Life: First Grade Started it all

Posted: December 12, 2015 in Uncategorized

First grade was a foreign land, to be sure. It introduced me to a limited and unsheltered climate of beings.

One desk behind me, a classmate assembled one of those spider toys, although it was much scarier than the one in the picture. I remember, I was immersed in drawing a house with crayon-blue smoke floating from its chimney. I turned around and saw a spider toy staring into my eyes and it looked worse than the real thing–hideous. I screamed and somehow the assembled pretend-plastic-spider skyrocketed throughout the room–disassembled within other students’ hair. No punishment was issued for the male student of seven.

Second grade, I have discussed the wet drawers flying on the flagpole, so will not repeat.  I did get two spankings during the duration of this particular grade for talking in the rest room. I’m referring to a “pull up the hem of your dress and watch the bruise appear” type of paddling. A wooden paddle was a normal thing since first grade.

Upon further reflection, I think it was a shock to be in a confined environment since I was raised in the hills. I didn’t understand why kids were not allowed to speak in the lunchroom line and therefore; I opened my mouth and spoke. Result was the usual paddling which I easily racked up several through third grade. It was a different world, one that I didn’t adjust very well to; nor did I understand.

Fast forward to sixth grade and it was end-of-elementary-school picnic at a public park not far from a nice creek. I proved then that I was still in the hills of curiosity and not fitting in when I talked three other classmates into exploring the creek. Mind you, the teacher had specifically forbid leaving the park area.

I was used to creeks and my classmates were not, so there again–I paid the price which had evolved into a somewhat civilized manner of punishment other than paddling; except, I didn’t get away with anything. Return to the classroom and the teacher instructed me to stand outside the patio–alone for about an hour, in silence. This was far worse to me than paddlings I had wracked up during the duration of earlier grades.

I was a bad influence on the other students, or so I was told by the principal of the school, on several occasions. But in my world my actions and reactions had been and were perfectly normal. It was a regular thing to talk out of order, without permission when you wanted.

Even revival meetings, where just about the whole congregation spoke at once, sometimes in tongues of the Holy Ghost that a child could not understand, was often witnessed and experienced. There was no confinement, no spider toys, and no paddlings in the hills; freedom reined, so I didn’t bide my time too well in elementary school. First grade started it all like opening a can of worms.

wyn sharp 12 December 2015

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