Etiquette lessons in school have a lasting effect
In response to “Fullerton fifth graders learn the fine art of dining etiquette” from the Dec. 14 edition of The News-Review:
From 1938 to 1940 Miss Mary Jones, my first and second grade teacher at the Peter Boscow School in Hillsboro, Oregon, taught us many things, including politeness and respect. She asked us to bring coffee can lids to school. We used a flour, water and salt “clay” to mold a picture in the lid. We painted the picture. We used wooden cigar boxes to make a stand for our pictures. She had us correctly plan, prepare, set up and serve a luncheon to our mothers using good manners. We gave our pictures to our mothers for Mother’s Day.
Another project was obtaining free posters. She taught us how to write a business letter for the posters. Each student wrote the letter, and we voted on which one would be sent. We prepared an envelope and stamp, and our entire class walked the three or so blocks to a corner post office drop box.
Miss Jones arranged us in two rows, boys in one and girls in the other. She showed us that the boy should walk on the outside and the girl on the inside. When we would turn a corner or cross a road so as to cause the girl to walk on the outside, she showed us how a boy should walk around behind the girl, so as to put himself on the outside.
By now I’m too far removed from the primary classroom to know about the teaching that might go on. For me, Miss Jones was as fine a primary-grade teacher as anyone could ever want. What she did for us has stayed with me throughout my 86 years.