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The First Day Back
“Ouch!” I shouted as I stumbled up the concrete stairs
with my giant purple cast and crutches.
“Here, I’ll help you, honey!” Mrs. Kelly’s student teacher, Ms. Nomikutis, said politely while she helped me up the stairs and helped me find my new locker outside of Mrs. Kelly’s classroom in Main Street School.
I was happy someone wanted to help.
It was my first day back. It was a sunny day with crisp fall air and the smell of harvest filled it. Our flat, Shelbyville lands were covered with combines cutting corn and beans. I had been home schooled by my sister that is a teacher for the last two months because I had to be in a wheel chair due to my broken leg. My doctor had finally approved my going back to school. This was my first official day in third grade.
About thirty minutes after I got to school, I noticed my sore, tired left leg as I hobbled down the stairs to work in the mock election for president. It was between George W. Bush and John Kerry. A sea of red, white, and blue filled the hallway. I had agreed to help collect ballets. Tons of children were sliding their slips into the big box. Cool!
I heard tons of conversation, “He’s going to stop the war in the Middle East,” one girl said.
I know who I’m voting for.
“Thanks for voting!” I said while collecting votes from many first, second, and third graders.
They politely smiled and said thank you.
Almost an hour later, it was finally recess, but we were inside because the somewhat sunny day had suddenly turned into a rainy one. I had to go to the restroom badly.
“Can I bring someone with me to open the big wooden door?” I asked the recess aide thinking of maneuvering the heavy, brown wooden door with a massive cast and crutches.
“No! You’ll be fine! I know I just saw you walking in the classroom a minute ago,” she snapped in my face, scaring me to death, with her bright red lips wearing Tender Heart lipstick, she was full of meanness and sure didn’t have a tender heart.
I have a giant cast. How could I have been walking a minute ago? She is so mean!
As I tried to open the giant door, I almost fell over. A nine year old girl, a gigantic cast, crutches, and an enormous door don’t usually create a happy ending. A teacher finally saw the trouble I was having and she came and helped me. I was grateful.
One tedious hour later, after lunch, everyone made their way to their seats. Beep, Beep, Beep! A loud buzzing of bells and sirens broke out suddenly. Bam! A room full of quiet third graders suddenly turned into a chaotic room of petrified third graders.
“Is this a drill?” our student teacher asked our teacher.
“There isn’t one scheduled for today,” Mrs. Kelly replied with a worried, frowning face.
We all lined up frantically. Students reacted by a list of things: crying, screaming, and thoughts were running through their heads.
Is our school on fire? Are we going to die?
As we made our way in our size two Nike tennis shoes to the vivid red, unsteady fire escape, I began to think.
Will I be able to make it down this thing without tripping and will I even make it down in time?
I was worried sick. My stomach began to churn. I was afraid I was about to lose my lunch. I secretly popped a peppermint into my mouth, which partially calmed my nerves. I realized how sore my throbbing stiff leg was in my enormous cast. The pain was excruciating. I felt like a tester animal that was getting pins and needles poked into them.
As I started maneuvering my way down, Ms. Nomikutis, the sweet teacher she was, again began helping me. I was thankful for her.
Only moments later, we met our destination- the blacktop. I was so glad to finally be down here. At once, I heard teachers blabbering.
“I’m so sorry Rachel,” Mrs. Kelly began, “I didn’t get the memo about the drill. I wouldn’t have made you come all the way down here for nothing.”
The giant lump in my throat had disappeared but now I felt a rage of anger.
Our school is okay. Don’t get mad. You should be happy. And a bonus: I didn’t even fall down the fire escape.
Minutes later, after we sauntered back up stairs, our third grade class sat attentively, and listened to Ms. Nomikutis with her dark hair, eyes, and skin read a brightly colored book called How to Make a Rainbow.
“Boys and Girls, that’s how you make a rainbow.”
My mind was trailing off. Wow. I was tired, but boy was I relieved that our school was okay. I had already spent two months at home away from school.
Experiencing this was important to me because even though my purple, heavy short casted leg was sore, I was happy that our bright red, brick school was okay.