Mar 24, 2007

Turning 40 in about a month

Ok, so I meant to post this on the 21st but never got there; I'm getting ready for my first booth at a business showcase for the jewelry and things are crazy.

At any rate, it occurred to me on the 21st that, wow, I would be 40 in exactly 1 month. And I was thinking, which is rather a rare occurrence these days as I'm moving too fast to actually thing anymore, and decided that a good way to lead up to the big 4-0 is to share some history here and there over the next month.

So, here it goes...

My first school experiences:

My elementary school was an open classroom environment. It was organized into teams. Teams A and B were each mixed first and second grade; C and D were each mixed third and fourth grade; and E and F were each mixed fifth and sixth grade. We didn't have desks, there were tables and the walls weren't fixed but just movable panels. You didn't have to ask permission to use the bathroom, you just went and came back. It didn't occur to us to dilly dally or whatever. We were respected and expected to be worthy of that respect and, for the most part, we lived up to it. (After that, going into a traditional-style middle school was AWFUL.) Our principal was Mr. Moshano and I think I can remember most of my teachers: kindergarten: Miss Haak and Mrs. Riley; Team B: Mrs. Sampson, Mrs. Swan, and Mrs. Adams; Team C: Mrs. Daley; Team E: Mrs. Yaworski, Mr. Adama, and Miss VanDyke. I liked my teachers and, as far as I remember, they seemed to like me.


I remember waiting for the bus for Kindergarten. It's the first day of school. I'm wearing a blue turtleneck I think and a red/green/blue plaid kilt/skort thingie (yes, it was public school; this was the 70s, remember - fall of 1972, I expect). It's warm and sunny, midday. The maple trees in the yard are still green. I remember very little about the school day itself. And I cried at the end of the day because I didn't know which bus to get on and I was scared.

The second day of school, I had on a yellow knitted or crocheted skirt that my grandmother had made and on the way home Mike Barone pulled it up to look under it. I, of course, cried.

I remember being in 2nd grade and so frustrated with math, being kept in the classroom at lunch for special help and, you got it, crying. I also remember in second grade though, going with my friend Maggie to the 3rd grade for reading - lest you think all I did was cry!

I remember all through elementary school having to go to "special gym", which was, for me at least, intended to address my eye-hand coordination issues. I remember having to do mazes and make sure that my pencil didn't touch the sides at all. I had to practice using scissors and such.

I remember the auditions for "Ghost Towns Never Die"; I was probably 5th or 6th grade. I was one who had been asked to stay and took it upon myself to repeat Miss Muller's statement that "if you haven't been asked to stay, you can go back to class." How perfectly wretched and insensitive of me! I remember the show itself - my character's name was Nancy and the only line I remember is "It's in my saddle bag; it's in my paint set!" (had to do with cobwebs and turpentine being the solution for a sprained ankle - go figure).

I remember Mark Kellogg calling me the "green machine" and "booger picker". My school life changed permanent for the worse when he started that. There is nothing schoolkids love more than someone to pick on and the stigma lasted well into high school. I remember Mr. Moshano came upon me crying (he was sitting in for Mrs. Yaworski who called in sick and they couldn't get a sub) and he just sat down on the floor next to me and asked me why I was crying. He was a very nice man.

I remember someone putting my purse in the toilet when everyone was out at field day on the last day of school in 6th grade. (Yes, I did cry.) I remember Nora Bradbury coming to find me and helping me fish it out and just being with me when I needed a friend. We never did find out who did it but I still think (very un-Christianly) that I'd like that person to suffer the same pain that poor little gawky, geeky 6th grader suffered.

And now I'm crying in memory of that - how sad is that? But I'm really tired so one can never trust one's emotions when one is so tired. So, now that I've left you with the first chapter in my personal history, I'm going to bed.

Coming in future posts: the peepee tree and the rolling thing (or "my backyard", growing up in a rural town, the 9th grade banquet, the hilarity of vice grips (I know, they don't *sound* funny....)

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3 Comments:

Blogger smileymamaT said...

Ah, what a great and funny walk with you down memory lane. Thanks for that!
T

2:07 PM  
Blogger Jade said...

I was picked on in grade school too, then I turned into a punk in jr. high, and when one of the guys who used to make me cry said something to me in the hallway one day, I turned and said, in a very bored voice, "go fuck yourself." He never made fun of me again.

6:49 PM  
Anonymous regina said...

I can remember wanting Mrs. Toplanski for kindergarden because my older sister said she was the best! I got her and it made all of the difference in my academia career!, snort!

1:31 PM  

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