afterschool special part 2: 4th-6th and inbetween.

(my not so indian education cont...)

Fourth grade is pretty sketchy.
My teacher was Mrs. May. And mostly I remember trying to find words that spelled a dollar. Adding up each letter ( a=1, b=2, etc.). And it seems like for the first time we started to notice money everywhere else. My hair had finally grown out enough to put in a ponytail. Sort of. I also started to wear bows and complained about my dark blue stiff denim jeans with ironed on patches. I was still good with the Keds though. Especially if I got to take the laces out.
I was a Lost Boy in PeterPan in the spring play. Except my lost boy costume was really just an elf costume my mom made out of felt. I cant look at elves around Christmas without thinking of PeterPan.
We had to do a commercial for the class. I chose one I saw every morning while watching TV and waiting on my parents to take me to school. I made an entire guitar out of cardboard and memorized the jingle word for word and sang it proudly for the class. No one told me that it was for a laxative. I didn’t realize this for years and am still wondering how my teacher managed to keep a straight face. And give me an A.
I’m sure when exactly but sometime around here it became uncool to take a lunchbox. So I packed my brown bag every morning. On good days with a Coke wrapped in foil at the bottom. And I hoped the condensation didn't make it fall through the bottom or that it didn't flatten my pb&j sandwhich. There was a pretty standard trade currency in the lunchroom. Oreos could get you almost anything you wanted. And I read every single BabySitters Club book there was. MaryAnne was my favorite. Too bad I was never into actual babysitting. Maybe I could have bought myself some cool jeans!

New school. Lockers. And we traded teachers instead of staying in the same class all day.From here on out I can tell you almost every science teacher I had, and only some of the other subjects. This is probably why I teach science instead of English. We hatched chicks, had guest speakers, found our own blood type and went on an overnight field trip to Galveston.
This is suddenly when girls started doing their bangs and sporting best friends necklaces. I wanted jeans with the upside down triangle on the pocket rather than the ones I had and borrowed my sister’s curling iron and hot rollers. I think I even asked my mom to buy me a bra even though it was the last thing I needed. She gave me a book to read on puberty even though I was far from it. We were all 10 going on 20.
Once we split into groups to work on a project. Our teacher trusted us way too much or she just didn’t care, because we ended up playing spin the bottle in the janitor’s closet. We were only 10. So it was very chaste peck on the cheek version but it had begun.
I got another boyfriend. This time we called it going together which didn't consist of going anywhere but mostly of just talking on the phone. And I can't imagine what I had to say to a 5th grade boy for so long on the phone. He walked me to my parent’s office everyday after school, while carrying my violin. I was teased mercilessly for this. But I didn’t care. He smelled good and wrote me long notes and was almost as cute as Fred Savage on the Wonder Years. I think it might have lasted three weeks. Until I met my husband this was one of my longer relationships.

And we were still babies but we were into boys and brands and big hair. Girls strated carrying purses and talked about getting their periods. I read Are You There God, It’s Me Margret. My parents signed me up for cotillion. Obviously all those manners and waltzes didn’t stick. But I was sure proud of my Jessica McClintock dress and the occasional cute boy who asked me to cha cha.
Before the bell we played card games on the concrete. We played dodgeball in PE. And we still occasionally got recess even though we mostly just stood around and talked in groups now. We made friendship bracelets traded copies of Teen magazine. We wore swatches up our arms and hypercolor tshirts.
I hardly remember any classes or teachers this year. Mostly because I was consumed with tightrolling my jeans and pretending to be cool. Even though I was only 11 and still probably preferred playing chase on the playground to talking to boys or doing my hair.
I practiced my violin every night while watching MTV which I’m pretty sure cancel each other out. But I was first chair and I knew the good songs. Madonna, u2 and MilliVanilli followed up by Eine Kleine Nachtmusik. My siblings had both moved out and were in college by now so I moved down the hall to a bigger room. With a TV. And my own neon light up phone. But even that wasn’t enough to compensate for braces and a grown out perm.

so ignore the poor picture quality, and notice the fact that I am wearing a puff painted tshirt with powder blue acid washed guess jeans. and a big freaking bow.


Young Mom said...

Thank you for posting this. I have no idea what schoool is like, so it's nice to hear someone elses memories. The more I know, the less scared I am of sending my own kids to school.