Tuesday, July 31, 2018

The Flowery Journal My Sister Gave Me (Part 3)

So, here's more from my 1996 question/answer journal.

I first started school when I was 5 years old and went to John Muir Elementary School. 

The school still exists and has a website

I see that the school year begins on September 4. In Texas, it starts earlier—in August.  

But on balance, their year ends on June 11. Here, the year usually ends late May or the first few days of June.  

Now I'm looking at their policy for absences. I loved this school when I was a child, and I'm continuing to love it today.  What I usually see, when I look at schools, is very strict policies about kids missing school. The only excuses are illnesses and death in the immediate family.

In this Madison school district, they have pre-approved planned absences.  If the family gets permission beforehand, the school might approve absences due to family vacations, birthday!?, college visits, death outside of the immediate family, passport renewal....

When I was a student at John Muir, we took a trip to Disney World, and I vaguely remember that this was allowed by the school. I was asked to keep a journal of the trip as a way to keep up with my education. I've always thought it was really nice that the school allowed this. I love that the school still has this policy.  Now THAT is what I call having family values.  

Well, and not only does it help families spend time together. But it also helps popular tourist locations have a better balance of visitor rates throughout the year.  

Here's the latest issue of the school newspaper. 

On June 7, they had an alumni day. JMM seniors come back to visit. I'm not sure what JMM is. Maybe the middle school? 

John Muir has a community garden, and needs people to help with watering, weeding, and harvesting. That's quite lovely.

Well, I feel blessed that I spent my early childhood years at John Muir Elementary school. I wish we had stayed longer.  

What I've been told about my early school years-I was a quiet student.

See. Not all quiet, weird students become school shooters.  

Though, that being said. I didn't keep to myself. I wanted and had friends. But I'm sure there are also asocial kids who also don't end up being school shooters.  

Maybe it's not the quiet kid with friends who becomes a shooter; nor the asocial kid who doesn't want friends. Maybe it's the quiet, shy child who wants friends but can't find any strong, joyful connections.

Well, I think I've been THAT, as well, at times in my life.

How about the quiet, shy kid who wants friends but can't find any, AND who hates women (either secretly or openly)?

The first year of school I actually remember was Getting lost when Elizabeth didn't wait for me to go home. I had always followed her and didn't know the way by myself. Until that incident, no one realized I didn't know the way.

Oops. I answered that question wrong. They were asking what is the earliest year I remember. Instead I shared a specific memory. That particular memory was from kindergarten. I also remember a bit of preschool.  So, there's the correct answer to the journal question.

What I remember liking best-Probably recess. Silent reading.

I remember having fun on the tire swings. 

And what I liked least-Fractions, big projects.

Funny. I think even when I was a teacher, I didn't like big projects. Probably, it was mostly down to my own laziness.

But looking back to my school years, I remember a project where my dad did most of the work. He took control.  And I remember another project in which grades seemed quite dependent on how much your parents were willing to pay for materials.  

I'm sure, though, that big projects are sometimes very positive, helpful experiences. 

How I remember my primary school years-I remember liking it, but I don't remember much. I think 2nd and 3rd grade was my favorite. I think my favorite memory was playing on the tire swings at recess.

I swear. I didn't see that last bit before mentioning the tire swings above.

I guess tire swings were very important to me.  

I wonder if John Muir still has the tire swings.

How I remember feeling when I was at school-nervous, happy, stressed out

A variety of emotions. I'm sure that's normal...for most humans.

How I felt around other children-Scared, left out, happy sometimes.

I remember being happier in Madison. 

Maybe I'm looking back with rose-colored glasses.

Or maybe I was thinking about my later elementary school years (3rd-6th grade). In the middle of my 3rd grade year, we moved to St. Louis.  I was less happier there.

Teachers, activities, and event that left a lasting impression-Mrs. Skurah and Mr. Hagensen, the corn unit, Lien-Qui, 6th grade camp, Missouri project, dressing up as Eisenhower. Wait these are just memories. I think the whole experience impressed me.  

I'm wondering about my comprehension skills back in 1996. Did I not know there's a difference between leaving a lasting impression and being impressed?  I mean I guess those two things are somewhat connected, but...maybe not exactly.

I think if you can remember things in your life from 10-15 years ago...or more! Well, I'd say they definitely left an impression.

And now it's more than 30 years later, and I STILL remember those teachers, the corn unit, some of my friends, 6th grade camp, the Missouri project (this is the one that my dad helped me with) etc.

I have less memories of dressing up as Eisenhower, but it does seem vaguely familar.