July 5, 2011

Looking back

One of my most vivid memories of kindergarten is when I convinced another little girl (I won't say whom, but I do remember her full name) that I could write, and she had me write a message to her little brother on a coloring paper. When the teacher saw my scribbling (seriously, I thought I was writing!) she scolded me. I think she thought I was trying to ruin her paper, when really I only had the best of intentions! I was only 5!

In first grade I remember having to go to the bathroom SO very bad it hurt- and I raised my hand to tell the teacher but she wouldn't call on me. I remember raising my hand with tears coming down my face as I tried to hold it in, and I ended up having an accident right there in my seat, in my new gray outfit with balloons on it, so utterly humiliating. Of course then I was sent to the bathroom (finally!) and then to the office to wait for my mom to bring me clean clothes.

One of the only things I clearly remember about second grade was being called out to the hall, and my mom was there, and she told me that my Gram had passed away. At that time I think I was closer to Gram than any other person in the world. I won't ever forget that hallway, the cold, dingy white-tiled floor and fluorescent lights on the ceiling. I missed a whole week of school and a neighbor made me a homemade Cabbage Patch Doll to make me feel better.

Oh, I do remember one other thing about second grade- my teacher Mrs. Gaddis had a fun way to get rid of your hiccups- when you didn't expect it she would yell, "BOO!" really loud and scare them out of you, but really she only did it for a kid once and thereafter every kid mysteriously always had the hiccups and wanted her to do it to them.

In the third grade, we moved and I went to one school the first semester and started a new school the second semester. That was a very rough year for me. My only friend for a while was my teacher, Mr. Green. No one else liked him because he was very strict, but since I didn't know anyone, I was very good at only concentrating on my schoolwork and would rather stay inside during recess to do my work or help the teacher. I think that was the grade I saw the plus of becoming a teacher's pet and I fit into that roll pretty much every grade after that.

In fourth grade I won the spelling bee (in my class) and had a really cool teacher who would let us have reading time and we could sit on the floor or on a couch in our room. She read us Where The Red Fern Grows. I found a writing exercise from this grade: 

Hi. My name is Stephanie. I am eleven years old. I like to play the piano, sing, and act. I have one mom, one dad, two dogs, and one brother. When I grow up I want to be a singer or a secretary. But I really want to be an actress.

And from fifth grade, I found that I had big plans for the future-

The Year 2013
It's the year 2013. I'm living in a beautiful 4-story cabin in the Rocky Mountains. I married a brain surgeon who makes $64,000 a month. At the age of 23 I had twins: Rebecca & Kirstin. Every summer we visit my parents in Wyoming and my husband's parents in Washington. Our parents take us to Hawaii every spring break. We go the whole way by boat cruise. This summer we're moving to Hawaii because my husband is getting a better job for brain and cancer. Most surfers there hit their heads on surf boards and have brain damage. We already bought a 7-story mansion in Honolulu. I'm going to visit my friends Tanya & Erin in New York, New York when my husband works days.

By Stephanie, 5th grade, 1988.

originally published July 2006

Related: I can't believe I'm even saying this but I think we're sending Gray to all-day kindergarten this year! I wrote about it here- would love to hear how you do kindergarten.


  1. I LOVE reading the plans that you had for your future!!!
    I think your life is way better than the one that you planned way back when.

  2. what a busy husband you have! days in new york and nights in Hawaii, haha :)
    this was such a cute post.

  3. $64,000 a month? Nice catch!

  4. I remember the first time you posted this. I love it.

  5. Wow, with my oldest daughter starting kindergarten this September, this post seemed to really hit close to home today! I worry about her adjusting and having moments like not being called on to go to the bathroom...I hate hearing of these things happening to innocent little 5 year olds!

    That letter about your future was sure cute! I wonder if my mom has any of that stuff I wrote hiding somewhere!?

    And as for how we're doing kindergarten, well we only have one option: full day. They go from 8:30am-2:30pm. That's sure going to be an adjustment for us all! If we had a half day option, I'd consider doing that for sure, but like you mentioned the kiddo would be missing out on some stuff...hard choice!

  6. I think it totally depends on the child. I teach a 4 year old Pre-Kindergarten half day program. A lot of my students are ready to move on to full day Kindergarten, and some of them aren't. It's not always about age or even academic readiness. Some can handle the academics, but developmentally aren't ready to handle an all day classroom experience. To sum up: whatever you feel is best for YOUR child and YOUR family :)

  7. I love your plans for the future! You've always known you'd be a mommy!

    I feel so bad for your experience with the bathroom. I wish I could go back in time and give little Stephanie a hug. Did your mom or dad ever discuss that with the teacher?

    We have all day kindergarten in our district, but parents can pick up their kids at lunch if they want. My son is 2 months younger than Ivy and I can't think about him going to kindergarten yet!

  8. Haha! Your future plans were quite hectic! Thanks for sharing all of those wonderful memories.

  9. it sounds like 2013 is going to be your year!
    fantastic memories, seriously. there is something so magical about holding onto such specific moments from when we were kids. to be able to share them...

  10. Oh, LORD do we need a new bed. The first thing we bought when we got married was a new bed...we've been married 10 years this August. Oy.

  11. What a great post. You have such a vivid memory.

    Would you say that you had a positive experience in school overall?

    Also - I love your 5th grade aspirations. Isn't Noah in 5th grade (or am I totally wrong about that?). I wonder what he would write about his ideal future.


  12. Oh, I love reading the aspirations. I need to make sure I have my children write them and save them!

    Love the part about the surfers :)


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