Saturday, December 31, 2005

First Grade

In first grade, we were required to recite the Lord's Prayer every day. Some days, I had trouble remembering how it began. But then I hit upon a mnemonic device. A pretty girl who sat near me had a name that reminded me of the Lord's Prayer. Dolores my shepherd….
***
I was known as the Number Boy in first grade because I could count to 100. I was also, I suppose, advanced in writing. I once wrote something on my pad in front of me, and the teacher, Miss Horowitz, came over to look at it.

I thought she would be mad. But she was amused. She showed it to another teacher, Miss Salinger, and the two of them seemed pleased. I had written: "I am souperman." I had learned to spell "soup" and "man."
***
Miss Salinger was our substitute for the day--a pretty young woman. She told our class that she was going to marry Bernard Schneider--a charming boy in our class. He was about 6.
I raised my hand.
"Yes?
"You won't marry him! You'll be too old!" (I could be pretty rude then, too.)
She laughed uproariously--and told the other teachers what I had said.
I had no idea why she thought what I said was funny.

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