was time for Droozy to go to school in America. No more time off. What grade
would she fit into was the big question. She didn’t speak English and the
teachers and students didn’t speak German. She had skipped the fourth grade in
Breslau. She and her friend Gerda went to the playground instead. After much
thought the teachers decided that Droozy should enter the fifth grade. She was
ten years old then and was as short or as tall as the rest of her West Virginia
had a wonderful teacher - a tall thin lady who seemed to like Droozy. Miss
Oliver tried to teach Droozy the words: “Either - Or”. It seemed no use; no
matter how often Miss Oliver tried to explain it, the child did not understand.
The teacher would point to a classmate and say, “Either you or Betty go to the
blackboard,” or “Either you or Frank go get a piece of chalk.” It was to
no avail. It took some time before Droozy learned the meaning of these ideas and
words. Miss Oliver was very patient and kind and spent much time after class
explaining things to Droozy.
came a day when one of the children went up to Droozy’s desk and accused her
of stealing. “You stole somebody’s pencil,” said Jane in a menacing voice.
Droozy understood the meaning of that but was unable to defend herself.
The right words wouldn’t come out. The other children soon gathered
around her and called her a thief. Droozy had small stumps of pencils that her
Papa had brought home from his work for her. She had stolen them from no one.
Soon the tears of anger and shame rolled down Droozy’s face and she could not
control her sobs. She was an honest young girl who did not want to be known as a
thief, someone who could not be trusted, someone who was laughed at and made fun
of and avoided. After Droozy had dried her tears and talked to her mother she
decided to learn the language as quickly as possible in order to be able to
defend herself and to show her classmates how smart and honest she really was.
It took Droozy a year to speak English but she understood it long before then.