Thursday, August 24, 2006


Flashback Thursday:

Elephant’s First Day of School

On my way to work this morning, I noticed the local elementary school, close to my house, was a-buzz with activity. It’s back to school time, although I don’t think DC schools open for another week or so. Anyway, it got me reminiscing about my first day of school more than 30 years ago.

The date was some time in early September, the year 1975. My family had just moved from the Detroit suburb of Livonia to the wonderful resort town of Charlevoix. I was decked out in the finest, matching garanimal’s outfit. Brightly colored plaid pants (red, green and yellow predominating) with a green turtleneck shirt. A turtleneck shirt might sound odd in these days of global warming, but back then the scientific consensus was we were headed toward another ice age (and apparently, my mom dressed me appropriately).

I was excited to join my older brother in the ritual of heading to school. It wasn’t like it was some exotic trip to a far away building; my family lived across the street from the elementary school. (This would be an odd trend; I’ve always lived close enough to school to walk. I have never, ever taken a bus to school in my life). So off I went, my metal 1-Adam Twelve lunchbox in hand (it may have been an Emergency 1 lunchbox). I think my focus that day was on fort building with those large cardboard blocks and more fort building as our elementary school playground included some woods.

It would turn out to be an exciting year. Some interesting things come to mind that definitely show it was a different time. First, shortly after school started we had a program called, “Send A Mouse to College” where we would save pennies for the American Cancer Society so they could buy mice to use for lab testing. (I kid you not…I have pictures!).

Another memory that stands out is when we got our first reading books and broke up into our reading groups. I think the book was called Signposts. The teacher handed them out just before Thanksgiving. I was psyched. Having had a slightly older brother, a mother who was a teacher and an affinity for Sesame Street, I had apparently learned to read well before kindergarten, so having the books was permission to read. I read them in their entirety as my family traveled (over the river and through the wood) to grandmother’s for Thanksgiving. Of course when I got back to school after the holiday I got in trouble in front of the whole class, for reading them.

The rest of that year was filled with more fort building, reading, art projects (I can still smell the paste!) and general fun. I still miss naptime on my carpet square.

You wouldn't happen to have a 'send a mouse to college' envelope lying around anywhere, would you? Even a pic of one would be great....waxing a bit nostalgic, I guess.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?