Recess at Haydock School!
I could run around to the girls’ side of the school and say hello to my sisters. I could have a few minutes where I could think in my own language. I could play with my friend Ernest and his brother Hugo. Thanks to them I was able to learn more English than the teachers ever taught me.
Ernest and his family lived around the corner on Magnolia Street. Our house was on C St. but it was really only three houses away. He, his brother and I had many adventures throughout our growing up years and we remained friends all our lives until it was time for them to sleep. He eventually grew up to be the Postmaster General here in Oxnard.
One recess I saw some boys talking to Teacher in a very exited manner. I approached them to listen in. They pointed their fingers at me and sounded very angry. I could not tell what they were saying to Teacher.
She then looked at me and asked me something. “Did you throw a rock through the window?”
I thought that the boys wanted me to play with them. I became overjoyed and answered them with one of the few words I was able to say, “Yes!”
She took me to the stairs and ordered me to sit there for the rest of the recess. Later I was sent to the office for my usual weekly scolding and eraser cleaning.
That happened to me a lot until I learned how to say “No!”