This is the third in a series of 15 posts recounting my childhood. (To see parts 1 and 2, click the label "MPT" in my sidebar.) Today's topic is First Grade.
Random Nosebleed Story
I loved First Grade. I loved my teacher, Mrs. Trout. My most vivid memory of 1st grade was the day I got hit in the nose with a ball at recess. It was one of those big red playground balls (like you'd use in dodgeball, for example) and we were playing handball (actually I'm not even sure if I was playing handball or if I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time) and the ball came flying at me and hit me right smack on my nose and I started bleeding. I think it was Mr. Lanners (the PE teacher and recess monitor) who first helped me out. I remember being back in my classroom and my teacher had found my little snoopy stuffed animal (from my locker? cubby hole? where did she find it?) and let me keep that at my table the rest of the day. I liked that!
Now this is probably why I remember this story--I picked my nose! The bleeding had stopped a while earlier, but for whatever reason, I picked my nose and apparently I scratched off a scab because this big wad of coagulated blood came out on my finger (are you enjoying these gory details?) and then the bleeding started all over. Of course the teacher found me bleeding again and was all comforting and concerned and couldn't figure out why it would have started bleeding again and I was certainly not going to tell her the awful embarassing truth!!! Anyway, lesson learned--Do Not Pick Your Nose After A Nosebleed.
Learning to Read
First grade was when I learned to read. I remember the day Mrs. Trout moved me from the second-lowest reading group to the highest reading group. I felt so proud. The highest reading group was called "Lightning" and until me, there were only boys in that group. I felt so smart!
Learning to Swim
I believe it was the summer between kindergarten and first grade that I learned to swim. I think I'd had lessons in the past, but I still wasn't able to swim. Our next door neighbors had a pool and they invited us over to swim all the time in the summers. One day at their pool, I stationed myself in the shallow end, just about a foot from the wall, and I would sort of jump toward the wall, then I'd step back a few inches and jump again, and so on until I was a few feet away from the wall and had to swim a few strokes to make it to the wall. It worked, that's how I figured out how to swim!
Learning to Ride a Bike
I think I was actually a little older when this happened, but I thought I'd recall the story here in this learning-themed post. ;-) I learned to ride a bike in the usual way. First, I got a really cool bike for Christmas--it was white and blue and I loved it. I don't remember it having training wheels, I think we immediately (well, not immediately, this was Chicago, we had to wait till summer) set about teaching me to ride. I know I spent a lot of time trying to ride, you know with my parents holding the seat and me trying on my own, but I wasn't getting it.
One day, my older sister had her friend, Mindy, over at our house. Looking down from my room, I watched my sister and Mindy getting ready to ride bikes and it looked like Mindy was struggling, and for some reason my competitive instinct kicked in and I was like "I'll show her!" I went outside, got on my bike, and rode off. Just like that--I could ride!
It turns out Mindy could ride just fine, I don't know what I saw her having trouble with, but whatever--it worked! I was riding smooth as silk after that!
Head on over to Mommy's Piggy Tales to read more childhood stories and come back next week for the exciting adventures of Second Grade. Thanks for reading!