Saturday, August 28, 2010

Stanford Convalescent Home

In the last post I described the asthma I had as a child. When I was eleven years old I was sent to live at the Stanford Convalescent Home because of it.
Recently I did some internet research and learned the full title of the place was The Stanford Convalescent Home for Impoverished Children. I never thought of our family as impoverished, but we had very little money because my widowed mother couldn't earn nearly as much as men could in those days.
The first week they were in the facility all children, including me, stayed in the Babcock Unit. There were two large rooms full of beds. In one the children who were bedridden stayed. Many of them were not expected to survive.
I helped the teacher there by tutoring one little girl in reading. She was terminally ill and I was horrified at the idea that anyone might die before learning how to read. Perhaps working with her was one factor that later motivated me to become a teacher myself.
I slept in the other room with the infants, preschoolers, and other newly-admitted kids who, like me, were kept there for observation.
I'll share more about that facility in later posts.

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