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A Memoir

by I.M. Tillerman


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Author Bio
From Not Look Back...

   When I showed up on that first day, clad in typically rural garb of bibbed overalls and a flannel shirt with rolled up sleeves, I – like Hester and Pearl Prynne approaching the scaffold – became an immediate bull’s-eye for a double barrel blast of ridicule. Fellow students pointed and giggled, while teachers in three-piece suits and narrow ties shook their heads, as if to say, “Oh, Lord! What have we here?” And while it’s unarguably true that six years of country school – there was no kindergarten – taught me the basics of the three R’s, “Readin’, ‘Ritin’, and ‘Rithmetic,” I was grossly unprepared for the rigors of the metropolitan curriculum, struggling, for example, with the insane mixture of numbers and letters called “algebra.”
   I eventually adjusted to city schools and even grew to like them. However, in the early months of the breakneck transition from hayseed to city slicker, as I sometimes wept in the quiet darkness of my bed, I longed with great nostalgia to return to the idyllic days at Pioneer District Country School #44, where one could implement Thoreau’s advice to “simplify, simplify, simplify,” without even knowing that one was doing so.

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