Thursday, August 20, 2015

First Grade 1977

Hopper starts first grade next week. What's kind of weird about it for me is that I remember what MY first day of first grade was like, pretty vividly actually.  I had just turned six and my mom had gotten me this cool sundress/hat/sunglasses combo for my birthday that I insisted on wearing on the first day of school.  Behold..

My I'm So Awesome I'm Wearing Elton John's Vacation Wear bravado wore off about five seconds into the day when I found out that instead of getting Mrs. Williams for my teacher, I had been assigned Mrs. McAllister. Mrs. McAllister was somewhere in the vicinity of 246 years old and she did not like children. Particularly, she wasn't fond my older brother, who she remembered having in her class four years earlier.  Her first words to me were, "I hope you're nothing like that brother of yours or it's going to be a long year, now take off those ridiculous sunglasses."  So welcoming.

Shortly after this exchange, the Screamer arrived. The Screamer was not happy about his mom leaving him in the care of Crones-R-Us and proceeded to blubber endlessly for like thirty straight minutes until Mrs. McAllister made me read him a book about baby chickens to calm him down. Don't ask me how I remember that the book was about baby chickens or that the Screamer's name was Joe Cole, I just  remember that he was crying so hard that when I asked him his name I thought he said "Joe Cool" and I was a big Snoopy fan at the time, so it stuck with me.

I remember lots of names of my first grade classmates. For example, there was a girl named Candida who sat next to me. I thought Candida was a really exotic and beautiful name. I did not know at the time that Candida was named after a something causes fungal disease. I'm pretty sure Candida did not know this either. I often thought of Candida in later years wondering how middle school went for her.

I remember a slightly chubby boy named Chad who told me in the cafeteria line that he was going to marry me and didn't even tattle on me when I punched him in the stomach in response. That Chad, such a gentleman.

I remember such very specific things about First Grade. I remember that I initially had a lot of trouble substituting lower case "d" for lower case "b" and that bitch Mrs. McAllister made me stand in the corner when I couldn't get it right.The injustice!  I remember that the very first book I checked out of the school library on my own was "A Fly Went By" and it took me at least three days to read it. I remember playing Duck Duck Goose in PE. I remember my astonishment and joy when I found out I could refuse to eat the green beans at lunch and no one was going to tell my mom.

I guess my point is, all of these things have stuck with me almost...cough.. forty years, so I know how much of an impression it's all going to have on the Hop.  So, I hope that his first day, he's not the Screamer. I hope his teacher is less than century old and likes kids, just a little bit. And I really hope that when picture day arrives, he can come close to the amount of Derp I had.

First Grade, 1977

I feel fairly sure my boy can handle it.

1 comment:

Bun Karyudo said...

That was a bit of a trip down memory lane. I was ten in 1977, so not that much older than you. When I look at old photographs of myself from the period, I notice I also appear to be wearing a button mushroom on my head. My mother tells me the hairstyle was highly fashionable at the time and not, as I suspected, some kind of punishment.