Sunday, May 6, 2007

Smelterville: Third Grade (1)

I really thought I was mature by the time I was in 3rd grade. (After all, I thought 6th graders were practically adults, because of their size.) I was in Mrs. Watts class. I think it was the only 3rd grade class at Silver King that year. Several things happened that year to make me learn that life isn't all it seems to be.

Girls are Rivals

It was the year I learned that other girls could become rivals for the attention of boys. KV was in my class again that year, at least in the first part of the year. She and I were rivals for the attention of one Pat B. He liked her best, until she moved, and then I became #1 for his attention. (Needless to say, I found out later she had moved to Pinehurst, and had discovered my favorite guy there! When I moved there in the spring, she and her cousin DB stopped me at the Pinehurst School breezeway and said, "I hope you don't mind but ____, who used to like you, likes me now." I was dumbfounded. How could she do this to me?)

Adults can lie

In third grade, Mrs. Watts told us Santa Claus was not real. I was upset, but never let on. I matter of factly informed my mother that I now knew the truth. She didn't ask if I was upset or anything, she just asked that I didn't spoil things for my sister by relaying the truth. (I thought, "I can't believe my parents lied to me! If Santa isn't real, maybe God isn't real either). The knowledge left me with a hole in my heart.

Life isn't fair

Then there was the Christmas Angel fiasco. Mrs. Watts pulled me aside one day and asked if I would like to do something for her. She took me into an empty room where she had a overhead projector pointed to a large piece of butcher paper on the wall. I was awestruck when she put a small picture of an angel on the screen and it enlarged the image on the wall. I had never seen anything like it. And I have always wanted an overhead projector since (. .humm. . .something to put on my wish list). Anyway, I started tracing the angel which would become a classroom decoration. At some point in time, she must have asked another girl to help me, but the girl didn't do much at all. I remembered doing the bulk of the tracing and all of the coloring. I was so proud of that angel.

Other students also worked on overhead projects for classroom decorations. They all worked in pairs. At the end of the Christmas season, we had to "draw lots" for who would get the decorations. I was crushed when Mrs. Watts asked me if we could give my angel to this other girl. I said, "Ok," because I was compliant, but I wanted to say "I did all the work."

Looking back now, I think the other girl came from a poor family, and wasn't probably getting much for Christmas that year. It's a concept that adults understand, but not little girls. For many years after that, I was upset about the Christmas Angel.

Background Vocalist

Third grade was the year I found out I could sing. (It didn't sink in for a while). During the Christmas season another girl and I were given a background vocal for "Silver Bells." In the chorus, while everyone else held the note on "Bells," we did an "Ah, ah. Ah, ah. Ah, ah. Ah, ah. . ." (Okay, it loses something in the writing). But it was a "special" part, and made me feel almost as good as when I was Mrs. Santa in the first grade play.


Silver Valley Girl said...

Oh yes, the overhead projector. I remember Mom using that on occasion and being fascinated by the whole process. It was magical. Hey, and I was right there with you for the "Ah ah Ah ah Ah ah" on Silver Bells.

Pinehurst in my Dreams said...

I guess powerpoint has probably surpassed the overhead, but I still like the fact you can enlarge things on the wall. I'm glad you understood the "Ahs" - I almost kept going (to further explain where they occurred and where one could hear them on a recording) but realized that part of the post was probably a big "yawn" for most readers.

raymond pert said...

I'm sure glad being Mrs. Santa remained number one on your list. I was sweating it there for a minute!

Because my mom was a teacher, I often stayed after school to wait for her and went out to SK on some weekends. I loved sliding down the ramp and running up and down the halls, sliding on my socks.

I developed a little crush on Debbie Daughtery one year during the Ah Ah Ah's of Silver Bells.

I loved the way the girls sounded singing that song.

I think Mrs. Harriet was the genius behind those arrangments.

To this day, I love the autoharp thanks to her. It's what she brought to class on her rolling cart when it was time for music.

Pinehurst in my Dreams said...

Funny. I don't remember Mrs. Harriet. . .

Wasn't Debbie Daughtery a few years ahead of us. You must have had a thing for older women???

So cool you got to slide down the ramp. How many turns did it have? Just one? or Two? (I am thinking just one.)

Mrs. Santa Claus was the highlight of my acting career. I think it was because I was completely unafraid and self-confident. There were times when I was older, and struggling with my self-image, and I would remember the little girl I had been who was unafraid of anyone or anything - and took the lead, memorized her lines, and did a flawless performance. There is something about being a child, that you never get back.