Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Second grade was the year I really started to hate school. I am not sure why I am thinking about this today but there you have it. It could have been that my second grade teacher really did not like me. This was the truth. To be fair, I do not remember myself as a child but I imagine I was a hand full. Not only was I quick witted and sharp tongued but I also lived in a crazy house. I am willing to bet that the transition from being in charge of my house in to a setting where someone told me what and when to do things all day was not seamless.

It may have something to do with the second grade play in which I had a huge role. A role facilitated by another second grade teacher who discovered I could sing and became my champion that year. I used to wish that I was in her class and at least the play afforded me a large amount of time with her, until it was over. My role in that play would follow me for the rest of my schooling life. Even when I was graduating from high school people would still bring up that play. I did not learn until ninth grade that many of the girls in the second grade resented my part in said play. That information explained a lot about how the other girls in second grade behaved towards me.

This was also the year I got to go to Disneyland. I actually remember very little about it. My big sister, one from the United Way Big Brothers, Big Sisters program not a blood relative, was getting a divorce and we took the trip while her soon to be ex husband moved out of the house. Where I grew up you did not get divorced. You could live the most unhappy, unfulfilled, hollow life but you did not get divorced. This is actually one of the many things I love about my big sister. She could always be counted on to live her life according to her own design and naysayers be damned.

But when I think of second grade, one of the things that comes to memory first is learning to count in units. You know like by 5's, or 10's. I remember hours and days that then turned in to weeks of doing the same damn thing. We would be instructed to get out a piece of paper. Then we would fold the paper accordion style going across the width of the page making several long columns. Then we would be instructed to write out numbers using the boxes we had just created on our paper. I remember doing this so often and for so long I thought I would die of boredom.

Imagine my surprise then after this long and boring and tedious process of learning to count in units when my oldest daughter learned to count by 5's, 10's, 20's and even 100's without so much as a piece of paper or a single "lesson" on the subject.

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