Saturday, November 22, 2014

Third grade is real life

It's a sure sign we need to wash Harry's hockey gear when he wears it and the dog cannot stop licking him.

It sometimes freaks me out that he is in third grade.  I mean, you guys, I remember third grade.

I don't remember much about school before that year, only a couple of snap shots.  I remember how it felt to read I See Sam books in kindergarten-- the first word I figured out totally on my own was mouse, and then I could get house, and the whole world just opened right up right there at my desk.  I remember playing around the world with math facts in first grade and distinctly enjoying how it self to kick someone's ass in a competition.  I remember reading Dear Mr. Henshaw out loud to the fourth graders when I was in first grade, too-- I really liked reading to them, but I think they thought I was weird.  In second grade, I read Are You There God, It's Me, Margaret, and I was so engrossed in the book that I did not know the whole class had left the room to go to music.  Oops.

But third grade-- I remember it all.  Mrs. Piper had us keep a tiny notebook with a new vocabulary word everyday, and she would give each kid one M&M when she introduced the new word.  We had to come up with a sentence that used the words, and we would write that sentence in our notebooks.  I wrote "The rock is unique," and she told me you couldn't really call a rock unique, and to this day, I think WTF, lady?  We learned how to write in cursive, and I could NOT figure out how to make a cursive "r."  We were practicing at our desks, and I remember thinking oh god please don;t let her pick me to write the letter on the board, and she did!  She did pick me, and I was super embarrassed because my "r" totally sucked.  I wrote my first report in that class, on orangutans, researched using my family's living-room set of World Book  encyclopedias and illustrated with my Crayola markers.  For my gifted and talented class, I wrote a paper comparing West Side Story to Romeo and Juliet, and I made a killer diorama with a Ken and a gawky off-brand Barbie to represent a scene from Mr. Popper's Penguins.  In Mrs. Piper's class, we played board games during indoor recess, and we memorized Shel Silverstein poetry to recite to the class-- I still know a few by heart 28 years later.  I read 2 books-of-a-lifetime during silent reading time:  Roll of Thunder Hear my Cry and Where the Red Fern Grows, and my best friend from third grade was my matron of honor.

Third grade was real, and I wonder what he is going to remember.

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