Welcome to the . . .
My exhibit this month is very much in line with the back-to-school nature of September: My Own School Experience.
I was one of those kids who, generally, liked school. Which doesn’t mean I didn’t also like school breaks and vacation times, because I certainly did. I just liked going to school, and for the most part (but not always) (looking at you, junior high. . . ), I had positive school experiences.
My mom always told me she’d been rather distraught when she dropped me off for my first day of first grade (we didn’t have kindergarten in my school). I had not even a hint of trepidation or tears. She said I just sat in my little desk and waved her out the door. I was very READY for school!
Here I am, age 6. Ready for some learnin’. . .
Right from the start, I thought school was okay. I liked being with a roomful of other kids my age. I liked having a desk of my own. I liked the structure of the classroom. I liked playing with the other kids at recess. I liked bringing my 2 pennies in every day for a miniature carton of milk (3 pennies could get me chocolate!). I liked the high-quality jump ropes and red rubber balls we could play with at recess. I loved the big maps that pulled down from the ceiling. And filmstrips. And a seemingly endless supply of “vanilla paper” we could use to draw on (I later learned it was called “manilla paper,” but it was always “vanilla” to me). I really liked getting stars on my papers. My favorite subject was reading. I especially liked being allowed to “work quietly at my desk” (on whatever I wanted!) when I finished my work early. I was very enthused about special things like classroom parties and the Fun Fair, Scholastic book orders and the holiday concerts.
But there were also things I didn’t like so much about school. I didn’t like having to raise my hand to talk (I’ve always been a “blurter”. . . ). I didn’t like having to line up, single file all the time. I hated going to the bathroom as a group. I thought it was very weird that all my teachers called our coats . . . “wraps.” (And they all did.) I didn’t like “round robin” reading aloud (actually, what I didn’t like was hearing other kids read aloud). I didn’t like it when art teachers told us to draw certain things in certain ways. I didn’t like dodge ball. I didn’t like feeling like I needed to behave in certain ways to be liked by my teachers and my classmates (school “taught” me to tone myself down, and to use “filters”).
In my elementary days, I was lucky to have had kind, patient, inspiring teachers. They provided a firm foundation for a lifetime of learning — and helped me deal with the not-so-kind, not-so-patient, and uninspiring teachers that were to come along later on. (Because, of course, they did come along later on.)
Ultimately, after much learning . . . through rather painful junior high years and much better high school years, I emerged on the other side . . . ready to press on to college and “life,” understanding more about who I was and how I wanted to BE in the world. (But, ultimately, surprised by how much more there was to learn.)
My high school senior picture, 1977.
So my own school experience was generally postive. I was a good student. I tended to play by the rules (which I mostly hated). I had some fun and good times, with a few struggles (mostly of the junior high variety) mixed in. But when it was time to graduate, I was more than ready for the independence of college (no more lining up! no more asking permission to go to the bathroom! no more dodgeball!), and get on with the rest of my life.
How about YOU? What was your school experience like?
Thanks for visiting the Museum of Me. Watch for new exhibits . . . on the 2nd Friday of each month. (For now, that link will still send you back over to Stepping Away From the Edge. Eventually, I’ll be relocating the entire Museum of Me here to the new blog, but I haven’t managed that yet.)
If you’re a blogger and you’d like to create a Museum of Me along with me on your own blog, let me know. I’ll send you my “exhibit schedule” (a list of monthly prompts) and we can tell our stories together.
Also . . . Just a reminder to RSVP for the next Read With Us book discussion on Zoom. See all the details here.