The Tragedies of Kindergarten

Published March 30, 2009 by glaumland

To start off, let me say that these tragedies are mine, not little boy’s (who is in K now with a wonderful teacher!). But this story has come up a few times recently, so I decided it should be told. So here it is…

Tragedy #1 – My Kindergarten teacher looked like a witch. She was tall (but isn’t everyone compared to a 5 year old?), had black hair, and was very mean. She had an all-or-nothing teaching style and was really quite intimidating to children. I don’t remember hearing praise when a job was well done. Luckily, another student’s mother volunteered and was in charge of cookies & milk. Now, I have to admit I was 5/6 at the time, and it was 40-some years ago, so my memory may not be entirely accurate. But it is a shame that she didn’t look and act more like the Good Witch Glenda than the Wicked Witch of the West.

Tragedy #2 – This is related to #1 and has to do with one of the most prized possessions of any Kindergarteners: their crayons. I was already a good colorer, at least in my opinion. I knew how to color in lightly to get shades of color, and how to stay inside the lines. But was that good enough for Wicked? NO! We had to press hard in order to apply as much wax as possible to our paper. And the result? Broken crayons. It was really heartbreaking, because then instead of having those long, beautiful crayons with the paper that told their names, you had just short, stubby pieces and spent more time peeling paper. And of course your parents wouldn’t buy you another new set when that first set was perfectly useful. Sigh…

Tragedy #3 – This had to do with my birthday present given to me by my Godmother. It was an adorable outfit, consisting of robin’s egg blue pants and a matching blue/white striped shirt with fish appliqued on the front. Probably what made this so important was that back then little girls just didn’t wear pants to school. (I didn’t even have a pair of jeans until about the 7th grade.) The first day I wore the outfit to school, we had a gym class outside on a patch of concrete. The game that day? Dodgeball. So of course, some boy threw the ball at me and I fell down, right on my knees, and got a big hole in my BRAND NEW PANTS! AARRGGHH!!!!! And of course, the pants were polyester, and I believe that is how my I-Hate-Polyester attitude began.

Tragedy #4 – I learned to lie. We would play tag during recess, and there was a little boy named Rodney who was very fast and liked to play tag with the girls. You see, if he caught you he threatened to kiss you. (I know today behavior like that will get you a trip to see the principal, but back then nobody seemed to mind.) Rodney was pretty long-legged and fast, so he always caught the girls. But there was one flaw in his plan: he didn’t kiss the girls right away. So if you promised to stand still and not run, he would chase another girl. Then you could get away, to be chased again. Poor Rodney, I wonder if he ever figured it out?

Needless to say, I did survive Kindergarten and went on to First Grade, where my teacher Mrs. Adams was more like a grandmother, I had to deal with glasses, and continued to run from Rodney. Life was good.

Until next time…


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