Another First Day

Every day is a first day of something, I suppose.  But some first days are more stressful than others, especially when you are eleven.

Tomorrow is the first day of school, and we are starting at a new school.  Andra is starting the sixth grade.  I started a new school in a new city in the sixth grade and I still remember the day vividly.  My Mom dropped me off, and no one had told Mr. Jones, my cool, balding teacher, that I would be there.  There was no apple with my name on it over my desk, and he was kind, but clearly frazzled about me being there.  That made two of us.  I had done my back to school shopping with my Grandma Ellen in Oklahoma, and we have bought things that were cool there, or in Montana at my old school, or more likely, in my imagination, because the first day, I wore a pair of straight leg pants with satin patches on the back pockets with a cracking egg, and a Mork and Mindy emblem.  Straight leg pants were NOT in style in Seattle, and Mork and Mindy weren’t either, surprisingly enough.

That day was hard.  I don’t remember if I ate lunch with someone, or if I got lost or if I rode the bus home.  I do remember that sixth grade year turned out to be one of the best years I had in school.  Mr Jones was a fantastic teacher, and treated me with grown up respect, and with grown up expectations.  He was hard on me when appropriate.  I screwed up a few times, and he called me on it.  He made sure I knew that my bad decisions were less than he expected from me. I am eternally grateful that he taught me that when you do dumb things, you get caught. 

I made friends, in spite of the pants, and I learned that even if they weren’t in style, my clothes fit me just fine and were better suited to my body type than what they were wearing.  Sixth grade was my worst school picture because I was trying to dress like Tracy, that girl with the beautiful brown feathered hair who could pull off a turtleneck with anything and always looked cool.  She told me she always wore a turtleneck for school pictures.  She neglected to mention that she wore it with another shirt, and so I showed up in just a turtleneck, with no bra and my self conscious pre-pubescent chest and it wasn’t me.  I should have stuck with the cool black and white button down shirt Grandma bought me.  Maybe even over the Mork and Mindy pants.

I understood algebra that year, and still remember the day I learned to solve for x by myself.  I taught handicapped kids to swim at the school next to our school, two days a week, and developed a compassion that was critical heading in to junior high.  Those girls?  The ones that hung out with Tracy? They were really nice girls.  They were funny, and smart, and I still can picture their faces – Sophie, and Tracy and the other Tracy.  I still have the Christmas ornament I got from my secret Santa, Brian.  It is a little felt mouse, and he gave it to me with one of those huge peppermint sticks you can’t really eat but people still give you anyway.

What I hope for Andra, is that even if tomorrow is hard, that she leaves the sixth grade with a memory bank that rivals mine.  She has a male teacher, like I did.  She will be wearing straight leg jeans, too (sans Mork & Mindy).  It’s a good start and gives me hope for her this year. 

Now we just have to get through tomorrow. 

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5 Responses to Another First Day

  1. Advent says:

    Excellent article!

  2. vyatka says:

    When it was summer come?

  3. zhilayazona says:

    Excellent article!

  4. zhilayazona says:

    Excellent article!

  5. Aesthetics says:

    Do not quite understand, do you transfer your texts

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