Wednesday, June 17, 2009

School Days


I attended a small Catholic school in the Nation's Oldest City - St. Augustine. It was located in the historic district, on St. George Street, and it was not the first school on that site. Archeologists working at the school this week have uncovered more of the foundation and artifacts from the first school at that location, a school for boys operated by the Spanish government from 1786 to 1820. 

Anywhere you walk in the historic district of St. Augustine, you're treading on history. I learned this very early on. It was not unusual to pass an archeological dig underway near the town library or in the shopping district. It was hard as a kid to resist jumping in those neatly carved digs. But after being screamed at a time or two by the archeologists on site, you learned your lesson. Or did we?

My seventh grade year I had a real nutjob for a social studies teacher. Teaching 7th graders was just one of his part time jobs (along with drinking heavily). His other job was as a "British soldier" leading tours dressed in full British regalia. He loved to come to class dressed in his period costume and teach us about Florida history. To that end, he decided to let his seventh graders conduct their own archeological dig in the sand parking lot of the school. 

I can't imagine what the administration was thinking when they ok'd this. Well, maybe they didn't know about his scheme until it was too late.

Imagine 60 seventh graders armed with spoons, sifters, trowels and rakes digging around in the heart of the Nation's Oldest City. It didn't take long for the historical society to shut us down and confiscate all the pottery shards, shells and odds and ends we had uncovered. 

I guess you could say my classmates and I were rogue amateur archeologists. Read more about the current dig site and what they are uncovering here

1 comment:

Robert V. Sobczak said...

What a great place to grow up -- it is a treasure trove there in more ways than one ...