Sunday, May 01, 2005

A Decade has Passed

2005 is the tenth anniversary of both Yahoo and the end of my high school career (I didn't graduate, more about that later). The first 13 years of my formal education were a disappointment overall, mostly due to me not being a normal kid, I think.

I went to kindergarten, first and second grades at an elementary school in a town so small that we had less than thirty kids in each class. I have vague memories of being in Junior Great Books, which was a group that read and discussed stories. We were also let out early each Wednesday to attend Religion, even though we went to a public school. Being Protestant in a Catholic town meant we had about ten kids in our section, while the other section had about 60 and was taught by nuns. I also remember having one best friend each school year, but not much else about the other kids. Kindergarten was full of projects and fun activites, but first and second grade were mostly sitting at my desk doing assignments.

We then moved to the larger town where I finished elementary at one of the two large primary schools in town. When I started in third grade, we had K-6 in the building, but by the time I got to sixth grade, we had only 4-6 in the building, as the town was in the midst of a growth spurt. In third grade we learned cursive writing, I got chicken pox, and the whole class wrote letters to President Regan about the Cold War. I got a form letter back and I still have the picture of him on horseback that came with it. They gave me some test when I first got there to decide what reading and math classes I should be in. Even though I did well on them both, they put me in the second best math class, until my mother found out and sent a note with me to school one day telling them to put me in the best one. I had one close girl friend in third grade, and I got kissed by a boy for the first time since preschool. He was from Laos, we wrote each other notes and he walked me to the bus after school. We made kites in art class, but I don't think mine flew very well.

Fourth grade was a time I felt I needed to carry way too many books, and I had an English teacher who seemed to understand that I was smart, but needed some organization. She gave me a nice leather bound schedule book. We did one project where we wrote our names in cursive, made a mirror image of it and then tried to make a picture out of the result. I ended up making a bed, since 'Sarah' is high on both ends and low in the middle. In art class, we got to dip candles, but the teacher had an odd system of penalties if you "double dipped", with cards and time-outs. He must have been bored. We also had to learn our multiplication tables, and once we could recite all ten of them by memory, we got to work on word problems in these color coded books that were like 20 pages each. I finished all of my tables the first day, and got through all of the books while the rest of the kids memorized their tables.

In fifth grade, the town changed many of the boundaries for each school and the size of my class swelled to around 200 kids, which meant we had 8 classes, split into two pods of four classes each. The kids in each pod would split between the four teachers for each subject, except Art/Music/PhyEd. We went to different rooms for those. My homeroom teacher was from New Zealand, and I remember her giving us a spelling test and saying the word "tropics", but I couldn't understand what word she was saying. When we were studying Ancient Greece, we had to do a class presentation, and I did a puppet show of Oedipus' story. I also became part of a cliche for the first time in fifth grade, which meant I had more than just one friend. There were a total of six of us, and I was the last to join. My membership in this cliche only lasted until the end of the school year. I think we were split up into different classes the next year. Fifth grade was also the year I thought it would be a good idea to repeatedly put valentine candy on the desk of the boy I had a crush on. I think I did it about 5 times and he never found out it was me.

Sixth grade was the same set up, with 8 classes in 2 pods. We found out the they were turning the school into a Junior High between our seventh and eight grade years. This meant we would go to the big high school for 7th, back to the elementary building (now a junior high) for 8th, and then back to the high school for ninth grade. Split from my friends of the previous year, and the first time at a different school from my sister who was only a year ahead of me, sixth grade was not a fun time for me socially. We had to do science projects, and I remember helping some of the other kids with their projects, but not doing very well on mine. I had a lime green notebook that I drew a logo for Guns N Roses when I was bored during class. This was 1988, so there was a Presidential Election to keep track of, and we had a whole class on public speaking where we had to do a Demonstration Speech and recite poem in front of the class. It was not fun. We got to write plays, and we actually performed four of the ones the kids wrote. I played both a bird and priest in one of them. During this year, I also met a boy that I would have huge crush on for the next two years. He went to my church, and he was in a program that I attended Saturdays for gifted kids. He went to school in a small town near mine, and played trombone in the school band. His school came to play with mine on Mondays, and he sat right in front of me, since I played the baritone.

Stay tuned for another post detailing my high school years. West Beverly High had nothing on me!

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