The New School

by Anna Huett
(Evansville, IN)

It is 1934 and I am waiting on the highway for the school bus to take me to the new consolidated school. The chill November wind is a mix of persimmons, dusty leaves and stinky tar from the highway. I already miss my old two-room school house and the smell of chalk at the scratched up blackboard. Miss Anna, who smells like lavender, teaches all eight grades in two rooms that are usually filled with a smokey haze (from scraps of wood from the sawmill) in the big, pot-bellied coal stove. Sometimes they use big lumps of shiny black coal gathered from the railroad tracks.

On the bus I hop into a seat with a leathery smell like the seat overs in my Dad's Model A. The interior had a sharp smell of gas just like the Model A, too.

It seemed like hours before we finally pulled up to a large brick building where kids for all over the county went to school. I was prepared to hate it but when I got to my new school room I was in Fairyland.

On the sill of the wide, sparkling windows sat a fish-bowl full of beautiful orange goldfish that smelled like fish. Proud, neat rows of desks smelled of lemony furniture polish. But wonder of wonders, on them were school books that smelled of new print, freshly sharpened pencils, crayony smelling crayons, and empty notebooks to fill up. The teacher smelled good, too, but I still thought of Miss Anna and how I was going to miss her.

The cafeteria was new and fragrant smells of chili and hot dogs, banana pudding and hot cocoa floated down the hall to meet us as we went in to lunch. Then we had 'gym' in our brand new gym suits which soon smelled a bit older. It was a new experience to me and I didn't like the noisy showers as we all took showers together. The science room's ethery smell was also new to me. So was the subject and I never really got it..

But most of all I loved the new library. Who can describe the smell of a library?-- even when new it evokes the sights, sounds and smells of olden times, glorious deeds and trips to Wonderland.

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