This is the hundredth post in the M.M.X.I.V. sequence, which reminds me of what I did for my hundredth overall post. However, because that post was incredibly cumbersome to compile, I will NOT be repeating that style here.
Instead, because today is Thursday, it seems like a perfect Throwback Thursday. However, this memory is long before I started journaling, and I don’t know what artifacts are left of it. It was in my second-grade year (back in 1995), which pre-dates me wearing glasses by about two months! (I do not have the exact date, so this will be a re-constructed memory to the best of my ability.)
It was a sunny but chilly day–it must have been sometime in February. Carpooling the short distance from Knollcrest Drive to 24th Place and 14th Avenue North with the Benders, I heard “I Can See Clearly Now” on the radio as we traversed 24th Place, as often seemed to happen on this trip. Courtney and I were in different grades, but we both went to the gym/lunch room to wait with our classmates until the first bell rang. The time was about 08:00.
Cooper Elementary School has the shape of an “H” when looking from a bird’s-eye view, facing north. A tall flag pole was on the sidewalk that led to the center of the “H”. Once inside, we took a right, past Mrs. Opheim (one of the secretaries), and Principal Daniel’s office. Past a doorway, the upper-right branch of the “H” housed the gym/lunch room, after a descent down a few stairs. A wheelchair elevator was also available, but I have always been self-ambulatory.
The gym was wide-open, with folding tables off to the side to be brought down for lunch later in the day. The kids in each of the different grades congregated in different areas, together with para-educators that supervised us, like Mr. Brown. To keep the noise down, there was a sound-sensitive stoplight that changed colors according to the noise level–if it got too noisy, the light turned from green to yellow, and if it turned red, we all had to be quiet. I was never contributory to the yellowing of the light.
The bell rang, and my 19 other classmates and I headed to Mrs. Moen’s classroom. Heading from the gym, we bounded up the stairs, and took a right. Passing the main entrance, there was a motivational poster about sportsmanship hanging on a wall before the ceiling dropped. At the west branch of the “H”, we took a left (i.e. heading south), and put our backpacks in the lockers on the wall. Mrs. Moen’s room was the third to the left down this hallway.
In the room, there was a five-by-five array of individual desks. These were the varieties similar to what you see in college, but the desks opened up–a flap on the front was solid enough to use as a writing surface, but could flip up to reveal the items inside the desk, such as crayons, pencils, and other materials. I can’t recall where I sat in this classroom, however.
On the east wall, four windows covered the wall above a counter. There were several posters throughout the room. The poster on the east wall about the writing process stood out to me: it described the ideas of “brainstorming,” “first draft,” “revision,” and “final draft.” There was one time that I took Mrs. Moen’s idea of “first draft = sloppy copy” a bit too literally!
Additionally, the south wall, in addition to containing the blackboard, had the alphabet above it, in both cursive and block letters. There was a projector screen that she pulled down on occasion, in order to show films from the EKI projector, or transparencies. How long ago this seems as I now recall it!
Many of the other details of this classroom and my day-to-day life back then have been lost to the apses of my mind, since it has been nineteen(!!) years since I was in second grade.
This day, however, was the hundredth day of the 1994-1995 school year. I cannot recall specifically what the educational objective of the day was, but we all got to enjoy snacks that people brought in, from fruits to cookies. I think that the magnitude of the number 100 didn’t really dawn on me back then, but for a kid, that is a huge number! Additionally, when the labels on some of the snacks said “compliments of <NAME>,” I seemed to particularly like the construction “compliments of…” I don’t know why–sometimes the most innocuous things are the most compelling to me!
However, the day did have one negative. During gym class, we had a substitute, and he was overly strict. One of our warm-up activities were jumping jacks, and I actually got sent to the principal’s office for doing them incorrectly. I don’t think I was ever coordinated enough to do them correctly, and I think this gave me a bad impression of substitute teachers for a while.
This memory had a stronger memory of the place than some of my other Throwback posts, probably because I have a better sense of where I was rather than what I was doing back then. I have always had a good sense of direction, and therefore feel like I used to encode spatial information much more readily than social or episodic information, save for the occasional flashbulb memories.
Today is the hundredth day of M.M.X.I.V. That makes fourteen weeks and two days.