I would say this is well before
Texting and Smart-phones. Back when kids actually learned in school.
How many of you remember these - I do and I remember the color chalk we used
Contractors began work on four
classrooms of Emerson High School in Oklahoma, they knew their remodel
would improve education - but they never expected it would impact local
Looking to upgrade
the rooms with new whiteboards and smartboards, the workers had to first
remove the outdated chalkboards. But when they began to pull away the
old boards, they made a startling discovery
Beneath the current
boards rested another set of chalkboards - untouched for nearly 100
years. Protected and totally undisturbed, the century-old writings and
drawings looked like they were made just yesterday. Here, a November
calendar rolls into December. A turkey marks the celebration of Thanksgiving.
table gives us a glimpse into the curriculum and methods taught in 1917,
techniques perhaps lost in the passage of time. When regarding a wheel
of multiplication, Principal Sherry Kishore told The Oklahoman, "I have
never seen that technique in my life."
But Oklahoma City
school officials aren't just shocked by what is written, but how it is
written. Penmanship like this is clearly a lost art. This board reads,
"I give my head, my heart, and my life to my God and One nation
indivisible with justice for all."
Within each of the
four rooms, the subject matter and lessons mirrored one another -
indicating, as an Oklahoma Public School Twitter caption reads, "aligned
curriculum in 1917."
And though the
boards' style and subject matter might be unfamiliar to younger folks,
they certainly resonate with older generations. Principal Kishore told
The Oklahoman what it was like to show her 85-year-old mother the
boards: "She just stood there and cried. She said it was exactly like
her classroom was when she was going to school."
But these boards
actually predate Principal Kishore's mother by 13 years. Two dates were
found on the boards: November 30, 1917, and December 4,
Some of the writings
and drawings were done by students, while others were made by teachers -
but I'm not always clear whose is whose.
Regardless, the work
is a striking look into days long gone. While reading the boards - like
this one listing "My Rules To Keep Clean" - the past comes alive in a
very personal way.
Cinthea Comer told The Oklahoman, "It was so eerie because the colors
were so vibrant it looked like it was drawn the same day. To know that
it was drawn 100 years ago. it's like you're going into a looking glass
into the past."
Built in 1895,
Emerson High School has seen many renovations and improvements
throughout the years - but nothing like this has ever been
When removing old
chalkboards in the past, contractors have only found broken pipes and
wires, so this is a shocking surprise. Oklahoma City and the school
district are now working to preserve these beautiful
Hopefully, the spirit
of these teachers and their students will be enjoyed for many years to
come. Who knew that scribbles on a chalkboard could become such a
precious piece of
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