OK, since I started this whole blog to be a gift for my kiddos... a way to know the real 'me' one that would be different from their baby books (which are actually about them, but from my perspective), different from any journals or whatnot... anywho, I'm taking inspiration for A Familiar Path to recount some of my early years...
For kindegarden I attended a half day program/half day daycare at a public school near our home. I remember the day we went in to be 'tested' and being very nervous (one of the girls there that day drew houses in '3-d' and mine were only '2-d' how i longed to be such a skilled artist!)
i remember being in reading groups but can't for the life of me remember where i fit in with the rest of my class. i also remember watching a boy eat paste and thinking it was nasty, but he told me it was good, so i tried it. it was nasty. finally i recall my teacher's name was mrs. griffith and she was older than God and blinked about a million times a second. some times i would stand in line when it was time to leave and watch her blink her eyes and try to blink mine as many times as she blinked hers. maybe she thought i was batting my eyes at her...
in 1st grade my parents enrolled me in a private catholic school where i wore a super cute uniform and saddle shoes and long straight brown hair in a headband. i loved my school and all of my new friends. i remember specifically one day when my teacher, mrs. newberry called me out because i had been quiet when she asked the class to, and no one else had... so she gave me a werther's original as a treat. just me. i think that moment brought to me the joy of being a goody goody and a suckup.
2nd grade was filled with the excitement of preparing for first reconciliation and first communion. my teacher (miss spain at the beginning of the year who got married and became mrs. golshani) was so pretty and kind but also stern. my need to please grew as i had her for a teacher. she was creative and fun too. i remember coming in one day and there being a big construction paper ketchup bottle on the bulletin board with the words "catch up day" written on it... a day to catch up on any missing assignments, etc. (i didn't really have any missing assignments so i probably spent the day coloring... probably mastering my 3-d house drawing skills.) now that i'm an adult i realize that this was more than likely a day when she was feeling sick or tired or depressed or something, knew she needed to drag her butt to work, but knew that she didn't have it in her to really teach the way she thought she needed to. i have days like that now.
3rd grade was a pretty formative year for me... the first year of 'itbs testing'. the year that i gained the label 'gifted'. the year that i started not doing or turning in homework because i was so bored with what we were doing and the year that my teacher mrs. burkey recognized all of that and met with my parents and arranged for me to begin 'search class' aka gifted class. in search i got to learn german and read the lion the witch and the wardrobe, i was challenged a lot in this class with extra homework, particularly vocabulary. it made me feel special to be in that class, but more importantly i started to really love learning and not feel like it was all about checking off lists of things that we were 'supposed to do' but to really immerse myself in a way of learning that was fun.
fourth grade brought many challenges for me... this was the year that i started wearing a bra, started shaving my underarms, and began taking notice of which boys in my class were really cute. i was still in search, but in addition, our teacher mrs. blackford divided us into reading groups based on skill level, and i was the only girl in the highest group. the other two boys, zac and steven, were best friends and not terribly interested in me being a part of their boys club. but i tried to persevere. mrs. blackford also had a great love of books and after lunch each day she'd read to us a chapter or two from some very great books... the BFG and where the red fern grows are two that were particularly meaningful
stay tuned next week for more on "a walk down memory lane" (cue the cheesy soap opera music)