School days, reminiscences of JulesPaige

School Days, Reminiscences of JulesPaige

Welcome to the School Days, Reminiscences series in which my champion bloggers and authors share reminiscences of their school days. It’s my small way of thanking them for their support and of letting you know about their services and publications.

This week, I am pleased to introduce JulesPaige, poet, flash fiction artist and creator of gems that sparkle on the page.

I met Jules at the Carrot Ranch where we both participate in flash fiction challenges set by Charli Mills each week. Jules is one of the most engaged and supportive participants. She always has something encouraging to say and is quick to offer helpful advice when a request is made.

We have wonderful conversations about education, parenting and grandparenting on her frequent visits here. I think we would have a lot of fun entertaining our grandchildren together, if only we lived closer.

Before we begin the interview, Jules will tell you a little of herself:

I use the nom-de-plume JulesPaige because words are like jewels on a page. I am a poet for over fifty years, writer of flash fiction, and crafty creative person. More than less retired and love learning, but on my own terms. I have included a shadow photo as I wish, at this time, to remain anonymous.

I’ve had poetry included in school and college literary magazines. Poetry has also been accepted in chapbooks, the local newspaper, and online zines and linked to both poetry and flash fiction prompt sites. Recently I earned two first places and an honorable mention in Flash fiction contests via Carrot Ranch. Some of my stories feature in The Congress of Rough Writers Flash Fiction Anthology Vol 1.

I am an active participant in several prompts for Flash Fiction and poetry:

Carrot Ranch

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie

Pure Haiku

Thanks, Jules, and welcome. Let’s talk school.

 First, could you tell us where you attended school?

New York and New Jersey, USA.

Did you attend a government, private or independent school?

All public schools. The last being a two-year community college that I paid my own tuition for.

What work or profession did you choose after school and was there anything in school that influenced this choice?

The profession I choose was Early Childhood Education Assistant. I did not want to go into business or be in the same classes of a sibling who chose the arts. I wanted to help children with their educational beginnings.

What is your earliest memory of school?

I remember being in a kindergarten class and wanting to play house, I didn’t get too many turns there. Then in first grade I ended up in the same room with the same teacher – who apparently didn’t like me. Since during the first days of class she allowed me to play in the housekeeping section that had not yet been restocked. I don’t have many memories of early school. I had a family tragedy and withdrew from getting attention which ended up getting me labeled as ‘slow’.

What memories do you have of learning to read and write?

I do not have all that many early memories of school. But since I was labeled ‘slow’, my stepmom made it a point to help me learn to read by reading to me every night. Perhaps in 5th grade I was in what was called an intermediate school. That was when I was around ten. That’s when I had a couple of English teachers who encouraged creative writing. At that time in the late 1960’s in that school, creativity was more of a focus than basics. So my math and grammar skills are lacking.

What did you like best and least about school?

I was always the new student at my schools. The odd one out and did not have many friends even in High School. No bonds were made in College. I liked my art classes. I did not like the negative or lack support of either my parents or most of my teachers. I only had a select few teachers that encouraged my creative avenues. While I attended the same High School for all four years 9-12, we moved mid-way through, which made seeing the friends I had difficult, and left no chance of participating in any after school programs.

How do you think schools have changed since your school days?

I am not entirely sure that public schools have changed for the better. While addressing bullying, special health needs and catering to highly intelligent prodigies… there still lacks a complete need to address all children with equal fairness. This is from the experience of raising my own children in the local public school system and having to invoke my ‘Parental Rights’ for my own children’s needs. The Parental rights to fair education is not something that the schools promote. I found out about them through another friend who was a teacher.

How do you think schools could be improved?

Public Schools need to prepare our children by starting language in the early grades and not waiting until older grades. Special language immersion classes were available in later years (of my children’s schools) for a select amount of students who were selected by a lottery. Public Schools also need to make sure basic math and estimation skills are taught without the assistance of calculators or iPads. Public schools also need to encourage acceptance of differences.

If you choose to send your child to a public school, then you need to accept the parameters set therein. Public Schools also need to keep religion out of the schools. And if vaccines are a requirement, there should be no exceptions. Just one unvaccinated child can bring disease to a whole school population.

thank you for your participation

Thank you for sharing your reminiscences of school and thoughts about education in general, Jules. It’s been wonderful to have you here. I am sorry that your school days were not the most pleasant for you, but I am happy to know that you have done what you can to ensure the school days for your own children and others were more positive. It is always encouraging to hear stories of negative cycles being broken.

Read more of Jules’ work on her blog Jules Pens Some Gems.

If you missed previous reminiscences, check them out here:

Charli Mills

Sally Cronin

Anne Goodwin

Geoff Le Pard

Hugh Roberts

Debby Gies

Pauline King

Look for future interviews in this series to be posted on Sunday evenings AEST.

