Wednesday, March 20, 2013

5th Grade

Is it weird that I don't have very many childhood memories? I know some people who can rattle off years of their young lives like they're reading from a diary.  I have just hazy glimpses. I suppose it's good enough to just remember being happy and loved and taken care of (I have that in spades) but it would be nice to have a few more recollections of actual events. So when a memory comes to me I try to pinpoint it and then see if I can remember anything else from that specific era.

A memory from the 5th grade came to me this morning and this is all I can pull from that year:

1.  Mr. O'Clock gets off the phone and announces to us that the Challenger exploded.  Someone laughs and Mr. O'Clock gets really upset at him.  (I've told you about Mr. O'Clock, right?  Art Garfunkle look-alike.  Drove a Carmen Ghia.  Sensitive soul.)

2. We are reading The Outsiders out loud in class.  Johnnycakes dies.  I lay my head down on the desk and start to cry.  I do not feel embarrassed, which is strange because later in life it will take me years and years to not feel embarrassed about crying in public when no one else is.  When I look up I notice that not a single person in the room is devastated by this. It is the first time my heart gets broken over a book and also the first time I recognize that not every one's heart gets touched in the same way.

3.  We are in line to go into the class and a group of kids are playing with an injured potato bug.  Mr. O'Clock walks up and stomps on the bug and says, "Never let a creature suffer like that."

You guys, 5th grade appears to have been very heavy.


Wendy said...

Talk about a learning year. I have some vivid 5th grade memories also which have taught me some life lessons. Plus it's the year I got glasses, which was a revelation in itself.

Angela said...


So...what did YOU think of The Wednesday Wars? I feel this is somehow intricately related to your post.


Loved this post.

Gina said...

You didn't mention that Mr. O'Clock was 40' tall. He was so tall. That's what I remember...and his curly hair. And...I love "The Wednesday Wars".

Rach said...

I don't remember much from 5th grade. If my teacher had been a look-alike of Art Garfunkel named Mr. O'Clock I would have remembered more, I'm sure of it. I remember my teacher breaking her arm at a school roller skating party at Classic Skating, and being glad I wasn't the only clumsy one. And then later I broke my foot. (Not at the skating rink. On the school's front steps.) You had quite a serious year, didn't you?