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Using A Slate


    "... ...Well the slate was a piece of slate rock, thin and square, about, oh, it was about a foot wide and 16 inches long and it had a frame around it and you had slate pencils and they was a little bigger than a match and they were about 4 inches long. And when you scratched on that slate with a slate pencil it would leave a grayish white writing on it. Well, when you got both sides of the slate full - and the teacher give you questions to do and work to do - and both sides of your slate was full youd put up your hand and if the teacher happened to turn around and see your hand stuck up shed ask what you wanted and you'd  say "Well, I got my slate full." Well shed come down and look your questions all over and if they was correct shed mark a big C and if they was wrong shed mark an X. And everyone that had an X in you had to do it over again until that was correct. So when she put down, say, you had 2 out of 10 problems wrong, you washed the rest off to give you room to do them 2 over and then you done the two back over again. Maybe the next time she'd come look at them again they be both be correct. Well then ,youd wash the slate off and when you got that slate clean shed give you something else to do on the slate. So every time you filled your slate up why then shed come down, correct it, look it over, and you'd wash it off and do it again. Why the only time we could use a scribbler was at examination time when we was having our examinations to see if wed pass from Grade 1 to Grade 2 and Grade 2 to Grade 3. We had to use our scribblers then but we had to be very careful with the scribblers cause we couldnt afford to buy any and we had to fill - all the pages had to be right full with examinations the teacher give us. So shed put them up on the board - shed write down the questions on the board or what ever she wanted us to do for examination - shed write it down on the board and then we had to write it down in our scribblers and write the answers to it. Well then, when the examination was all done shed take the papers home at night and shed go to work and do all the papers over and check them all over. And if you you had them all wrong every, er, all right rather, every question that she gave you, and every bit of the work she gave you, if you had every one all right, then she'd give you about a hundred - sometimes youd get 99, you might have left out some little commas, some little periods and things and shed give you 99 and 98 - and sometimes shed give you a hundred. And when you got a hundred that was perfect, couldn't do any better. So we used to try and do our very best on examinations because we all wanted to grade. ... ..."