Journal prompt: What is the earliest memory you have about being in school?
I remember bits and pieces of Kindergarten. I remember being so excited and nervous at the same time to go to school. I was sad because my best friends, Beverly and Misty were younger than me and that they weren’t going to get to go to school yet. I felt sad because I just knew that I was going to be missing out on our friendship and that they were going to have all kinds of adventures without me. I also remember feeling so grown-up.
I still remember how the classroom and the playground at Valley Elementary in Orderville, Utah looked when I attended in 1984-85. I remember the large wooden cubbies that held all of our school stuff. I remember how exciting it was to have my own crayons and other supplies and even then, I liked to have everything in its place in my cubby. I remember the tables and I remember being so excited to see my name where I was supposed to sit. I remember a long shelf that surrounded the entire room, that later as we learned letters in the alphabet – we filled that shelf with blow-up Letters of the Alphabet. I remember being so excited about the beginning of each week to see what the next letter was going to be and I couldn’t wait to see what the blow-up letter looked like. I can still remember where the teacher’s desk was and I remember the play area had these large plastic bricks that we would build houses with. I remember the rug area where we would listen to stories and have naptime and snacktime. I loved it when the lunch ladies would bring in those little cartons of milk (I always had chocolate) for a snack. I remember playing with toys (especially My Little Ponies) outside the classroom (by the stairs, right by the door) at recess. I remember Mrs. Gehrig and what a great teacher she was. I always felt special when I was talking to her and somehow even today when I talk with her I feel like her student.
I suppose I don’t remember too many specifics about the Kindergarten that I attended, but I do remember more than I thought. I guess it is more impressions and feelings that I remember. I don’t remember too much about the people in my class at that point in our lives – though (being from a small community), most of those people were the ones I graduated with in 1997.
It was interesting to me to have my son JJ go to preschool in my Kindergarten classroom in 2005 and 2006 – it felt and looked so different. As a kindergartener, it felt so big, but it seemed so small when I took JJ to school.
Each Tuesday, I am going to be offering prompts or ideas. If you don’t write in your journal regularly – I am going to encourage you to write just ONCE A WEEK and answer the question/idea that I give on Tuesdays. These ideas hopefully will spark a memory and you will be able to capture that in what you write/record so that it can be left for your children/grandchildren/family/friends. Give as much detail as you can when answering.
Will you do this for me? Will you do this for your families? You can write it down in a journal, you can type it up on a computer or journaling software, you can take a recorder and talk, you can videotape your answers, you can even scrap a page with the journaling. It doesn’t matter how you do this – it’s just important that you do it. The memories, the dates, the information is the only real thing we can leave to our families when we are gone.