October 2017 Presentations

Sarah at Kirkwood Booth ISF 2017

October tends to be when things start to wind down for the year. We have fewer presentations and events, but we still will have one more burst for the Christmas season in November and the first week of December.

  • One-Room School Program for classes Monday, October 30, 2017. (Not open to the public)

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

 

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May 2017 Presentations

May is a busy month for Laura Ingalls Wilder programs and mine have already started.

Sarah Uthoff sitting on merry-go-round in front of one-room school
Sarah at Ingalls Homestead
  • One-Room School Program for classes Monday, May 1, 2017. (Not open to the public)
  • Tama-Toledo Museum – Toledo, IA – General Laura Program – Wednesday, May 3, 2017 – 7:00 pm
  • Johnson County Historical Society – Coralville, IA – Packing Up – Sunday, May 7, 2017 – 2:00 pm
  • One-Room School Program for classes Monday, May 8, 2017. (Not open to the public)
  • One-Room School Program for classes Wednesday, May 10, 2017. (Not open to the public)
  • One-Room School Program for classes Monday, May 15, 2017. (Not open to the public)
  • One-Room School Program for classes Wednesday, May 17, 2017. (Not open to the public)
  • Tomah Museum and Tomah Theater, Tomah, WI – May 20, 2017 -2 pm and 7:30 pm – More Details Coming
    http://lacrossetribune.com/things-to-do/article_0f3aeaea-7d41-5180-849a-76418937b5e9.html

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+ LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

 

One-Room School Lunch Survey

Water Crock Drinking Fountain
Water Crock Drinking Fountain

One of my on-going projects has been a survey on what people  I’ve been collecting surveys for what people really took to lunch in one-room schools. So far I’ve got 424 responses with answers coming from everywhere between Canada to Louisiana. Answers on what they took ranged from hoe cakes to ketchup sandwiches to a hot dog kept warm in a Thermos with string tied around the natural casing knot to pull it out.  I’ve also collected teaching magazines, parent magazines, and government publications talking about what you should have for school lunch.

I was surprised about how school lunch, or at least providing a hot school lunch, turned out to be a pretty political topic as it was an excuse given as one of the reasons to close one-room schools (until the Thermos made it unnecessary). I also found out that where you ate lunch turned out to be a problem, if you ate on your desk how did you get it or keep it clean? Plus, were students made to wash their hands? I’ve found a lot of interesting things.

I’ve put together a presentation what I’ve got so far, but I’m still going to be collecting surveys.

So if you went or taught in a one-room school or know someone who did, please fill out the survey and spread the word.

lunch-survey2014 You can copy the questions into e-mail or mail. People who mail them get a thank you postcard of a one-room school.
Here is my latest update of Handout 4 about what I’ve learned so far.

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

Giant Strides in One-Room School Playgrounds

After I read this article in the Wed., May 11, 2016 issue of The De Smet News, I knew I wanted to share it. Even within my generation playground equipment has disappeared, maybe for better, maybe for worse. Some things disappeared even before then. One was the Giant Strides. You hear references to a Giant Stride around one-room schools, but I self see first hand accounts, so I was very excited to find such an account.  Here is the Giant Strides part of the article where Donna Palmlund describes riding on one republished with permission from The De Smet News.

“The ‘Maypoloe of Death’ and Other Memorable Playground Moments” by Donna Palmlund

I was looking at an online photography group’s page recently and saw a photo of an abandoned country schoolhouse with a couple of pieces of playground equipment – one that the photographer could only identify. It was a large metal pole with a device on top that looked like it might have rotated at one time.

It brought back memories of the “giant strides” or what I called “the Maypole of death” on my own school playground in Carthage. This contraption consisted of a tall pole with several metal chain “ladders” attached to it. Children would grab on to a rung on one of the “ladders” and run around the pole so fast that they would lift off the ground and spin around in a circle as though they were flaying. It was not for the faint of heart.

There were usually half a dozen or more kids riding on the giant strides at any given recess. I normally tried to avoid ti, but my more adventurous playmates talked me into trying it a few times. Once should have been enough.

I have coordination and strength issues and I was not always able to keep my grasp on the ladder, or, for that matter, run around in a circle without tripping. So I was usually the kid sitting in the dirt getting hit in the head with a swinging ladder or someone else’s feet.

I was also a lightweight back then, and the heavier kids, who had more momentum, would slam into us. I suspect that wasn’t always an accident.

-SSU again, Also find photos on someone’s pet history project.

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

One-Room School Links

 

Greenmead One-Room School
Greenmead One-Room School

Also find the CSAA listserv, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Find more one-room school resources on my pathfinder.

And I’m always looking for more people to fill out my one-room school lunch survey.

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

May 2016 Presentations

Uthoff Storytelling Without Children
Uthoff Storytelling Without Children

Only two presentations this month so far, but a couple more are pending.

  • One-Room School Program for classes Monday, May 9 and Monday, May 16, 2016. (Not open to the public)

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales fighting to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation.Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. She is currently President of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Legacy and Research Association. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

Rosenwald Schools

Unless you study the history of one-room schools or the American south you may well never have heard of Julius Rosenwald. Rosenwald was the money man behind Sears and Roebuck and was the business mind behind them that made Sears a success. The son of Jewish immigrants from Germany, Rosenwald had great fellow feeling for African-Americans who also faced discrimination. He connected with Booker T. Washington and was a strong financial supporter of the Tuskegee Institute before broadening his goals. Working with Washington, Rosenwald financed a spree of building schools for African-American children all across the South. Learn more at the links below.

10 minute interview about effect of Rosenwald Schools
http://news.wabe.org/post/learning-design-rosenwalds-rural-southern-schools

The Journal of the American Institute of Architects about effect of design of Rosenwald Schools
http://www.architectmagazine.com/design/culture/remembering-the-rosenwald-schools_o (see note below)

Rosenwald documentary
http://rosenwaldfilm.org/rosenwald

Note: This is nothing to do with Rosenwald really, but one innovation cited in the architecture article above is moveable partitions to create separate classrooms. As someone who went to a graded elementary with moveable partitions for the 4-5-6 grade, I feel compelled to speak up. I’m here to tell you that was NOT an innovation it was a TERRIBLE idea. You constantly hear the classes next to you, there is no sound dampening because it’s really a huge box of a room, and despite the fact that the rolling cabinets that made up our walls had multiple purposes (for example some of them were cabinets on one side and a white board on the back) there were just so many things you couldn’t do with them. The entire community sighed a great sigh of relief when the school finally found the money to wall them in and then replace the other wonderful design feature the flat roof – in Iowa – where it snows.

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.