3/21/2005

School K to 6

My first day I know Mom fussed me up cute, curly hair and ironed dress, so I would make a good impression on the teacher about what a wonderful parent I had. I would have worn shorts and a t-top.

We must have walked to school together that day because Mom was with me for the first hour or so. The teacher was wonderful, Mrs. Arnold. She was a little heavy for her height, had short, dark, curled hair and liked little kids. I was lucky to have her. She was wearing a dark royal blue dress with short sleeves.

She greeted us at the door and then walked us over to a poster on the wall. To get an idea of where her kids were on the learning trail she asked each child to read as far as they could the alphabet on the chart and a few small words at the bottom. Then she asked each one of us to count as high as we could. While there were no preschools then I began at the top of the class with a few others. We could count well past 100, read the whole alphabet and all the words on the posters.

Why was I so advanced? I'm not sure. Reading to us was something the grandparents did a lot of when we were little because you could do it with all of us at once. Fairy tails, Bible stories, newspapers, kids magazines, TV guide, Reader's Digest, and chapter books; I remember all of them and being on or near a lap, while we listened. I was watching Grama's finger move along the lines while she said the words in a Grit one time and I think I got the idea between the words she said and where her finger was.

I just couldn't stand chapter books as we only got one section a night. I wanted to know how it came out NOW! My curiosity would drive me to beg for another reading.

However it came about, I was going to the library for Dr. Seuss and more before I was 5. I know Mom thought I just memorized the stories at first but when someone gave me a new book one day and I was telling her all about it the next, she interrupted me to ask who read it to me. I told her I did. We are genetically related - she had me fetch the book and read to her from it. My pronunciation was off for new words but I showed her I could read.

The first several years of school were easy for me. Math wasn't much of a problem, except for long division. I was a "teacher's helper" a lot. I had a lot of practice in that at home. I tried to show other kids how to read and such.

I just noticed that there is nothing here about the other students, what Blank wore or how raggedy Blank2 was. Not only was this before I learned any of that mattered, I never learned very well to judge clothes as part of a person until I was much older and frailer. Even now it's just to protect myself from the people who obviously want to be taken for a negative stereotype that I use it unthinkingly. Most of the time I am banging myself in the head for EVER judging by appearances. I hate when I do that.

One of the best dressed girls in my classes was the sneakiest, meanest kid I knew. She could get you in trouble and you would never see it coming. One of the nicest girls I knew kept her hair short like a boy's and always wore jeans and t-shirts. Another nice girl was really plain and had a skin condition, yet another had a wine birthmark on her face. They were really NICE kids!

I liked to play sports at recess with the boys. We also had tops, marbles, Red Rover and cat's cradle around but I liked softball with the boys the best.

I can't really say that I had a lot of friends in school. Maybe, with 5 of us at home I didn't feel the need in my youth. It became more of a problem later.

School was close and we always walked, even in bad weather. Most of the time it was no problem. Sometimes we got annoyed or chased. Just before we moved from the little yellow house I was "wall walking", a forbidden entertainment, took a fall and broke my front top tooth off at an angle.

I didn't always get A's but I did well and my marks for attendance and behavior were always good. I liked school, I liked tests, I like quizzes and spelling bees. I liked story problems and reading. I didn't like history and geography when they came along but mostly I liked learning new things. I still do or I wouldn't be out here in virtual land building web sites and blogging.

If you can entice your child into wanting to know what happens next badly enough to find out for themselves they will learn their whole life.

Next, we move to a new house.

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