I attended kindergarten in a squat nondescript 1960s-era building. Years later I had some of my 8th grade classes there when my hometown decided to add 7th grade to the junior high school and that school ended up annexing the building. In January of that year I walked into the building to hear that the Space Shuttle Challenger had disintegrated.
But the bad memories started in kindergarten. I had the misfortune of having a teacher who wasn’t quite sure what to do with young hyperactive me. I had given up naps long before I went to school, yet the teacher was determined that I’d lie down on a mat and close my eyes. I worked long and hard at that.
And yet, the teacher knew there was something wrong with me. Eventually she pulled my parents aside. “I think he may be anti-social and I think he may be slow. You should have him tested.”
My mom, of course, freaked the hell out. There was something wrong with her first-born son! My dad the university professor got one of his colleagues in psychology to run me through a battery of tests.
The result: my IQ was more than fine and I seemed socially well adapted. “He’s reading?” he asked my parents. “My guess is he’s bored out of his mind.”
At one point in the school year, when I was sitting on the toilet, another kid peed on me. Later they weren’t going to let me graduate from kindergarten because I didn’t know how to skip, so I got to spend weeks learning how.
Here’s hoping Eli’s memories are better!