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Field Trip to the Seneca Schoolhouse

It is the year of 1880. The cold wind blows and the sun gingerly peaks through the bare trees. A little woman with a long dark skirt and a light blue blouse steps outside of the old brick house and rings the little bell next to the door. Nimble little feet walk towards the entrance. Everybody knows his spot. Boys stand in one line, girls in the other. The smallest is first, the tallest the last. Every boy carries a piece of wood to make a fire in the stove.

First, the girls are allowed to step into the school house. The smallest student sits in the front, the tallest in the back of the room. Then the boys are asked to step into the classroom. They put their piece of wood next to the stove which stands in the middle of the room. The teacher has already turned on the fire and you can smell wood burning. Every student stands next to his table. The teacher greets the students. The girls curtsy and the boys bow down to greet their teacher. All the children are now allowed to sit down in their seats. Every student watches out that they keep their feet together and underneath the table, and also to place their hands on top of the table. The teacher is very strict, and makes sure that everybody follows the rules.

On April 12 and 13, 2016, our second-graders were able to go back in time and enjoy a typical school day in the year 1880. They wore beautiful old fashioned clothes, hats and braided hair. The students were very impressed by the old school materials, like the slates and reading and math books, and also by the punishments students had to endure back then.

Loud laughter surrounded the school house when the students were playing outside. The boys were searching for more kindling and wood for the stove, girls picked flowers and the whole class played hot potato, tag and so much more.

Very impressed by the 150-year-old schoolhouse, the former school life and the conditions under which students had to learn, our second graders went back to their school, the DSW – probably very happy to be back in the 21st century.

Marlen Ascencio

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