things about kindergarten

7.16.2014


Preschool.

There were bright red tables and plastic, easy-to-clean green chairs.  The translucent sheet of wax paper that guarded the flawless paint of the table was changed constantly, and pudgy little hands played with shaving cream or drew on the table with big wax crayons.

Under the table, short feet swung around, fidgeting, because most of them couldn’t reach the floor yet. People experimented to find the most comfortable way to store their legs.

We had to come to school every other day, and left before lunch. For snack we were given a handful of grapes or a few crackers.

Pre-K.

School became harder. Not so much shaving cream.

Kindergarten.

The red tables turned into standard wooden desks. Tablecloths were removed, and the crayons were replaced by sharp No. 2 pencils.

Our legs grew, and could rest on the floor now.

We had to start doing homework, actually write at school, learned math and science, and did projects.

I remember a moment when I was brushing my teeth in front of the mirror at home (on a stepstool), and I was wearing my gray-and-black uniform. I felt so grown up, in kindergarten already, and having to come to school every day.

These three years seem like bliss now. Nobody had heard of popularity, tests, or finals. After school, we could come home and read. There were no instruments to practice (I guess I wasn’t old enough to practice guitar every day), or any real work to do. Homework, and classwork, too, were pure fun.

I was really “competitive” back then, because I would compare how many pages I used for my homework with others. (Now, we would compare grades, but in the good old days, there weren’t any.)

We used to have boardwork every morning, basically, we had to answer some questions, write sentences, and the likewise.

As soon as I finished using the front and back of the paper I would get up proudly and ask the teacher in a loud, clear voice, “Can I have another sheet of paper? I finished using mine."

And the teacher would say something along the lines of  “Look how wisely Arushee has used her time! She finished one paper, now she needs another because she's been working so efficiently!" She’d smile at me and hand me another sheet. I would always take it proudly and neatly print more sentences on the paper, for everyone to see.

Now, things are completely different. If I loudly boasted about my essay to the teacher, people would think I’m stupid and I just want attention. They might cold-shoulder me and I’d automatically become unpopular.

The teachers would openly whisper about how my work is fourth-grade level, and smile at me kindly when I overheard.

Teacher never praise students openly, for the whole class to hear. Successes and grades are kept hushed-up. 
“Your grades are yours, and only yours. There’s no need for anyone else to know what they are.”

Certainly I’m not the model student anymore. I’m not the best student in and of my classes.

It’s sad to relive all these memories now, knowing that you’ll never go back to being a careless, life-loving kindergartner again.

But I did live, once, in such place. I’m lucky to have had such a good childhood, but that world’s gone now. I’m stuck in middle school now, with friend problems, grades and tests to worry about, auditions, and fears which I have to cope with myself, now. 

Sometimes it’s great to close your eyes and imagine that you’re there again, in the world where you’re never going back to.

2 comments :

go on, make my day. ❤