While rummaging in our picture files recently, I found my second grade class picture. Standing at the back of the class is my teacher, Madge Stephenson, who nicknamed me “Angel Blue Eyes.” I am on the far right side, third row from the rear.
An Internet search revealed Madge Stephenson’s obituary. She was born on Christmas eve, 1920, and grew up on a farm in Eddy, Texas. She attended Texas College for Women in Denton, Texas, and received a Masters Degree in Education. During World War II, she served four years as a Medical Laboratory Technician. After an honorable discharge, she began a new career as a elementary school teacher in Corpus Christi, and taught for 32 years. Ms. Stephenson died in 2001, in Temple, Texas.
It was interesting to read that she had served in World War II. Ms. Stephenson established clear boundaries for classroom behavior. One girl, in response to Ms. Stephenson’s firmness, vomited outside the classroom door every morning for weeks. Mom witnessed the vomiting, and heard talk of some parents who were dissatisfied with Ms. Stephenson’s firm demeanor. Mom checked with me to see if I had a problem with my teacher. I was “Angel Blue Eyes,” and had no problems whatsoever.
Stapled to the bulletin board are posters of backyard birds. I recall studying those pictures, and feeling proud that I could identify all the birds.
Wow, I count 32 second graders. I remember most of their names.