Thursday, July 8, 2010

MPT5--3rd Grade & Getting Glasses

This is the fifth in a series of 15 posts recounting my childhood. (To see parts 1 through 4, click the label "MPT" in my sidebar.) Today's topic is Third Grade.

I loved 3rd Grade. I loved my teacher, Mrs. Oswald--she was one of my favorites. I don't remember too much about that year. I remember reading (again I was in the highest reading group). I believe we learned multiplication and a little division. And we would go across the hall every afternoon to Mrs. Hayden's room (the other 3rd grade class) for a sing-along. I love to sing, so this was awesome. I remember we sang "What Do You Do With a Drunken Sailor" and "Have You Seen the Ghost of John" (that one's still a favorite of mine around Halloween). Fun stuff.

Third Grade is the year I got glasses. I'm so excited to tell this story because it involves curling. Yes, that funny winter sport that looks kind of like bowling on ice.

My parents curled. The Chicago Curling Club is in Northbrook, IL, about 20 minutes away from my childhood home. Apparently, my next door neighbors (the ones who hosted the 4th of July parties) were longtime members of the Club and they introduced my parents to the sport. All my growing up years, both my parents were in the various leagues and bonspiels (tournaments). My sisters and I loved to go with them to the Curling Club--we loved the locker room, the free popcorn, the bleacher/benches. It was a cool place. {I've always liked being a little bit different, so it was fun knowing about this sport that was foreign to most Americans. It wasn't an Olympic sport till 1998, so none of my friends knew what I was talking about when I told them my parents curled.}

In curling, there is a long sheet of ice with a bullseye on each end. At one end, you slide your stone and it glides along toward the bullseye at the other end. As it travels, other members of your team sweep around the stone to help it move faster, slower, or in a different direction. The team who has a stone closest to the center of the bullseye after each person on the team (a team is 4 people) has sent two stones, gets the points in that "end" (round), 10 ends in a game and so on.

One day in 3rd grade, my family was at the curling club. My dad was curling, my mom and sisters and I were watching the game and hanging out. I know my mom and I were in the bleachers. She was keeping score on a piece of paper and at one point she asked me to tell her the score. Here is a picture to give you a sense of the length of a curling "sheet" (photo credit): And here is a picture of the scoreboard at the Chicago Curling Club--on the far side of the ice (photo credit):

So my mom asked me the score and I really thought she was crazy. "I can't read that!" I said. Little did I know, as an 8-year-old who obviously had been near-sighted for a while, that I was supposed to be able to see so far away. I remember my mom was surprised. I don't remember if she asked me more questions about what I could and couldn't see. I just remember being surprised that she would think I could read the scoreboard from so far away... and then going to the eye doctor and getting glasses.

No one had ever suspected me of needing glasses. I'd had a vision test at school each year and always passed. I hadn't had any trouble seeing in school. No wonder my mom was surprised! And I was surprised when I first put on my new glasses and realized the world was so much clearer!!!

That, ladies and gentlemen, is the story of how I got glasses. Head over to Mommy's Piggy Tales, for more 3rd grade memories and tune in next week for my 4th grade adventures. Thanks!

P.S. I just saw there is a flickr group for Chicago Curling Club--so for more pics of my childhood haunt, go here.


Ruth said...

Wow, glad to hear your story about getting glasses was a somewhat pleasant one. I got glasses in kindergarten and promptly "lost" them after being teased. By first grade, I simply couldn't see without them and so had no choice. STILL hated them. Got contacts as soon as mom let me (age 12, I think). NEVER went back to glasses except at night. Also never knew about curling until fairly recently. Cool.

Melissa said...

Great story! I didn't hear of curling until the Olympics (in 2004, maybe), so this was especially fun.

I got glasses when I was in second grade, but I don't remember what led up to it.