Back To School – Day 1 and 2: Join Something Back to School Blog Challenge

As some of you may be aware, I and a friend started a website called JoinSomething.net and the purpose for it is to share with other bloggers, events and challenges. As part of the process of testing things out, I created a challenge called the “Back to School Blog Challenge” that runs for a week starting September first.

Well, as you may be noticing now, it’s the second of September, and I’m only just now getting around to posting. Thanks to Mark the Griller of Beef for posting on time, and keeping me honest!

I was never much for school, back when I had the opportunity to go. I did start enjoying it sometime in my last year of college, when it became evident that Mechanical Engineering was absolutely no fun. I found myself enjoying the English class they made me take. Unfortunately I was failing the “important” classes, as they were outlined by the Mechanical Engineering curriculum. Wentworth Institute of Technology and I came to a mutual agreement that I would stop coming to school all together. Frankly, it wasn’t much of a jump from what I was doing anyway.

When I was younger though, I had little choice but to go to school.

I figure for this challenge, I will start with memories of early school, and end with some of the latter memories.

I remember a lot of my early school years… So sit tight, and bear with me. (I’m also posting two days worth of info, so hang onto your hat.

I remember my very early days of school, pre-kindergarten. I went to the William H. Lincoln Primary school. It was a pre-K through 3rd grade. I remember going later in the morning, class started at 11:15 am. I remember waiting in my mother’s room, watching tv. The TV was a big ‘ol tube. I believe it was color, with one of those little round stem-like buttons, that when you push during “Nova” or the “McNeil Lehrer News Hour” or the “McLaughlin Group”, the TV turns off and your father gets angry at you.

I also remember trying to sneak into my parent’s room and raid my father’s personal stash of Nutter Butters. Not the ones that are shaped like peanuts though… so perhaps they weren’t proper nutter butters… But they were fantastic. They’re kind of difficult to describe. They were like, sheets of cookie with bumps about the size of a match box, which were filled with peanut butter… That’s about as good a description as I’m likely to give. If you can’t picture it, just pretend they were mostly fantastic, with over-tones of awesome.

Pre-K was a pretty great time. I don’t recall doing anything all that organized, like learning the alphabet or anything. I don’t remember any sort of schedule structure or anything… Though I do remember there were different parts of the class room that had different toys.

You know, now that I think on it, there were badges of a sort, that we’d wear that corresponded to the different sections. The yellow plastic circles on a string were for the record player. The red ones were for the blocks area, so that there weren’t too many kids in one area. Wouldn’t want us developing a mob mentality after all. Divide and conquer…

I remember that I once left my badge in the blocks area while I was sitting at the record player, where we’d listen to “We Are the World” (over and over and over and over). I got up, and ran back to the blocks area. When I got there, I shouted “Hey!” and towers of blocks fell! I though I’d yelled so loud I knocked them over, but realized a few years later, that I’d just scared Jimmy and Dana who were building them, and they startled and knocked them over.

I also remember that I had a sneaker, and the sole was peeling off. My teacher whose name I DO remember but cannot spell, used rubber cement to glue it back on. There had been an air pocket, and when she pushed the sole back on, a huge bubble formed and popped. “Did you just see what I saw?” she said. I remember being amazed that people actually said that. I’d only heard it on cartoons until that point.

I remember once leaving school once with my mother. As we walked by the window to my class room, she pointed out a blue door. “That door goes to your room,” she said. I was shocked. “So if we went through that door, we’d come out in my room??” I asked. “Yep!”

My four-year old mind played scenes in my head of going through the door, and showing up in the middle of my toy-strewn room at home. Why would the school have a magic door that went to my bedroom? And why didn’t we use it?! Why did we have to walk all the way, if we could just use the door!?! Parents didn’t make sense.

I remember sitting on the rug with all the other kids, thinking about how my father and I had gone to the science museum a few weeks before. I’d talked to my father the night before about it, and he told me it was four weeks ago. “Guess where I went four weeks ago!?” I blurted. “Does it have to do with what I’m talking about?” my teacher asked. How the hell would I know, I wasn’t listening… Probably not, I’d decided. “No.” I said. I’m sure I was told to keep it to myself or something, I’d stopped listening again.

Even at that age, I wasn’t much for running around. My friends would all play tag, and I hated it. I could not run fast, so I was ALWAYS “it”. I spent a lot of time sitting on this stone wall under a gigantic tree, watching the other kids play frisbee. Little did they know though, I was playing too. The frisbee came right to me, I jumped up like a ninja and grabbed it, and hurled it back down at the other kids at the foot of the hill. They scrambled to get it, cause I’d thrown it way over their heads. I’m sure they didn’t give a att’s rass, but I thought I was awesome.

I remember my last day of Pre-K. The teachers brought in a bunch of ingredients, and we made sandwiches. I remember picking through the ingredients… Makes my stomach rumble just thinking about cold cuts that were picked over by other snot-covered filthy fingers. Mmm. I remember I caught a whiff of something that I thought was the grated mozzarella cheese. However, several years later I smelled it again. And again years later still. As it turns out, it was a perfume that someone (likely either the teacher or the aide) had been wearing, but to this day when I smell it, I see grated cheese on a platter.

I remember learning things about the other kids that would never leave me. Like, how one kid would pick his nose and eat it. He’s a successful doctor these days, but man, what a disgusting little kid…

One kid could draw like nobody’s business. He was also an all-start sports player throughout his whole life. Hockey, Basketball, Baseball, etc. chicks always dug him. I always thought he was super-human. I thought for sure he’d do something like that professionally. Turns out he’s just an average joe like the rest of us after all.

Most of the folks I went to school with at this time are on Facebook. I’ve checked in with them, but only actually keep in contact with one or two. It’s funny to see how different, yet the same they are.

As I type, I realize that my first two posts actually go together pretty well anyway, because my Pre-K and my K were in the same room, with the same teachers, and the same students… Was pretty much like 2 years of the same stuff. I DO remember coming back and being happy that nothing had changed.

What do you remember about your first years of school?

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3 thoughts on “Back To School – Day 1 and 2: Join Something Back to School Blog Challenge

  1. Odd how certain smells stay with you forever, even though we may have totally associated them with something other than their actual smell.

    (What I’m about to say doesn’t have to do with school, but it’s entertaining! I hope that would be good enough for the teacher who wouldn’t let you tell where you went four weeks ago…)

    I had my first real kiss with a girl, and I smelled a particular odor. I associated that odor with that girl and with kissing in general. I thought it was a perfume she was wearing. I smelled it a couple more times when we kissed. We broke up. A few months later, I smelled it again when nobody but myself was around. It puzzled me. Then I discovered it had been the smell of my own deodorant mixed with my own sweat. I hadn’t worn that same deodorant since breaking up with her; that’s why I hadn’t know.

    Yes, I’m a dope. But I turn myself on!

    • Hah! That is a great story. 🙂

      It actually makes me think about a bunch of other memories I have tied to scent… In fact, I think I smell another blog post.

  2. You and I go way back Matt and actually have a lot in common. I will talk to you more about this on facebook. But I met you in first grade. I never had a problem with you. I thought you were funny. I liked you. Still do. I loved your mom too. Best Lunch Lady EVER! lol.

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