Thursday, August 18, 2005

Don't eat the crayons

So today was my first day of school, again. I have now officially begun my 19th (consecutive)school year. Wow! Granted I only have 2 classes and 1 seminar, but still, EIGHTEEN YEARS of school behind me...and the light at the end of the tunnel is only 1.5 years away (Dec 2006)!
Do other graduate students (or just college students in general) think about that too? I mean, come on, I have been in school since I was FIVE! Yeah, it is definitely time for a break. It's a good thing I decided to continue to grad school now, because I think that if I had entered the workforce...and started my family...I probably would NOT have gone back to school.
I feel so much more confident in myself--and I have been here so long--that I don't really have first-day nervousness. I know which building I need to be in. I know where the classrooms are (or how to find them easily). I know what to expect from the teacher (my name is ___. you can call me __. this is the syllabus. this is my e-mail. these are my office hours. you need this book. we will have x number of exams. they are worth x number of points. you may/may not drop a grade. let's get started on chapter 1...). And so it begins.
Yesterday I was telling Richard about how funny I feel starting ANOTHER school year. I remember in elementary and middle school. Mom and I would always prepare a few weeks early by school-clothes shopping, getting new pencils, notebooks, and crayons, and trying on my new clothes to pick the perfect outfit. Where's mom now? I need a new bookbag. One with the little pocket for my mp3 player--like everyone else has. And I need a new lunchbox. One with Troy or Napoleon Dynamite.
I was thinking back to all my other school years. Kindergarten at Pearl City Elementary (Pearl City, HI). My teacher was a heavy set Hawaiian lady named Ms Len. She was nice. I was sad, though, because my friend, Nickolas, was in a different class. First grade, Ms Kato (skinny Hawaiian lady). I think she didn't like "whites." So I was always in trouble in her class. Second grade I started at Bel Aire Elementary (Gulfport, MS). I had 2 teachers: Ms Washington (heavyset black lady that taught math--I really liked her) and...I forgot the other. I remember one time I was bored in math class and I pulled the eraser off my pencil and stuck it in my ear. I couldn't pull it back out, so I went to the bathroom. Still couldn't get it out, so I went to the nurse. She couldn't get it out, so they called my mom. She had to take me to the emergency room and call my doctor from home to take care of me. I think that's where I discovered my dislike for math! 2nd grade is also when I had my first crush!! His name was Eric. I thought he was soooo cute! Of course he wasn't interested in girls, and he especially didn't like me! One time we had some activity in the gym and one of my friends was sitting next to him. And I asked her to switch seats with me. She got up and I was getting ready to sit down and he stood up and said "you can't sit by me!" I said "Yes I can!" He said "NO!" and kind of pushed me. I said "I can sit whereever I WANT!" and pushed him down. We both got sent to the principal. Back then the principal had permission slips from our parents that allowed her to spank us. He went in first and came out crying his eyes out. I went in and she said "I know you didn't start it, but it's not good to push people, ok." I said "Yes ma'am." And she barely touched me with the paddle. I'm pretty sure he never talked to me again after that. Ah, love hurts.


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