CLARIBEL WOODWARD
Science
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I remember:
 
Miss Woodward and how she used to say there were some things she wished she could teach us about biology, but she just wasn't permitted to do it.  I think she indicated she'd be fired if she did.  And, of course, she was much too young to retire (yeah, sure) so she stuck to the straight and narrow path and just made us more curious about what she had in mind.  I could only guess.
Tom Williams
Jean Anne and I were on a walk in the park behind our house and saw some unusual plants that we couldn't identify. What popped into my head was, "If Claribel Woodward were here now, she could tell us what they are."
 
I still remember one of the first things Miss Woodward taught us in Biology class: Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species, the framework of the system for classifying organisms. And that was 53 years ago, in 1951. Do have a great memory or what?  Now if I could just remember what I did yesterday.
Tom Williams
 
 
 
 
Email Exchanges Reminiscing
about Ms. Woodward
Emails between Mary Attebery Lanham,
Oletha Ludwig Hart, Carol Dietz Tefft and Shannon Jones
 
Mary Miss Woodward the biology teacher was I think two years older than St Louis and probably should have retired 10 years before we ever came to Southeast.
 
Shannon:  Mary, the message you sent the other day mentioning Miss Woodward (among others) caused me to think back about the Biology class she taught. You are right, she probably should have retired 10 years earlier. However, then I wouldn’t have  three interesting stories to remember her by. And I do cherish her memory.
 
Shannon's First Story
 
"Here's Looking at yuh, kid!"
 
I recall how Miss Woodward could see pretty well what was going on at the back of the class, but couldn’t see at all what was happening almost under her nose. I remember Damon Cox (the guy who always wore his shirt collar pulled up at the back of his neck because he thought it was cool) used to sit at the front table and hold his arms up high waving them back and forth in front of her … and she couldn’t see him. I tried not to laugh but always did and of course she could see me and shot her famous scowl at me!!!
 
A follow up comment from Lee Ludwig Hart.
 
No wonder Leann and I got caught when we  left the class quite early.  We thought she could not see at all!  We both got our only 8th hour!!!
 
Another follow up comment from Carol Dietz Tefft
 
Wasn't Ms. Woodward's vision problem "tunnel vision" where she could only see in a straight line? I remember kids doing out-rageous things off to the side just out of her line of sight.
 
 
 
 
 
 
I remember:
 
Were you in my biology class with Miss Woodward? If you were, you may remember the counter in the front of the room. For the Fall Open House, she had made a beautiful display of all sorts of fruits, vegetables fall leaves and grasses, pods, etc. that covered a good bit of the counter. She really was quite artistic, and had taken great pains to select the reddest apples, etc., for the display. Especially since of course, all the parents would be visiting the room. She told our class not to disturb the arrangement. Well, everyone left it alone at the time, but when we came that evening, there in the middle of the display was one of the largest, reddest apples------with one HUGE bite out of it! Needless to say, she was uh, shall we say, less than pleased!
  Lois Garner Hightower
   I remember being in Claribel Woodward's Biology class and listening to her stories about "Blue Eyes." It was not Frank Sinatra either, I don't think. She had such a loving look in her eyes when she talked about him.
Mary Hammond Eberhardt
 
I would not have said Miss Woodward was one of my favorite teachers at the time … but I always looked forward to her class.  I have been amazed to realize that fond memories of her have found their way into my mind over the last 50 years.  So she, obviously, on some level had a powerful influence on this young student.  I wish I could tell her that now.
Shannon Jones
 
 
 
 
 
 
"The Grand Tour Abroad"
By Shannon Jones
 
I also remember the stories she’d tell about when she was a young girl. It seems she went on a ship to Europe with her mother. She told us how embarrassed she was when the steward came into their cabin to draw her bath water. The way she told it the steward brought a large portable tub into the cabin. Then filled it with hot water. She was shocked and afraid she was supposed to step into that tub while the steward was still in the cabin. That would have been, of course, an unheard of thing for a young lady to do.
 
I have no idea why I remember her telling us that story and others from her youth. Or even what the point of that story was.  Maybe it was just a random memory of a happier time in her life. However it was an interesting story and I visualized it as she told it. Once I visualize something it seems to get stuck in my memory bank and never gets erased!!! Maybe its time to change the memory chips in my noggin.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Plight of a Young Teacher!
An email between Shannon Jones and Mary Attebery Lanham
 
Shannon:  One other tale I remember she told us had to do with when she became a school teacher. She was only 16 at the time and taught in a one room school. Some of the male students were older and larger than she. It seems that the teachers in those days were advised if a boy became unruly the teacher should run her hand down the back of the student’s shirt, reach into the back of his trousers and pull up on his underwear. Miss Woodward said there was one particular big, older boy in the class who was acting up and disturbing her lesson. So she stepped behind him, reached down his sweaty back, put her hand into the back of his trousers in an attempt to grab hold of his underwear … and he wasn’t wearing any!!
 
I remember the class laughed ourselves silly. Again, in retrospect, I can’t imagine why she told us that story or what the point was she was trying to make. I only remember visualizing the scene as she told it and thought it was the most hilarious thing I had ever heard. It was especially funny knowing that it had happened to her.  
 
In all my imagining at the time I could never see Miss Woodward as a young girl. Shame on me!!! In looking at her picture in our year-books recently, I noticed for the first time she had a rather pleasant face. And as a young girl she was probably quite pretty.
 
Mary:  It was hard to remember they were human and had lived lives that had nothing to do with the knuckle heads they were forced to deal with 5 days a week.
 
God Bless them.
 
 
 
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