While I am in the cheesy photo mood, let us take a look at my elementary school class photos. K-6. We will alternate left-right-left-etc. from Kindergarten to the 6th grade.
Kindergarten was loads of fun. Lots of finger painting, playing house, and workbook activities to develop our reading skills. I went in the afternoon and so rode the bus home with a lot of older kids. My teacher was Ms. Converse (the one of the right—the two older women on the left are probably dead by now). I knew what style was back then. And still do!
First grade with Mrs. Nelson. I had a lot of the same people in my class as in kindergarten, but a smaller class. A couple times a week I had to go to speech therapy, because my front teeth were growing in (after I knocked them out when I was 4); I had to cross the gymnasium, get Alan Seid (from a 2nd grade class), and we would go together. I fondly remember addition and substraction speed quizzes, as well as working my way as quickly as possible through the various reading levels. Admittedly I used Janica Nicholson and other people who got good grades as inspiration—I did not want to fall behind, so I had to be first. I look like a deer caught in headlights.
Contrary to what the photo claims, Mrs. Dingwall was not my 2nd grade teacher. Mrs. Dodd—my “real” teacher—fell and broke a hip; Mrs. Dingwall substituted for the rest of the year. She made us dance; I tried to get out of it by claiming that due to my asthma I could not participate in such vigorous activity. She did not buy it. This year Joshua Scott dared me to call Mrs. Dodd a bitch, so I did; I did not know at the time what the word meant. My mom had to come in for a conference with my teacher. Oops. This was a mixed 1st and 2nd grade class for advanced students; there was also a small mixed 3rd and 4th grade section.
Mrs. Ford (now dead) was my 3rd grade teacher. By the way: Stacy King qualifies as one of the only people in my life whom I have really disliked. There, I have said it—I feel better now. She had transferred in from somewhere else, and because she already knew how to write in cursive she qualified as competition. On top of that, because she had transferred both her behavior toward us (establishing an air of superiority) and ours toward her was probably just part and parcel of some animalistic territory marking ritual. This year marked my flirting with capitalism and entrepreneurship; cratch-and-sniff stickers were the currency and in exchange I sold various pieces of origami. Eventually government regulators (my teacher) shut me down, but not before I had expanded and hired an employee (Jason Walker) to help meet the growing demand. Katie Jolly also got upset with me and tipped my desk over (while I was sitting at it) ... she got in trouble ... we remained enemies of sorts for many more years, which was sort of a shame.
Fourth grade (with Mrs. Harris) was probably my favorite year in elementary school. They finally put me in G/T, and I just had an all-around-good-time. In the spring we had a giant breakfast/brunch at school, during which we made pancakes (I ate a lot!) sausages and all sorts of other things. This was the year that I began playing soccer; during the winter I slipped during a game, fell, and hit my head on a rock, necessitating a trip to the nurse’s office. Scott Komiske was my best friend, but he soon moved away. A new kid, Mike, moved in down the road on Locust Grove, and I spent time at his place, as well. I also won first place at a cake baking contest—alas, the 2nd and 3rd place prizes (radios) were, in my opinion, better than the 1st place prize (wrist watch with a wide velcro band).
Ms Reynolds, despite her reputation, was actually a rather nice teacher. This was probably my largest class in elementary school due to the redrawing of the school boundaries that had taken place that summer or so. We ended up getting a lot of kids from Ustick for some reason. One, Michelle Schlofman, I had met that summer on swim team. Cami Carley had a massive birthday party at school. Monika Stransky had emigrated from Czechoslovakia, but I never got to know her that well. This was the year that social divisions really began to creep in; a rural-suburban split became more apparent.
And finally, the 6th grade, Mrs. Aleksich’s class. As usual, I look like a dork, but that is okay—I have grown to accept that I will always look like a dork in pictures. Overall, it was a good year, except for that history paper, disclosing Phil’s crush on Janica, and Dayn’s head. Although I had been using computers since the third grade (via a TRS-80 on a cart that was rolled from class to class) and in GT in particular, this was the first year that computers were available to the school as a whole. About 25 IBM PC Jr. machines were donated to the school (Oregon Trail!), and 4 old 8-bit BASIC-running machines were located in my 6th grade class.