Coming soon:

D. Avery

Christy Birmingham

Miriam Hurdle

Susan Scott

with more to follow.

Thank you blog post

Thank you for reading. I appreciate your comments. Please share your thoughts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

101 thoughts on “School Days, Reminiscences of JulesPaige

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    1. Norah Post author

      Thanks, Nan, for reading and for your lovely comments. I love the way everyone is so open and honest in sharing their experiences.

      Like

      Reply
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  14. Susan Scott

    Thanks Norah and Jules Paige for this interview, I appreciated her frankness about being the odd one out. Like the other commentators I also liked the how and why of her pen name. The comments were very interesting too. Have a great week … 🙂

    Like

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  19. Miriam Hurdle

    It’s my pleasure getting to know more about Jules. What a lovely way to create your pen name. It’s sad when teachers don’t like students for any reasons. Their job is to be fair to students. I speak for myself. I’m thankful my daughter had great teachers growing up and it helped for her to do well at school.. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Jules

      Even today I see some slight prejudices with teachers who expect more than a child can give –
      When I was helping in one of my children’s classrooms; one child who had been held back was taller and larger than the others – but not as mature. The teacher took a dislike to him straight away. Even one of my grands just last week when the teacher said to break into study groups, sat alone. I think the teacher should have incorporated him into a group – or instead of having the children choose their own groups, make the groups herself out of a random drawing of names.

      When I taught, we had a little girl who liked to bite. But her father refused to believe the teachers – his daughter could do no wrong. It is hard to teach older children even in sixth grade who are almost as big as you and then threaten the teachers with law suits. Being a teacher, aide, or volunteer (one I just spoke with the other morning when I dropped of my grandchild – told me that she has been threaten by students if she challenges them and wants to ‘write them up’ for behaving badly). Teaching in public school these days is not as easy when there seems to be little respect for anyone, much less teachers.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      1. Miriam Hurdle

        Yes, Jules, It’s not easy to be teachers these days. I have a Ph.D. friend who substituted when he was studying. He couldn’t control the students because he was such a gentle person. We teachers called the paid in that district is “combat paid.” A lot of gangsters or students who don’t want to go to schools in that area.

        I guess we just do out job but we can’t make them learn.

        Liked by 1 person

        Reply
      2. Norah Post author

        I think respect overall has taken a dive, Jules, not just in school, and it is such an essential ingredient for fostering kindness and community.
        I could add stories about teachers not doing the right things for children too. My son’s experiences influenced my decision to educate my daughter myself. But there are also stories of teachers doing wonderful things too and it’s nice to see some of them come out in this series. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        Reply
  20. Charli Mills

    Your step-mother intuitively did the one thing you probably needed most in education — reading to you every night. However, the tragedies children might face do impact learning. I wish there had been more compassionate adults in your life to realize that. I’m always amazed by your word-curiosity and your willingness to play on the page. That is what makes your jewels shine most!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Jules is a survivor. Unfortunately, too many others don’t make it to a positive life such as Jules has chosen for herself.
      Jules has a gift for making words sparkle like gems on the page.

      Like

      Reply
  21. Jacqui Murray

    Good interview (as always, Norah). Love the rationale for the name, Jules Paige. And I immediately felt an affinity with you Jules–one of my jobs was Early Childhood teacher. It was probably the hardest job I ever did.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Jules

      I enjoyed my time teaching… then I had my own… then the grands came along. There were other jobs in between. But full time care of the grands when they were younger for many years… I’m glad they are older now. I can finally say no more diapers! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  22. Anne Goodwin (Annecdotist)

    Thanks for sharing your reminiscences, Jules. I was interested that you flagged vaccination, which is quite a concern here in the UK, or rather parents choosing to opt out of it, due to misinformation, and risking the lives of babies still too young to be vaccinated. As you say, if a child goes to public school parents need to accept their way of doing things to a degree. Sadly, not all parents know what’s best for their kids (eg withdrawing them from sex ed) — or for the community in general.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. Jules

      It seems the most important lessons are feared. The idea that knowledge is power is overlooked.
      Which in the case of Sex Ed – leads to more children on welfare roles.

      I know that some schools have programs that pair up students who have to take the responsibility to care for a raw egg for a week or longer. Making sure ‘it’ is feed throughout the night… (though I suppose journals could be faked)… changed, and always is in the care of one of the students or they had to get a ‘baby-sitter’. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      1. Norah Post author

        Years ago, there were little handheld electronic gadgets that children had to look after like babies too – feed them, change them etc. Bec had one. The fad was passing. I can’t remember what they were called now – something beginning with ‘t’ I think. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        Reply
    2. Norah Post author

      I agree, Anne. Many parents don’t know and, while many take notice of the science and real experts, too many are swayed by false prophets. It happens in many fields and is very sad for the children. Thanks for adding your thoughts.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  23. thecontentedcrafter

