WhenI was 9 yo I was in a residential school.
We( all 300 of us) atetogether ( 30 tables) & we ate hatever was erved & were very happy for t. We talked very little since we were allowed only a limitted amount of time, before the tables were cleared & dishes washed( by paid employees.When was 10-1/2 yo I lived in a foster home.'
There were 2 boys& 3 girls aged from 9 yo to 15 yo.
We all ate trogether @ the BIG kitchen table.We talked about everything: our day; school lessons learned; what school tripswerecomingup & having ourpewrmission slipssigned ;clothing alowances arriving & who got the mail-order catalog first;for picking out our clothing w/in theState allocated budgets for school & visiting relatives .
We had spelling bees; math problems to be done in our heads & stories of the adults hildhoods; we learned of special occasions coming up;& discussed current events( the NEWS) daily newsppers were in the study & we were expected to read them & parrticipate in discussions( what happened why (our opinions) how we felt bout it ; the consequences for those inv olved. CAPITOL PUNISHMENT; JOB LOSSES; INJURY/DEATH( Korean conflict); new road construction bringing messy streets & atoughcommute for some, till completed then hopefully improvement for all..
theproblems these disadvantaged kids faced daliy and got uss nvolved in colecting used clothing& school supplies for his students.All in all al it was atyical family dinner table of those times ( mid1950's) All 3 girls helped t cook dinner , daily& the2 boys cleared the table & loaded the dishwasher after first scraping & rinsing the plates. Foster Mom was a stay at home once typing & accounting teacher who after dinner packed us all brown bag lunches for school the next day.Then she washed the kitchen floor which had already been swept by one of the boys.If our homework was done as required ( before dinner) wWe were allowed to watch the small B&W TVv in the living room; usallyt enews variety OR quiz shows for no morew than one hour each day.ThenFoster Mom would sit down w/one of us & help to shop for our wardrobe, She often offered to make additional clothing for us to allow ourl imitted budgets to go furtherWe paid for the material from our clothing budgets( reality is nothing comes to you for nothing).
Foster Dad was a history& geography teacher in a subsidized housing project district & his students were mostly underpriviledged kids; except for the rare few who became OCK& ROLL recording artists(Frankie Lyman and the teenagers) "DAD" go tus involved in collecting school supplies & used clothing fo his tudentsWhen I was 13-1/2 I went ack to livew/my Mom.Sheworked after dinne r& since we had n car, shehadto walk to work, carying all her supplies.Shehad to leave before dinner & I usually had to eat alone often, cookingmy own dinner.I had learned to cook in the Foster home or at myGrandmothers home; so that was easy.It was the eating all alone that I did not like..Bu I realized that Mom would not eat at all til much laterBecause of myown experience; I ALWAYS made a point of us all eating togther at hthe kitchen table & carry on relevant conversations!