Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Third Grade, People! Oh Yeah!

By this title, I am actually not inferring that I have the maturity or the sense of poo poo caca humor of a third grader, although I do.  No, what I am referring to is that summer vacation is over, and L has started THIRD GRADE!  Third grade seems like a transitional year to me, and I can't figure out why.  I don't think there's anything that altering about cursive and multiplication tables, or maybe there is, but it somehow seems more weighty than second grade. 

Maybe its because third grade is when I started riding my bike to school instead of taking the school bus, and I was often distracted on the way or took alternate routes and was late a lot.  Or maybe it was that third grade the was the year we first had homework, and although I was really excited to have homework because I thought it was a big-kid kind of thing, I didn't actually do the homework.  I once ripped out, like, twenty pages of my math workbook and ditched them in some bushes on the way to school (distraction) and then had the balls to tell the teacher that I turned them in and she must have lost them.  Because, you know, teachers and all adults are complete idiots, right?  She gave me a disbelieving look, and I ran out of the room in tears, burst into the secretary's office, crying "I have to call my mom!" and the secretary was all, "okay, freaking-out-girl" and motioned me into the principal's empty office where I dialed my home number and when my mom answered, I bawled "I didn't do my homework!!!!!"  and my mom was all, "Um, okay, go face the music, babe." or something equally un-comforting to an eight year-old (its what we parents now call natural consequences.) 

This total lack of study habits that started in the third grade stuck with me all through high school and college.  You might say it was a turning point, and had I learned from the natural consequences, my life might have turned out very differently.  I might have gone to a state school in a bigger city, or been an office manager much sooner.  But my teacher was a nicey-nice hippy, so I'll blame her for not making the consequences punitive enough.  Plus I got to use the phone in the principal's office which no one ever got to do. 

Where were we?  I really have no idea what I'm talking about anymore.  Oh yeah, third grade being a transformative year.  Now that I think about it, maybe this is the year that will change the course of Leila's academic life just like it did mine...  Shit.  I think I'm doomed.  I'm going to have to be ON that girl.  I walk her to school every day, so there's no way she'll be able to ditch 20 pages of her math workbook.  She'll have to be much more clever than that...

I think I'm going to take a nap and think about this.  Maybe tomorrow I'll go through that bag of second grade school stuff that she brought home on the last day of school in June.  Its been sitting in the front hall all summer.  Nap first, second grade later...

1 comment:

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