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Back to the World of Elementary School This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


     As I watch them onthe playground, my mind wanders back to when I was a fourth-grader and sure that I knew everything. Iwatch them run around, laughing and smiling without a care in the world, other than who is "it"and what might be for dinner. They have yet to worry about dances, dates, sleep deprivation and coacheswho believe your worth is only in your ability to handle a ball.

It's been a long day at school,followed by soccer practice. My body aches and I still have hours of homework, yet I'm here at anelementary school with nine-year-old Cub Scouts. At first I sit on the side and watch them, making sure noone gets hurt, but too tired to join in the games. I think back to the day I fell off the monkey bars, when theart teacher made fun of my painting and the time I failed that big test and my parents grounded me. Maybefourth grade wasn't all fun and games, but there were a lot of good parts.

I hear high-pitchedvoices yelling; I look over and it's nothing. I head over and sit on a bench next to a five-year-old who seemslonely and like he could use some attention. His boldness astounds me. I am double his size andtriple his age, but he speaks to me as if I was in kindergarten with him. I can't help but smile when he asksme about Star Wars and ideas he has.

Now it's time for the Cub Scouts. Their energy is contagiousand I join in, but all they want to do is wrestle me. Who am I to say no? I come out with a few grass stains,but victorious. The meeting's over. I take the kids back to their parents and make sure everyone is takencare of. After getting a couple of jackets and a hat left on the playground, everyone is on their way. I get onmy bike and ride home, wondering what I will learn next week from my little brother and his friends, as Ireturn to the world of teenagers. It's afternoons like these that make me realize how wonderful childhoodis, and I am fortunate to have a weekly reminder of what the world of an elementary-schooler islike.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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