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The Early Years

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First Grade:
My innocent smile faded when I took in the vacant desk beside my own. I looked around at the boys in freshly pressed suits and polished shoes and girls in baby doll dresses and thick white tights as they met their desk buddies for the first time. Ms. Eisert began to speak, her German accent coating each word in honey, but my eyes continued to travel to the door, and the black and white clock above it, though I could not yet tell time.
When the little hand rested on the ten, we paraded down the hallway to join the rest of the students at the opening assembly. We took our seats in the front of the auditorium and I stared down at my feet dangling inches from the ground as someone spoke of “beginnings”. I glanced up just as a little girl, with a bob of jet black hair held back by a headband, cautiously made her way down the aisle and up to my teacher.
“Sorry, my bus was late” she said in a small voice.
…A line that was to become a classic.


Second Grade:

With cunning minds like ours, it was not obtaining the knowledge that our teacher was terrified of mice that was difficult, it was what to do with the knowledge that plagued us. But not for long because we soon formed a plan and Sam put it into motion on the morning of April first. He stashed a toy mouse inside the recorder case which sat in the top drawer of our teacher’s desk. Each one of us stifled the smile that would give us away when she asked us to retrieve our own recorders.

I looked up just in time to see the case hurtle towards the desk as our teacher fell back into her chair with a deafening scream. I joined my class as we erupted into fits of youthful giggles.

Third Grade:

The wooden bench outside the classroom creaked as I sat down upon it yet again. One could have said music wasn’t my best subject, but Mrs. Adams always told me I could sing. It was that paper with a black and white language I couldn’t decipher, that forced me to mimic the fingers of the classmate next to me. The only ones who seemed fluent were those who played piano- almost all of the class. My chatting- the reason for my exile- was simply a response to my own embarrassment.



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