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Mt. Pulaski , Illinois
August 6, 2011     Times
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August 6, 2011

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Many people can recall their favorite teacher years later. Not many teachers can remember their students. Mrs. Lanter- man was one of the few Who could. This won- derful woman always called you by name and smiled broadly with that Irish twinkle in her eye. I was asked about my most fond- est memories of Mrs. Lanterman and truth- fully there are so many, I loved her dearly. She was the type of teacher you wanted to please and raised the bar for those who wanted a career in education. My class (1962-1963) was getting ready for the Ghristmas holidays and we were asked to go to the chalkboards. Each student was given a space to write. Along the top of the chalk- board she had written the phrase "Merry Christmas and Happy New Year". We were given a certain amount of time to write as many words as we could, using the letters from the phrase. Game on[ Students were writing as fast as their hands could go... chalk Aulst 6, 2011 Remembering Mrs. Lanterman dust was everywhere and on everyone. At the end of the challenge, I found that I was the one who come up with the most words. I was bursting with pride! My prize was a gingerbread house someone had made. Walking home two blocks with my brother, Todd (a sixth grader) ever so slowly as to not drop my trea- sure; you would have thought I was carrying a world treasure. To me, it was[ I kept it on display in my bedroom until way after the holidays. That is until Todd and I decided to eat it. Needless to say, if you ever tasted a gin- gerbread house, months later.., it was horrible. We were both spitting it out and scraping off our tongues. And I was regretting breaking it into pieces, along with the memory of one of the proudest days of my life. I remember her classroom so vividly. The ceiling seemed so high. The ABC's were all along the wall above the chalkboard and she would write little poems and say- hags on the board at the doorway. There would be a phrase about the seasons-or upcoming holiday in her grace- ful cursive; something we all tried to imitate with hours of practice I can clearly see the little elves ith their hands clasped, hold- ing their knees to their chests sitting along the windowsills. Mrs. Lanterman also had a wonderful collection of Christmas candles that were never lit. She had Santa, Christmas Trees and Reindeer. Years later I found a catalog that carry these candles and at first glance third grades memories would come flooding in. Mrs. Lanterman was a very caring person, too. She loved herstu- dents. Another fond memory of her was when I took a tumble during recess. It was one of those boo boos where you couldn't stifle the sobbing. Once back into class, she called me up to her desk and swooped me up into her lap. Not missing a beat with the lesson she was giving, I sat there until I could stop. I felt so safe and secure sitting there, I was in no hurry to have to retum to my desk. After school she placed one of her plas- tic butterflies in my hair and gave me a hug. I treasure those moments with her. Many years later, as an adult, I was volun- teering and eventually the President of the Historical Society for four years. Her gift to the Historical Society was to set up and keep up the old time class- room upstairs. And if you haven't seen it, the memories of the old grade school will definitely come back to you. One day after calling her "Mrs. Lan- terman" she told me, ). "Janey (always call- hag me that instead of Jane) you are now a grown up and may call me "Margaret". And she bounced up those steps with such grace and ease to work in her classroom. For some reason, I just couldn't. I just couldn't bring myself to call her "Mar- garet"! It would be like calling Queen Eliza- beth "Lizzy", I thought to myself. And upstairs she would write her little sayings and poems on the chalkboard. One thing I noticed in the room right away were the little elves on the windowsill. Just like her classroom[ When she was nominated Fall Festival Grand Marshall along with Millie Haynes, I couldn't have been more thrilled! Who deserved it more than these dear ladies? The parade was starting and I wanted to go over and say something to her. I wanted to tell her, how much she meant to me, what a wonderful teacher she was to me, and soooooo many other things. Running in my civil war skirt and hoop, I lost my shoe. I ran back to retrieve it and was hoping I wasn't too late. All I could get out when I reached the convertible she was riding in with Millie was: "I love you, Mrs. Lanterman!" To which she replied ,'I love you, too Janey!" Jane DeWitt n Country Decor, Antiques, Florals, Unique Handcrafted Treasures 8e So Much More Salt Creek Attic 106 8. Washington Mt. Pulaski Tues-Frl 10-4 8e Sat 9-1 792-B117 Mt. 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