Saturday, June 17, 2006

kindergarten

Kindergarten

Everyone wanted to sit next to Bernard Schneider—we kept pushing our chairs to be next to him—

The other k teacher was Miss Bear—she was ill and didn’t teach—we were told later that she died in her sleep of a heart attack—

Our main teacher, Miss Smith, was a giant—the first day I went to k, I wore a tricky pantsuit—and I worried that I couldn’t get it off when I had to go to the bathroom—she saw my look of pain and figured out what was wrong—and took me to the bathroom—

Something happened. I frightened some of my schoolmates. Miss Smith saw. She looked shocked. She misinterpreted. I couldn’t explain it to her. But she left me back in k because she felt I was immature. She told me she needed me to help the new students. To clean the blackboard, too. I told my mother. My mother was angry and said I had been left back. I was crushed.

In first grade, Mrs. Horowitz asked to see my mother. Oy vey!
But…later…despite my terror…my mother smiled at me. I was skipping. (When I was in a hospital, at age 3, I was also surprised that when my mother visited me, she seemed happy to see me.)

One day, Mrs. Horowitz called in the k teachers to see which students were skipping the 2a.They were Luanne (sometimes called Lucille) Battaglia and me. Miss Smith stared and stared at me.

Next: Adventures in the first grade.

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