What can I say about the first grade? I'm one of those people who has the uncanny ability to remember each of the teachers that he's had throughout his life. So when I start listing my teachers in these consecutive blog posts, Mark's gonna make fun of me.
My teacher that year was Mrs. Atkinson. She was very sweet, and looking back now, I can see that she was also very manipulative. She knew just how to act and what to say to wrap her impressionable young students around her finger. I guess any good teacher should have that ability. I think it helps to prevent an uprising. Look at the average class size in your public schools. If those kids ever realized that they outnumbered their teachers 23 to 1, the coup would be inevitable. Could you imagine what it would be like if kids ran this country? That's an interesting thought. Maybe I'll explore that tomorrow.
Anyway, I was in a new school for the second year in a row. My days at East Salem were gone but not forgotten. Now I was matriculating with the class of 1998 by way of Raleigh Court Elementary. It was in Mrs. Atkinson's class that I met two very influential people in my life: Jessica Smith and Justin Walker.
I've mentioned Jessica in the blog before. She's pretty much the only person I've maintained contact with since high school. And she's absolutely the only person I've maintained a real friendship with since the age of six. Justin is the person who was my best childhood friend. But I don't really remember doing a whole lot with him until around the third grade. So we'll put off these friendship stories 'til later.
I got in trouble a lot as a first grader. Apparently, Atkinson had it in for me. She would send home long letters about how I was acting up in class. She would make up some kind of propaganda like I was sticking my tongue out at her or turning my desk upside-down. I have no recollection of any of these events.
Turns out I was bored in class. In first grade, I was apparently a super-genius. Or at least mildly "gifted" in certain areas of study. I would breeze through a great deal of the classwork and then act out in order to cope with my boredom. Thus it was decided that I would have extra work. Advanced work. SECOND GRADE WORK!
Way to go six-year-old me. You had the chance to be a slacker from day one and you blew it! What were you thinking? Extra work? It's called take a nap, chump! Twenty years will pass by and you'll be begging for those naps that you could have enjoyed so freely. I am ashamed of you six-year-old Aaron.