Sunday, November 22, 2009

Blogging Through The Years: First Grade

I'm currently blogging through my years in school. I've blogged about Pre-School and Kindergarten, previously.

I started first grade in August 1994 and it was an interesting year. My teacher seemed old to me, but she was probably in her thirties. She was also very overweight and spent much of her time in the rocking chair or a regular chair. My parents loved her but I didn't like her very much. I didn't really have a best friend that year or close circle of friends. I was just kind of there.
  • We had a Pancake Breakfast that year in which my dad was the cook. I thought it was so neat and he wasn't much of an involved father so it was fun for him to come to my classroom and be a part of my class. I don't remember much about the breakfast other than my father cooking, though.
  • In first grade, The Florida Aquarium opened and my class scheduled a visit to them. My mom volunteered to chaperon and we ended up coming in late that day, after the bell had rung and announcements were over with. (In kid speak, this is Very Late.) I had also chopped off my long blond locks for a short bob so it was very embarrassing to come to class with a completely new hairstyle and be late! And I don't remember anything about our field trip.
  • In the "library" part of our class, our teacher had an antique claw-foot tub full of pillows that she had made. One person was allowed to sit in it and read when we had silent reading time. I don't remember making much use of it, though. I think I sat in it once.
  • In first grade, I joined up with T-Ball. My brother was doing baseball, although he switched over when it was too difficult for him. I liked t-ball. It was fun and I like to think I was good at it. The truth is, I don't remember how good I was or how good the team was. I do remember being a shortstop in the game and a ball hitting me on the chin. But I was a trooper and that seven-year-old me didn't even cry! I was a tough cookie back then.
  • This was the first time I remember my parents separating. My dad went to live with a friend of his and we would visit on the weekends. He lived in an apartment with a pool and I remember spending lots of Saturdays, playing in the pool. Since the apartment I lived in with my mom didn't have a pool, this was pretty awesome to me. The divorce didn't bug me that much. My parents fought so much that it was nice to have a break from the miserableness that was their marriage.
  • Since they were separated, I had to join a "support group" for children of separated/divorced parents at school. They announced my name as "Stephen," which was very embarrassing. And I was in the group with two other boys. It was very boring and I didn't feel "supported" at all. My parents ended up getting back together and I stopped attending.
  • Many times, we played a game called "The Teacher Is Right" where our teacher would show transparencies on the overhead projector of worksheets. She would pick a student and they would have to either answer a question aloud or go up to the screen and point to the right word or phrase. This game was made even sweeter by the teacher's M&M candy dispenser. It was like a gumball machine where you twist the knob and candy falls out. So cool.
  • I remember reading a lot of Frog and Toad books. Since this was first grade, reading was minimal but for some reason, I was really drawn to this book. I have no idea why.
  • One of the coolest things about first grade was the seating chart. At the beginning of every month, my teacher would get together small colored plastic blocks and put them in a container. There were about 4 blocks of each color, each signify a certain group of desks. We would close our eyes, pick a block, and then rush back to our friends to see if we had the same color. I loved this.
  • We did a lot of writing in first grade. We had one of those journals made of construction paper and writing paper, the kind that is blank at the top with three lines at the bottom to write on. A few years ago, my mom found all my journals and we laughed hysterically at some of the things I wrote. (And what an awful drawer I was.) The main theme of all my journals was "terch" (i.e., church). I wrote about "terch" for probably 70% of the journals. I must've really enjoyed my experiences in church when I was seven.
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