Memories from the Playground

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What I wouldn’t give to have recess again! The fresh air, the fun slides, the time to spend searching for toads in the grass. Twenty-five minutes of playtime made the school day much more appealing and made it go by faster.

First grade.
I remember the tire swing that hung in a corner of the playground, all by its lonesome. I loved that tire swing. My friends and I took turns pushing eachother; spinning the tire swing as fast as it could go. But unfortunately, too many children threw up, so the school had to take the swing down.

Second grade.
I looked down at the ground from the top of the fireman’s pole. It was an awfully long way down. What if my skinny little arms couldn’t hold on? But a kind fifth grader helped me to not be afraid. She showed me how to slide down the fireman’s pole. And I did it. I was so proud of myself. Then, I couldn’t stop. For the rest of the year, all I did at recess was slide down the pole. When we got good at it, my friend and I did fancy tricks. We swung around the pole and pretended to be monkeys.

Third grade.
A favorite recess game of my third grade class was Cops and Robbers. Maybe you’ve played it. It is basically like tag, except there is more than one person who is “It”. The cops try to tag the robbers. We ran around tirelessly playing that game, every single day. My class ran all over the playground. Up the stairs, across the monkeys bars, through the swings, down the slides; always trying to avoid or tag someone.

Fourth grade.
This year, the big thing was kickball. My class divided into teams. I didn’t really like to play. I was not very good. I just followed the crowd. Occasionally, my friend would invite me to do gymnastics with her. We cart wheeled and somersaulted across the field, until a teacher yelled and told us to be careful or we’ll break our necks.

Fifth grade.
In fifth grade, all the girls pretended to be too grown up for the playground. No more slides or monkey bars. No more digging in the sandbox. Instead, we jumped rope. We made up rhymes to chant and used already-existing ones. We went on the swings, too. Swinging is mature, I guess. And being fifth graders, the oldest in the school, we thought we were pretty cool and brave, so we ran down the line of ten swings while people were swinging, dodging the bodies that could at any minute collide into us.

Sixth grade.
A sad year. No more recess. If we finished eating our lunch early, we could go outside and hang out on the pavement, weather permitting. Lame. That can’t compare to the playground.

And now I’m in high school, so of course there is not any form of recess whatsoever. I miss the jungle gym. I miss playing tag. I miss going down the slide, desperately hoping there was no rainwater at the bottom. I wish we could still get a break in the middle of the day to get fresh air and refuel our minds for more learning.





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flockm said...
Oct. 29, 2009 at 5:02 pm
I really enjoyed this because I agree with you, I am in middle school and I miss the playground everyone use to play on. Also, my favorite game was cops and robbers and i always played with my neighboors. As I read this I was picturing in my mind what fun me and my friends use to have so much fun on our school payground. But I do agree with comments under me, I do like how much freedom we get. Overall i really enjoyed this, hope to see more stories from you.
 
penguin35 replied...
Oct. 29, 2009 at 5:48 pm
Thank you :)
 
palumbie said...
Oct. 28, 2009 at 7:39 pm
I totally agree with your true personal short story. I have been in those footsteps, wanting to relive my childhood years playing on the playground running around like little hyper maniacs. Sometimes I wish to be there again, but other times I like having more freedom with my teachers and peers in middle school and hoping more in high school. I also adore acting wild and running around the small playground outside getting fresh air when I was younger. I picture your times in elementary school, h... (more »)
 
palumbie said...
Oct. 28, 2009 at 5:58 pm
I totally agree with this short true story. I have been in those footsteps wanting to relive my childhood years playing on the playground running around like little hyper maniacs. Sometimes i wish to be there again, but others I like having more freedom with my teachers and peers in middle school and hoping more in high school. I also love to act wild and run around the small playground outside getting fresh air. I think you have told a wonderful story that I can also relate too. I absolutely ho... (more »)
 
penguin35 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Oct. 28, 2009 at 6:38 pm
Thank you so much. I agree that freedom is great, but playing outside is fun too!
 
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