Tuesday, June 22, 2010


And, we still put breakfast in her hand walking out the door
Had to include both pics, as one was cuter of E and the other better of A

Today was E’s last day of school for the year. Given the snow situation, 2 extra days were tacked onto the end of the year. However, the powers that be did not add additional clean out/wrap up days for teachers, so the unofficial word on the street was please don’t bother coming to school these last two days. Teachers needed the time to clean out their classrooms, pack up their stuff, debrief, plan for next year, and just generally wrap up the school year.

We took her to school yesterday and she was the only child in her class. After school she told us she spent the day with the “babies” in their classroom – ie, the pre-school 3-year olds (or, kids possible 8 days younger than her, as the school cut off is September 30th!). She had fun, they really just played, which is really mostly all they do anyway.

This has been a long year, with a lot of ups and downs. Though not for Elizabeth – it’s been 10 months of mostly ups, so that’s good. It’s her parents who have fretted over the school, the school system, the discipline problems in her class, the other parents. Despite it all, she’s continued to thrive, loves her teacher, loves the teacher’s aide. She’s learned to write her long first name without any help, and can write her last name if given a few letter prompts. We’ve struggled with (too much) homework, terrible institutional school food, getting to school every day reasonably on time, and a myriad other things that make me dread the next 13 years. We’ve loved parent’s nights at school, school plays and performances, field trips (oops, that should be on the dreaded list), and making new friends. We’ve learned the lingo and the pitfalls and promises of the DC public school system.

And so it was a bittersweet walk to school this morning, just as it was 10 months ago when we first set off for school. But today, just E and I went to drop off cards and gifts for her teacher and classroom aide and then return home, so no uniform.

I couldn’t help wondering what E might remember from this year, and thinking about my own first year of school. I’m kind of known in my family for having a good memory, but my memory is for stories – I remember the stories, the specific events, and I remember them precisely. The rest of it – the general everyday-ness – is really just a blur. Elizabeth of course is a year younger than I was after my first year of school, but what will she remember?

I remember I had a teacher with a hard name to pronounce, Miss L, but I don’t remember anything else about her (she must have only taught a year or two in Pocomoke). I remember the classroom next door was taught by Mrs M, who was a little bit scary because she had a mustache. My friend Ryan was in Mrs M’s class (as was my brother two years later), and I remember being glad I had Miss L as in my memory she was younger and prettier, but I couldn’t tell you a thing else about her. I remember there was a rumor/story that Mrs M’s husband had been murdered, but I have zero idea if that was actually the case. I remember I had a huge crush on a boy I called brucestuffy, all one word. Bruce D grew up to be voted best looking in our class, and I think all the girls had a crush on him at one point or another. I remember my ‘boyfriend’ was Kevin P and we played together in class every day. I remember once I was handing out papers and he grabbed my arm and kissed my hand and everyone say “oooohhhhh!” and I was embarrassed. I don’t remember being friends with any of the girls. I remember once I had to sit in the corner and it was mortifying, but I don’t remember now why. I remember looking at a (mimeographed!) worksheet and recognizing that C-A-T spelled cat. I remember once that my mother and brother walked our dog – a big German shepherd named Sam - to school to pick me up. I remember being on the playground talking to Ryan and Kevin P. I have a vague feeling I halfway remember the classroom itself, but it’s more of a half impression in my mind. I have another vague impression of a cool dark hallway and a water fountain. And…that’s it. That’s what I remember from my first year.

I wonder what Elizabeth will remember from this, her first year of school.


Rachel et Natalie said...

looks like she loves her school, that's great.
I can't wait for Rachel and Natalie to start this fall.

Laurie said...

I love your list of memories. It'll be fun to hear hers one day.