Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Time Machine Memory Tour-6th Grade

Sixth Grade Memories:

-This year, I started school in a new wardrobe, sewn by Mrs. Gabbert (our upstairs renter). I was so proud of those clothes! But, there was one outfit I didn't exactly like. It was a Mother/Daughter outfit that matched something my mother would wear. It made me feel like I was six rather than in sixth grade. We wore these outfits to my cousin Keith's first wedding, and I was so embarrassed, because there, of all places, I wanted to look "cool." I'm sorry, Mom, if I acted out in any way, it must have hurt your feelings. But, knowing me, I probably kept my opinions to myself, and just did the submissive daughter thing. Mom-do you remember? (I didn't learn to express my opinion until much later, and it still would not have been anything rebellious, just opinionated).

-A girl named Tina was cheating by looking at my tests, and I didn't like it. So I talked to my teacher-Ms. White, and there was only one way to catch her in the act. The teacher had me write all the wrong answers, as a decoy, to see if Tina would fall for it. She did, and then the teacher dealt with the matter. I hated being in the middle of it-always wanting everyone to like me, but I felt violated for someone to rob me of MY intellectual work. Tina was also the first girl I knew to start her monthly cycle. She made sure everyone knew about it, with her little zippered bag containing the "equipment" and the special permissions to leave the room to tend to her feminine hygiene needs. I'm sure others had already entered womanhood, but were just more subtle about it!

-I had my first official boyfriend-Billy Wallace. He was running for Student Council office, and I helped him get votes by making posters and name badges. He treated me nice, and I felt desirable. It was a good boost to my low self-esteem. Billy was nothing like his brother, who was known to be what now would be called a "player." One time I road the bus home with some girls who lived in the same subdivision as Billy, and I remember him singing the song "rag mop." Oh how free we felt-the best bus ride after school I ever experienced!

-Sandra Reid and I had fun making a display for a speech. It was a proposed doggy bath, similar to a car wash. We made it in different stages, each room doing a different duty. One part was a powdering, and we blew powder into the room onto the dog via a straw. I'll never forget Sandra accidentally inhaling rather than exhaling. The outcome could have been much worse, but as it was, the experiment was short-lived!

-This was the first year I recall leaving the classroom to attend classes with other teachers. Mrs. Wright was my English teacher. I'll never forget having a dispute with her regarding serial commas. These are commas placed to separate a list of words. The last word has "and" in front of it, and she said we do not place a comma before the "and." I said we did. Well, it turns out we were both right (she would never acknowledge this!). AP Style says no comma, but the Chicago Manual of Style allows for the serial comma before an "and." Now, I'm not as dogmatic, and try to make commas work only when I would naturally pause in my speech.

-Another teacher was Mrs. Hampton, my Science teacher. I remember researching and writing about the LASER, a new technology. But, the best part about her class was when the bell rang for the end of the school day, and her son, Kevin Hampton would be there-he was so SUAVE-and was 3 years older than me, a Freshman in high school. Later on, when *I* was a Freshman, this same Kevin asked me out for my first official date. We'll talk about that later.

A couple of late flashbacks:

-I forgot to mention that in fifth grade was when my mom first told me the facts of life. Prior to the "talk" I overheard Evelyn Rubemeyer telling Mom that she needed to tell me SOON because I was already developing. Mom ordered some booklets from Kotex, and sat down and asked me to read the books and come to her if I had any questions. I don't think I asked her anything-it was all sort of hush-hush back then. Funny thing was, Evelyn didn't tell her that she had already told me what I needed to know. Most girls do learn these things from a friend first-Evelyn was the older sister of my friend, and also a neighbor of ours.

-Also, I just remembered something that happened in primary school. I was in a musical as one of the main characters, and the teacher told me to quit using the wobble in my voice, because it made me sound too grown-up. She wanted me to sound cute. So, for years, I covered up my vibrato, and it wasn't until junior high before I brought it back. Funny the mistakes teachers make-just because they don't know better.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I can remember going to Keith's wedding at the little church in the country, but have no recollection of what we wore, matching or not. He would have been about 20 years old that year since he was still in college.