A memento of long-ago school days

Old school deskJust look at this sweet little vintage school desk that now lives at the Manse!

It came here today, Raymond having been the successful bidder for it in a fundraising silent auction at the thrift shop called Hidden Treasures in Tweed. (I wrote a tribute here to Hidden Treasures and other local thrift shops where a person can find great stuff – treasures! – for very little cash.) The money raised from the silent auction, like all money raised through sales at Hidden Treasures, goes to support the extremely worthwhile work of Community Care for Central Hastings. So Raymond’s $35 winning bid on the cute little desk was, in our view, money well spent.

And I just love this little desk! Which partners awfully well – don’t you think? – with the little school-desk chair that we picked up somewhere or other a while back. They almost look like they were made for each other! Though the desk, having been refinished, is in rather better shape than the chair, which is urgently in need of having old paint stains scraped off it.

The two of them together take me way, way back to the days when I was starting Grade 1 at Madoc Township Public School. This desk is not identical to the ones we had then; they were in one piece (i.e. chair attached to desk), if I recall rightly. But the colours – the wooden top and the green metal underside – are very close.

Our little desk also reminds me of how, when one was a six-year-old Grade 1 student at Madoc Township Public School, a visit to the classrooms of the big-kid grades would seem so intimidating because their desks, while in exactly the same style as ours, were so much bigger.

I like the fact that this new desk of ours is a wee one – as you can see in this photo with Raymond and Sieste the cat, taken to give you a sense of scale:

Raymond and Sieste with the school desk

I also am taken on a trip down memory lane by the opening in the front of the desk, under the wooden top:

School-desk drawer

Lepage's MucilageThat’s where you’d store your schoolbooks (for which you had of course made covers) and pencils and erasers, and your dreaded sticky bottle of Lepage’s Mucilage, and your equally dreaded pair of rounded scissors. (The latter two items dreaded by me, anyway, because a call by the teacher to haul them out could mean only one thing: arts and crafts time. And there was nothing in elementary school worse than arts and crafts. Actually, come to think of it, there’s nothing in my current adult life worse than arts and crafts either. That is, when I’m the one expected to carry them out. And by “arts and crafts” I do not mean crocheted toilet-paper-roll covers. People, I am talking about gift-wrapping. You can see that my antipathy to arts and crafts and anything you have to do with a paper and scissors and – yikes! – glue runs very deep. But that’s another story.)

Anyway, I am blocking out Lepage’s Mucilage and thinking only happy thoughts about our new/old school desk. What a fine addition to the children’s corner at the Manse!

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