Wednesday, September 03, 2008

First Day of School

As we’ve done the last few years, our family commemorated the unofficial end of summer by riding bikes—me and Mimi on the tandem and Jen on her bike—to Mimi’s school, this year, no longer the Giddens School (né Happy Medium), instead the far more impressively-named Seattle Academy of Arts and Sciences.

The ride is a little farther, the hill a good deal steeper, as befits the step up in class that moving from elementary to middle school augers.

I’ve now got a kid in sixth grade, hard as that is to believe (at least for me, for her, I’m not sure it’s really sunk in yet, although having to get up at 7:00 AM rather than sleeping until 10:30, did a lot to get her attention.)

It’s hard for me to recall my own sixth grade because it sort of blends together with seventh and even eighth.

My homeroom teacher was Ms. Ferrante, who also taught English, although I can’t for the life of me recall anything we did in that class or anything we might have read.

This would have been 1968-1969; our family returned to Pittsburgh from six months in Europe in October or early November, so I had missed the first month or so of classes; I didn’t have too much trouble fitting back in, although I must have been a little freaked out because that was the year I got suspended one day for sitting in Math class and saying “Mugwump, mugwump, mugwump” until my teacher put me in a headlock and dragged me from the room. (Ah, the days before corporeal punishment was banned in public education.)

I spent a lot of time that year hanging around with my friend Benny Platt; we liked to play football in the house, causing my mom to coin her famous phrase “A house is not a gym.”

We also watched Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In and cracked up whenever they said “Funk and Wagnalls.”


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