My grandmother was born in the distant 1938, and went to school right after the end of the Great Patriotic War. She lived then in the village with her mother and two brothers, her father fought and returned only a year after the victory, he worked on the restoration of Moscow.
At the end of summer, a village teacher, Alexandra Vasilievna, appeared on the threshold of their house, she made a detour around families with seven-year-old children. My grandmother’s mother, great-grandmother, did not need to be persuaded to collect her daughter in school, she already thought about it herself, figured out what to wear and how to shod. And the times were hard, hungry. There was no bread, the quinoa was collected and flour was made from it, potato peelings were not thrown away –
She and several other village boys and girls in shirts and cotton dresses stood at a large wooden house next to the church. It was the school building. Alexandra Vasilyevna went out onto the porch, called them to her, asked to stand up in pairs and solemnly led them into the classroom with a stove in the corner and a row of desks in the middle. On the wall hung a small board, next to the stand lay a piece of dry whitewash, which served as chalk, and a rag.
The lesson began. They got acquainted with the Russian alphabet, learned to write the first few letters. Alexandra Vasilievna distributed cards on which simple words were written, and the children tried to read: “Mom,” “home,” “rose.” Of course, it turned out badly for them. But the eyes were burning because I wanted to learn.
So began the grandmother’s school years. And although it took a lot of testing for this time, she remembers it as the most interesting thing in her life.