    Wow! It amazes me how much can be overcome with the aid of a caring parent, a kind word, the right ‘place’ found. From being labelled to being successful and all the steps in between Jules, you are a role model! I love stories like this one Norah, and thank you for sharing Jules.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. Jules

      I have not always been optimistic… I’ve got pages of angst filled poetry. Living mindfully and joyfully just makes things so much easier. But all of what we were makes us who we are. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      Reply
  24. robbiesinspiration

    I am very pleased to have learned a bit more about Jules, Norah. For some reason I though her blog was a private one. I re-discovered it on WP the other day and am now following and enjoying her writing. WP drives me a bit nuts, sometimes.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Jules

      At one point I had three blogs, Robbie. I was trying to be organized. I do think now that having one blog could actually be easier. Sorry to have confused you. While I’ve change the title of my blog, I haven’t figured out how to get the http or the icon to match. Confusing the Trolls could be a benefit. Unfortunately I’ve also confused some friends. Thanks for finding me again and enjoying my scribbles. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      Reply
    1. Jules

      If I had a Ranch or even more encouragement… But life has given me much to write about that I might not have had otherwise…if things were different.

      I think I took to reading soon after I took to writing or visa versa, which was perhaps when I was around ten. I enjoy Baum (all of his Oz books not just the famous one about the Wizard), Sci Fi and fun murder mysteries are also favorites. I also liked Alice in Wonderland – I think poetry and flash fiction writing is like walking through a looking glass to find new worlds.

      I don’t know when haiku entered into the picture. Probably early on – the old 5,7,5 syllable count. But I have since learned there are a multitude of syllable count poetry as well as more rules than I’d really care to follow in traditional American Style haiku. Since the Japanese Hiragana and Katakana do not have capital letters I do not use capital letters with most Japanese words, even when translating them to English. Just a quirk of mine.

      About ten years ago I belonged to an online group that encouraged small daily writing. I may have used haiku for that. Traditionally haiku do not have titles. But I title everything. Or at least with haiku use the first word or first sentence as the title. That and a date help me to keep organized. I have an index for every month so I can find pieces. Even before I started using the computer my poetic journals have index pages.

      When I was working and time was short, I wrote haiku so I could write something everyday. Like this renga (a haiku followed by two lines of 7 syllables) that I penned to remember today’s weather:

      skyway cloud by way
      a leak in heaven’s eye pipe
      Tears flood waterways

      April showers continue
      In this merry month of May

      ©JP/dh

      Liked by 3 people

      Reply
      1. Jules

        Oops.. That form is the tanka, the longer form a tanka followed by another haiku is a renga.
        And if you write them by yourself they are solo tanka or renga.
        You are supposed to alter writers. But when you are the only one writing… you take turns with your muse.

        Liked by 2 people

        Reply
      2. Norah Post author

        I enjoyed your response to D.’s questions, Jules. Thank you.
        I’m impressed by your organisation. I think I’m reasonably organised, but not compared to you. Having an index for all your poems is a great way of keeping a record of all your writing.
        I enjoyed the renga about your weather. It’s very descriptive and paints a clear (if wet) picture.
        I like how you state that “poetry and flash fiction writing is like walking through a looking glass to find new worlds.”

        Liked by 2 people

        Reply
  25. Jennie

    Reading your experience reinforces what I work to do in my classroom, making children feel welcome and loved. Without that, a child struggles to learn. Thank you so much for sharing your story, JulesPaige. And thank you, Norah.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
            1. Jules

              Salty… and sweet!
              (If you don’t want any bull horns poking you – hand over the dark chocolate… and everything will be OK XD )

              It’s all balance these days 😉

              Liked by 2 people

              Reply
  26. joylennickJoy Lennick

    Thank you for letting us hear JulesPaige’s “voice ,” on her school experiences. It was sad she didn’t receive as much encouragement as she should have, early on, but at least had a step-mom who encouraged her reading. Obviously, her interest in words and writing eventually paid off, which is evident in her work today. I do agree that religion – except in the broadest sense – should be kept to ‘faith’ schools, and that – every SINGLE MORNING, children should be encouraged to shake hands with their neighbours and ask how they are!!

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Isn’t it wonderful, Joy, that Jules had a champion who encouraged her to read. In a sea of negativity, one positive voice can make an incredible difference. Jules has done extremely well and I learn something new from her about language nearly every week.
      It’s a wonderful tradition to greet each other in the morning, isn’t it? What a positive way to begin the day.
      Thanks for reading and commenting.

      Liked by 3 people

      Reply
    2. Norah Post author

      Thank you for reading and commenting, Joy. Jules was lucky to have at least one positive influence in her life, and how wonderful it was a stepmother, helping to change the stereotype too. How beneficial it would be to spend time being friendly and showing kindness to each other every day.

      Like

      Reply

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