The Clare Spark Blog

September 7, 2010

Interior of a midwestern classroom, 1943

Filed under: Uncategorized — clarelspark @ 9:26 pm
Tags: , , ,

A Christian interior with one Jewish student


  1. They would have been well aware of the war, although perhaps not understanding it well. I don’t know if the “We Do Our Part” sign relates to that or is a leftover from the NRA.

    As a current substitute teacher what strikes me is how nicely the children are dressed, as if school is important and you dress a little nicely for it. I was recently in a couple of mediocre or sub-mediocre districts and I’m now in a couple that are nice…one solidly middle class and lots of Asians, the other very affluent. And the kids tend to show up in jeans and t-shirts, sometimes jeans you pay extra for because they’re torn (I have a couple of pairs that got that way naturally). In warm weather I look at some of the girls and I think I’ve been accosted by streetwalkers who were more modestly dressed. We do tend to dress differently depending on the situation and I doubt most of these kids would dress that way to go to church or synagogue or to visit their rich aunt who hadn’t made out her will.

    My impression, but I’ve never really looked carefully, is that the Asian kids are more likely to dress a bit better. I wouldn’t be surprised.

    Comment by Alex Bensky — November 29, 2020 @ 4:27 pm | Reply

  2. Ahh, but those Christian classrooms were built around a Jew. A Jew, at that, Who by my Catholic lights came to this world to die for this old gentile’s and others’ sins; and save me from the death penalty due me for my sins. And, in His first manifestations, He chose the Jews: “I will be your God and you will be My people”.

    And, until very recently, prior generations even posed for moving pictures in fixed and ‘serious’ (formal?) poses.

    Comment by Warren Jewell — October 24, 2011 @ 1:13 am | Reply

  3. Interesting picture.
    I’m more fascinated by the composition. This was obviously a planned “class picture” but didn’t involve the set-up of lining the children in rows and posing, they are photographed in-situ as pupils in the class. They haven’t even been arranged to the point that some are obscured by taller students in front of them. Do you remember it being taken?
    And none of the children are smiling. Is this the last generation that hadn’t been trained from birth to “say cheese” when someone pulls out a camera?

    Comment by Katrina — September 8, 2010 @ 6:27 am | Reply

    • Thanks Katrina. After I posted it, I too noticed the gravity of the children’s demeanour. I wonder how many of them had fathers or mothers in the armed forces? Did they know about the world war taking place? Perhaps though it is as you say, simply not yet the habit to tell children to look happy.

      Comment by clarespark — September 8, 2010 @ 4:39 pm | Reply

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