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Re: Exploring the 6th floor at P.S. 217

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Posted by Nate on Monday, September 25th 2017:

In Reply to: Re: Exploring the 6th floor at P.S. 217 posted by Flatbush Kid on Sunday, September 24th 2017:

Thanks, Steve, for enlightening me regarding those staircases. I never saw the one in back of the stage, although I had been on that stage for a number of school plays. I didn't realize that there was another stair case by the 3rd floor, and 5th floor gyms. I remember going to gym classes at each of those locations, but never recall seeing an additional staircase. I recall that one of the gyms was a little larger than the other. Also, I remember than there was an audio-visual room near the third floor gym, where they used to show us sound movies on a 16mm movie projector.

Flatbush Kid, I share your sentiments regarding Harry Shapiro. He had an explosive temper, and I never felt comfortable with him. One time, when he was discussing human mortality, he actually stated "I guarantee that everyone in this room, will eventually be dead". Can you believe such a morbid individual, as that? I remember that during the last game of the 1955 World Series, which the Dodgers won, he would not let the kids listen to the game on the radio, and screamed at one student, when permission was asked to hear the game.

However, regarding Ethel Wengraf, she was undoubtedly the best teacher that I ever had, not only at P.S. 217, but also at Midwood High School. She was very kind, encouraging, thoughtful, and an overall decent human being. She directed several school plays, and praised the students at the end of those plays, to their parents. I think of her quite often, and regret that I never got to see her in her later years, when she lived in Boca Raton. Her daughter was Susan Wengraf. The last that I heard, was that she ran for a seat (and won), on some city council, in a community in southern California.

Incidentally, the attractive teacher whom you described at P.S.217, must have taught there, after I graduated from 217, in 1957. Outside of Mrs. Wengraf, the teachers whom I had were tough and mean. There was one, by the name of Miss McNulty, who came after me one day, because I made the mistake of looking through a window on the door of a classroom, as I was looking for someone. She charged at me and stated "I'LL KILL YOU" in a loud voice. She was typical of the teachers at 217 at that time (outside of Mrs. Wengraf), who would harass students, or humiliate or degrade them. Some of them, especially those who never married, were frustrated, and they would take their frustrations out on the students.

Reference ID: BK95108


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