters and three grandchildren hosted the event. Descendants of Herman and Anna Leatz held their annual Leatz Reunion in Randall Park. A potluck dinner and games were enjoyed by 50 people present. Submitted by volunteer Sandi Musick Munchow at Coloma Public Library from the Coloma Courier newspapers donated by the Tri-City Record. Hours: Mon & Fri, 10:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Tue, Wed & Thu, 10:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.; Sat, 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Phone: 269-468-3431
NEWS FROM THE HARTFORD DAY SPRING
100 years ago – 1918 The first shipment of huckleberries from the marshes about Hartford has brought from $6.00 to $7.00 a case on the Chicago market. The crop is short. It was first damaged by the heavy hail storm of a few weeks ago and the frost of June 23 completed the work of destruction. The condition of the highway between Hartford and Watervliet is a discredit to two counties. No speed cop is necessary to prevent motorists from violating the speed laws, the condition of the road being quite sufficient to insure cautious driving. The road commissioners of both counties declare that little can be done to temporarily improve the road, and that the only remedy is its construction as a permanent highway. A dirt road, they declare, will not withstand the traffic to which this road is subjected. 75 years ago – 1943 Members of Hartford chapter of the national organization, Mothers of World War II, met July 7 in the American Legion Hall to discuss plans for the erection of an honor roll of Hartford men serving in the armed forces. The Hartford Garden Club will meet at the home of Mrs. Dora Harper on Friday afternoon. The subject for the afternoon will be, “Bird Sanctuaries.” Water levels on the Great Lakes are higher than they have been in 14 years or more due to heavy rains. Pere Marquette trains stopped rail transportation on the Chicago-Grand Rapids line through Hartford when tracks were washed out for the second time in one week. 50 years ago – 1968 Sale of Cherry Grower, Inc. plant in Hartford to Duffy Mott Company, Inc., national food packing and distributer, was announced this week at New York and Traverse City headquarters of the two firms. Winton Klotzbach said that Cherry Growers executed a 20-year marketing agreement with Duffy-Mott and the latter will buy the Cherry Growers buildings and equipment. Duffy-Mott will assume full control and responsibility for processing and marketing of fruit processed in Cherry Growers plants, and Cherry Growers will be exclusive purchasing agent for all fruit to be processed by Duffy-Mott in Michigan. Submitted by Librarian Stephanie Daniels at Hartford Public Library from microfilm copies of the Hartford Day Spring. Hours: Mon, Tue & Wed, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Thu & Fri, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sat, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Phone: 269-621-3408
NEWS FROM THE WATERVLIET RECORD
90 years ago – 1928 Max Woolcott is building a bungalow residence on South Main north of the town hall. George Ray is in charge of the building work. Contracts for re-decorating the outside window and door casings of the new school building and the interior halls, office and library were let by the school board at a recent meeting. Fred Zahl and Earl White were awarded the exterior work and A.D. Abel the interior. Hon. A.N. Woodruff observed his 78th birthday anniversary at his home on Sutherland Avenue. 60 years ago – 1958 Miss Juanita Marie Anthony, daughter of Mrs. Elsie Anthony, has been accepted at Taylor University, Upland, Indiana. The largest crowd ever registered at Western Michigan University’s summer music camp is now in the midst of activities. Participating in the camp are Peter Kobe, and John Rogers both from Watervliet. Peter is studying choir while John has chosen band and choir. Mr. and Mrs. Loren Kniebes, Watervliet, are the proud parents of their baby boy, born July 10, 1958 weighing five pounds, nine and one-quarter ounces. 30 years ago – 1988 Watervliet Boy Scout Troop #696 will be holding a newspaper drive. The troop is raising money for a trip to Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico. For the first time in the history of the Coloma All-Star Softball Tournament, the Watervliet girls’ all-stars have brought home the victory crown. Star pitcher Theresa Duncan struck out 28 batters during the course of the four-game tournament. Player Deah Muth hit a grand slam home run over the fence, the first time in the history of the tournament such a hit was made. Airplanes and pilots abound these days at the Watervliet Airport, not so much with the drone of regular, piloted, civilian aircraft but with the high-pitched scream of the remote control airplane. Credit for this miniature air show has to be given to a group of local hobbyists that have found a way to best the usually high cost of flying. Submitted by Sally Q. Gonzalez from files at Watervliet District Library of the Watervliet Record newspapers donated by the Tri-City Record. Hours: Mon & Wed, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Tue, Thu & Fri, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sat, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Phone: 269-463-6382