November 19th, 2010

147 - 1st grade

I have a strong memory of the classroom at Longfellow and could probably find it today, if that part of the building is still standing. Same with the other years, I think. Miss Larsen was to me getting on in years, though she lived so long that I doubt she was anywhere near what I imagined her to be. Not young like Miss Davis, for sure. For many years I remembered the astonishing moment when Miss Larsen (Jesse Larsen) slipped and fell down hard on her bum. It was something a kid notices. Except, you know what? Now I can't remember the sight of her falling; I just remember that I remembered the sight for many years. I do remember the day we were doing reading in a half circle, reading Dick and Jane. We had vocabulary words, and the word that day was "Guess." I vividly recall thinking that it was a pretty strange word and that the spelling didn't give you a clue to its pronunciation. I also remember on another day making the decision that I needed to pick a favorite number. I looked up to the frieze of letters and numbers high on the walls and decided that 5 was going to be my favorite number (5 being my birthday day) and that 4 would be my second favorite. I also decided that 3 would be my least favorite number.

Know what? To this day I am still sensitive to that decision and act on it, though I have largely forgiven 3, as time passes.