Spooky Shot: This Used to be Our Playground

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No really, this used to be my playground. The large area on the left where the walls are ripped off was my first-grade classroom, where I got in trouble for swearing along to The Simpsons Sing the Blues, where I made the character-altering choice to skip my reading homework and watch Maya the Bee (wait–why was there TV time in class?), where I coveted airplane DAP, where I showcased my neon markers, where I learned how to count money, where I was told I couldn’t cut and paste worth a damn, and where I began my longest-running friendship. Now it’s a hole. The dangerously high metal slides with swear words spray painted on them are gone. So is the over-capacity merry-go-round. And the jungle gym that was “new” when I was in third grade.

Funny, this is actually the newer of the two elementary schools I attended. The one above was for first through third grades. For fourth through sixth grades, all students were bussed five miles away, to the school where my grandma graduated as a high school. Her picture hung on the wall when I went there. Built in 1916,this rural, Irish settlement had Catholic nuns as instructors for its public school. The scariest thing about this school (besides the fact that it was rumored to be haunted by former students and nuns), was the crawlspace. During tornado drills, we all had to crawl beneath the gym. It was a four-foot space lit by the occasional lantern, and you could hear bats flapping around down there. I thought it was pretty cool, but if I were a teacher there, I would have unioned up.

Parnell School, 2002

What are your spooky school stories? Have you lost your playground? Submit your own spooky shots here!

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