Fourth Grade Memories

I guess I’m getting older. Isn’t everyone? And, don’t we all, everyday? Anyway, I read the obituaries and all too often, I find someone I used to know there.

A few weeks ago, I saw a familiar last name, Costen. There was a little something about the first name that seemed familiar. And, the image of the woman in the photo, now 88, triggered a memory. I read on. Joyeline Sterns Costen taught school in my hometown. I blinked. She was my fourth grade teacher.

Memories sprang to life of a young, very attractive lady, just out of college. My fourth grade class loved this teacher the instant we saw her. She was young! (My first and second grade teachers were older than my parents. And, my third grade teacher taught Mom and Dad, she kept calling me by my mother’s name.)

This new teacher was a delight. She didn’t remember my parents and expect me to live up to her memories of them. Did I mention that she was young and pretty?

According to the obit, she graduated college in 1947 and married in the summer of 1948. She taught my class at the beginning of her career. In fact, we may have been her first classroom experience, or maybe her second.

I don’t remember much about that year. I think it might have been the year the girls discovered the boys, or vice versa. A cute little guy with light brown curly hair bubbled with mischief and caught my attention. I claimed him as my boyfriend and I think we may have kissed at the end of school picnic. Not sure… It was one of those things I would have kept secret so long I forgot.

The Costens moved away and I lost track of them although I remembered her. From her obituary I see that she had a long successful teaching career and a 65 year marriage. She may be gone but her memory lingers on. Throughout her career, she encouraged many youngsters to reach their full potential as she helped lay the foundation for their higher education. I was one of them. Thank you, Mrs. Costen.


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