About My Clothespins…

I decided to make a banana pudding for supper last night.  I pulled out the box of  Vanilla Wafers, and opened it up.  There inside of the box, clipping the bag shut, was a clothespin.  Written on the clothespin was the name “Patricia”.  I smiled when I saw the clothespin because it brought back some old memories.

Many years ago, whenever I worked as a first grade paraprofessional, the teacher used a cardboard “traffic light” and clothespins as a part of her classroom discipline strategy.  All students began each day with their clothespins on the “green light”.  If a student broke a classroom rule, they  only received a warning the first time.  If they broke another rule, their clothespin was moved to “yellow”.  Continued misbehavior would cause their clothespin to end up on “red”.  Having one’s clothespin moved to “yellow” usually meant missing some recess or “center time”, ending up on “red” meant no recess or “center time” at all!  Ending up on “red” multiple times, called for more drastic measures.

At the end of each school year, the teacher always threw out the clothespins with the students names written on them.  I hate to see anything go to waste, so I’d bring them home with me!  In those days, I still hung out some laundry on a clothesline, these days–not so much!  However, I still use a few clothespins in the kitchen for various things–like clipping cookie bags shut!

When I saw the name “Patricia” on that clothespin, I remembered exactly who she was, and what year we taught her.  The year was 1991-1992.  Patricia is the same age (25) as my youngest son, Brad, and I remember that she got her clothespin moved a lot!  In fact, I recall that Patricia spent most of the last day of first grade standing, facing the corner!  Her male counterpart, Tavarus, spent most of the last day standing in another corner.  His clothespin was moved a lot, as well!

The other thing I remembered when I looked at the clothespin was that we taught D’Nealian manuscript in those days.  There was Patricia’s name, neatly written in D’Nealian manuscript.  D’Nealian manuscript is distinguishable by its “monkeytails” on the letters of the alphabet.  It was supposed to make the transition to “cursive writing” easier. (These days, I’m not even sure if our school teaches cursive anymore!)  About the time I mastered D’Nealian manuscript, we stopped teaching it!  I remember that many of the students had a hard time learning to make the lower case “k”…

Such old and funny memories–and all because of a simple clothespin.  I haven’t worked at school in nearly six years.  My supply of clothespins is dwindling away…and so are my memories of teaching school.

Speaking of clothespins, does anybody actually use clothespins for laundry anymore?  I haven’t had a clothesline in years–but I kept the poles!  I still love the way sheets smell after they spend the day drying in the sun, and blowing in the breeze on the clothesline…


I’m hopping on board the Tuesday Train today.  Click the button if you’re interested in taking a ride, too…

Published in: on June 7, 2011 at 7:50 am  Comments (9)  

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9 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I used clothespins with my scout troop for assigning jobs on a chore chart. I haven’t ever had a clothesline but my mom did and i love the way sheets smell after hanging outside too. I haven’t smelled that smell in a long time.

  2. What I nice memory. I would have brought them home too. I hate to see good things trashed. I hung out clothes until we sold our home and moved to an apartment (5 years ago and now in a condo. Even when we lived in a small subdivision, I had an umbrella type clotheline tucked away in a corner. I am a believer in them. I did miss fluffy towels during the summer though.

  3. I use clothespins for the same thing you do-Closing stuff like chip bags or flour bags. When I was in school the Palmer method of hand writting was used. I’m in my late 50’s so that was a very long time ago! I still use it if I really want my hand writting to look nice. It’s a big handwritting that took all 3 of the practice lines we used to learn how to do it. I would like to get a clothesline again, maybe this summer.

  4. I use clothespins in the kitchen like you do. But I also use them to hang up skirts. I can’t remember having a clothesline but there was one when I was growing up as a child. I hung out many a clothes with my Mom.

  5. Loved this walk down School-memory lane. Not so much use of clothesline here, either. My clothes pins find their way to kitchen also. Exception is camping when we put up a clothes line and hope for some clear weather to dry wet clothes, bathing suits and towels.

  6. Not only do we use clothespins – but Honeybunny recently put up a clothesline. He’s very proud of it and hangs the clothes out to dry every week. I told him I wasn’t so much on the idea (grew up hanging clothes in all kinds of weather) but he said he’d take care of it – he’d rather have fresh clothes and save the cost of running the dryer. They do smell much better when they hang outside!!

    Thanks for joining the Train!

  7. I think that clothespins are one of the handiest things to have around the house. I use them in the kitchen and other areas all the time. Like you, I believe in waste not, want not.:-)

  8. :0)

    I learned to write in print just like that! I don’t know that it makes a difference when learning to write cursive though. Today I prefer print but none of my letters have tails.

  9. What a great memory. When my father was sick last year we wanted to put his cards up on display. He has vertical blinds on his sliding glass door. I ended up buying clothespins and they worked out perfectly for clipping all the cards up!

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