The SITS Girls did a five-day back-to-blogging challenge this week, and I am slowly working my way through each of the writing prompts. Day 2 is all about going back to school, and since I’ve been out of the school realm for a fair bit … I couldn’t resist revisiting those memories!
When I think about school, so many things come flooding back.
– The nights before each first day of school, where I couldn’t sleep for the nerves and “what ifs” rolling around in my brain.
– Switching from half-day kindergarten with Miss Pattison (who I still run into to this day and she looks Exactly. The. Same. 25 years later) to full-day first grade with Mrs. Goheen, and crying daily for the first couple of weeks. Couldn’t I just go home now, to the familiarity of my mom or cousins who haven’t gone to school yet?
– Moving to on-campus dormitories at college, and the first night “alone” (but not alone, with 47 other females sharing the same bathroom).
The school memory that takes the cake, though, is one from the end of first grade. I already mentioned that I had some … issues … adjusting to full-day school that year. So that made this little incident that much more tragic (and hilarious) – and set the bar for my deep-seated dislike (okay, all-out hatred) of Field Day.
For those of you unfamiliar with Field Day, it’s a one- or two-day event at the end of the school year where you sign up for a variety of track-and-field activities/torture. The X-yard dash. Shot put. Long-distance running (cruel, cruel torment). Anything a track team normally does by choice, we young peons were forced to do once a year for one day.
Not a big deal, right?
Oh, it was a big deal. You wonder why I hate running – I’m convinced it stems from Field Day. I prayed to God for rain every year, hoping against hope we would be spared from the inevitable trudge across campus to … The Track.
(Cue A Knight’s Tale’s Chaucer: “To trudge: the slow, weary, depressing yet determined walk of a man who has nothing left in life except the impulse to simply soldier on.”
First grade, though, I didn’t have the foreknowledge of what I was about to endure – so lacked the presence of mind to pray for relief.)
So we trudged.
And we participated in Field Day.
And at the end of it all, I got left behind.
Whether I missed the call to line up with my class, got lost in the shuffle, or something else altogether – I don’t know. But I got left behind.
My teacher was nowhere to be found.
And I was way on the other side of a campus I barely knew, with people I didn’t know from Adam.
[/end mental caps lock of doom]
Bless the now-principal Evelyn Kellogg (funny, the names that stick with us) for coming to my rescue and pairing me with another elementary-level class, going back to the familiarity of the little campus.
I still have no earthly idea what event I signed up for, because the memory of that first end of Field Day still eclipses anything else that may have happened.
And to this day, I loathe Field Day.