While I wait for my gym clothes to dry, so I can go to BED, so I can get up tomorrow and start my wonderful frickin’ life All Over AGAIN ( I have some colleagues to whom I need to apologize for my tone during a phone conference today – I was overcome by righteous indignation at a potential violation of civil liberties – so sue me…) – well, I’m going to tell you about my very first day in Grade One.
When I was a little bitty Lynne, back in 1968, I started kindergarten. I was a Morning Kid. We had three classes, morning, mid-day and afternoon. Mrs. Lidstone taught all three, with her superhero sidekick, Miss Dinner. We went every day, for a few hours each day. It suited me just fine, I loved kindergarten a lot.
And then came Grade One.
We only had one car back in the day, poppets, and my dad used to take it to get to work out at Milford Bay Senior Public School, so my mum walked me to school the first day. Later on, my older brother walked me, because mum stayed home with Tim (he was such a baby back in ’69…). But that first day, mum took me.
I did not like Mrs. Ballantine in grade one. I had her again in grade five, and she remains to this day one of my very favourite teachers of all time, but in grade one – uh uh.
Recall that in kindergarten, back in the day, we were only there a couple of hours. We didn’t have recess.
So, after a stern, rigid, confusing morning, Mrs. Ballantine lined us up at the door, short to tall (so yay, I always got to leave LAST, unless it was alphabetically by surname, and then there was usually some kid with a W behind me) and told us we could go.
It would have been REALLY HELPFUL if she had told us we had to come BACK. Yup. When recess came, I went home. I walked. A mile. By myself. Maybe she did tell us, and I wasn’t listening. I don’t know. My parents had my hearing tested when I was little, but it turns out I had perfect hearing, but not such great listening.
Boy was mum surprised!
Fortunately, our neighbour, Mr. McFarlane, came home from his work at Fowler’s Construction for lunch every day, and my mum got him to drive me back to school. The Drive of SHAME. I was so goddamned embarrassed, I’m still squirming just thinking about it.
Fuck grade one.