So many things happened during my years in elementary school. And yet, so much of it has been blurred in my mind or erased completely from my memory. However, I’ll never forget my first day of Kindergarten at Pine Crest Elementary School in Sanford, Florida. My mom held my nervous, little hand as she walked me down the hall to my classroom. There, we were greeted by my soon-to-be teacher, Mrs. Terwilliger (at least, I think that’s the spelling of it), a rather large, but caring woman. After that, Kindergarten is a tattered fabric of memory, my first elementary school doing things like Halloween Trick-Or-Treat on campus, fairs and festivals, Christmas pageants with the students, and several stage performances done for us, including the Nutcracker Suite. I believe my love for the performing arts originated from things like this, being able to watch and be a part of performances as a kid. I also remember I had a best friend in Kindergarten, Robert, who was in my grade, and I got mad at him one time because he was talking to the new guy, Cody, instead of me. I was pretty dramatic and sensitive back then (some things never change). Now, if you noticed, I said first elementary school a couple sentences ago. After 1st grade, my parents moved me and my brother to Goldsboro Elementary School. I remember being excited, because that meant I would get to ride the bus to school for the first time. After riding it though, I found it wasn’t the most glamorous of experiences. But Goldsboro is where most of my elementary school memories take place, so I forgive the bus. My second elementary school was probably one of the few elementary schools that had a second floor. I was excited by this too, seeing as my house was only one story and barely any of the houses in my neighborhood were two stories. I realize now that I was amazed by many things as a child. But not only was my elementary school large, but I’m pretty sure we had several opportunities and privileges that many kids at other elementary schools didn’t have. My school had a Kids Space Center sponsored by NASA, where we had launch and landing simulators, mock-ups of the lunar surface, an inflatable constellation dome, almost everything that kids love and dream about when they think about Space. But coming back to Earth, life outside of school was probably one of the more vivid parts of my memory. After school and on the weekends, my friends, cousins, and neighborhood kids would get together and play all sorts of sports in a field. Soccer, football, baseball, but the most popular of all of them was kickball. We’d play kickball for hours, kicking it on the roofs of peoples’ houses, into the path of moving cars, and it all added to the fun we had. Our favorite game to play, however, out of any game in the history of games we played, was man hunt. Man hunt is like a tag on steroids. We got into teams, one team would count, and the other would hide. And we’d play for hours into the evening, hiding in peoples’ backyards, the forest, anywhere that we deemed a worthy hiding spot. Now granted, I was a scrawny, little fellow, who was pretty much the geeky nerd, and probably the first to get caught every time, but I didn’t let that get me down. Anyway, back to school. I must say that so many things happened while I was in elementary school. I’ll never forget that day in September in the 2nd grade, coming home from school, and my mom telling me to turn on the TV. We had just visited New York and went to the top of the World Trade Center that past July, so for a kid of a mere 8 years old, it was hard for me to understand why someone would do that to what I thought at the time were, the coolest buildings in the world. I remember the moment of silence we had the day after, and our flag at school being at half-mast for the longest time. It wouldn’t be till I was older, however, till I actually understood what happened. And yet, so many more events of significance would pass while I was in elementary school. The Columbia disaster, George W. Bush winning his 1st and 2nd terms, the 2004 Hurricane Season where 4 hurricanes hit the state of Florida, all happened while I was in elementary school. And yet despite all that, the most significant moments of my life in elementary school weren’t the ones on TV or in the newspaper, but the moments I spent together with my friends, on field trips, playgrounds, lunch, in class, after school, all the little things. Its those moments I had with the people I cared about the most that will never leave me, even as a I sit here at 2am writing this chapter. Now I’m a senior in high school. I’m definitely taller than I was, heavier than I was, stronger than I was, more confident than I was back then. I’ve put aside the sports from that field in my neighborhood and picked up a talent in singing, acting, playing my trumpet, and enjoying the limelight of the stage. Life now is different, but at the same time, some things have never changed. I’ll always value the friendships I have now and the ones I had back in that little town of Sanford, Florida. Even though I went my own way, and there’s a good chance that the bond I had with them is thinning/no longer exists, I still have my memories of the times we had together to keep with me. Memories of a time when Pokemon and Yugioh were the best shows on TV and no one even knew what a cell phone was or how to use the internet, memories of a time when friends spoke to each other in person and not through Facebook and when kids actually played outside instead of being inside playing games about being outside. These days of elementary school were truly days I’ll always remember.
Elementary School Days
May 24, 2012