Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Face of a Clock

When I was in first grade, I got so bored, I memorized all of the little cut out crafts that were pined to the cork board plaque on the wall. The teacher had made them all, which never made sense to me. Why would a teacher take the time and the energy to cut out colorful flowers for the spring, Suns for the summer, and leaves for the fall (winter was the only time we students actually made the paper decorations, they were paper snowflakes, of course, but then we had to clean up the mess after we were done.)
Then there was the Alphabet that was taped to across the top of my desk, the capital letters right next to the little letters, and all of the vowels (Except Y and W)were red, the rest were in black type. Beneath the alphabet was out first name, spelt out by the teacher on the first day of class. This entire arrangement always confuse me...
I had learned the alphabet when I was about two (thank you Barney!) and how to spell and write my name long before I had ever set foot in a school room. (Actually that's a bit of a lie, Mama was going through college when I was a baby, and she used to take me with her to the classes.) The first time I set foot in a class room where I was the one who was supposed to be learning....(No, that's not true either, I don't think I was meant to learn anything in school and anything I did learn was probably an accident.) But that's all besides the point. Why were they taking all of this trouble to make sure that the alphabet and my name were right under my nose? And why didn't they make Y and W red too? Or maybe purple, since they don't always work as vowels. The whole thing just confused me, and it shook some of the foundation blocks of my reading and writing skills in the process.....so it was more of a hindrance than a help.
When the teacher was taping that table alphabet/name table tag to the desk, I told the teacher that I already knew the alphabet, and I knew how to spell my name. She said "that was very nice" but she was putting it down so that I would always know which desk was mine. I told her not to worry about it, I was sure that I could remember which one it was. Then she said it was for the other kids so that they would know that desk wasn't theirs. But this didn't make any sense either, because these kids had already been in school for a longer time than me, and I had just arrived from another state; wouldn't they know their own desk from another desk? Especially since their desk had their name written on it? I just said "Oh." and we moved on.

Another thing I remember about first grade is the face of the clock. Either I was looking at the clock as I waited for the other kids to stop talking so that the class would start; or when I was waiting for the kids to be quiet and get in a line so that we could go out to recess, or to go to another class, or to eat lunch; or when I was waiting for the "appropriate time" to go the bathroom.
In the class room, Cogsworth and I got along really well. He was as silent as I was, and his face was filled with disapproval as he looked at the screaming Rug Rats that were my classmates.....yes, he and I got a long really well.

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