I've been thinking a lot lately about my own early public schooling. What I remember is interesting. Almost as interesting as what I don't remember.
I don't remember the first bus ride to the school. Later on, I do remember the roads we took. I should. I spent nearly 45 minutes going and coming!
In school, I do remember the first day interrupting the teacher several times to tell her my full name. She told me to go sit down and be like a girl named Debbie Gee, who was sitting and saying nothing. I didn't like that, but I don't remember anything else from the day. Debbie Gee would become my girlfriend, off and on.
Nothing from the rest of first grade sticks in my mind.
Second grade, I had a crush on the teacher, Mrs. Jenkins. She had us learn to spell "transportation." I was a good speller, though, and learned to spell "Czechoslovakia." I remember being singled out because of that. Maybe, I thought, since the teacher liked boys who could spell, I'd give it my 110%. In fifth through eight grades, I'd be a school representative on the National Spelling Bee team, winning the county in the eighth grade.
I remember only one Christmas play of the six or seven I must have been in. I think it's the first one. I may have combined two or three into one memory. One, I and Don Richards were trying to out-sing each other. I was a character in a play in another one. I remember playing in the parking lot with my friends during one PTO meeting, or maybe it was the Christmas play. Can't remember. Only remember the playing.
I remember playing softball once we got into the fourth grade. There were two softball fields, and it was a great thing when we were allowed to play on the big one.
A magician came to the school at least once, and he used me in one of his skits, pulling a long line of underwear and clothing from my shirt. We watched him leave and I thought I'd be cool and told him to peel out, which was kind of funny because he was driving an old van. He talked to me about safety, and I felt upbraided and embarrassed in front of my friends.
My first basketball game, I didn't have shoes, so I was playing in my socks. I dribbled the ball really high and was wanting my girlfriend to see me. (This was about the third or fourth grade?) Bob Kilgour sneaked around me and stole the ball and made a goal. Couple of years later, I faked out Lem Curry and made a goal. Lem was really talented, so this was a major deal.
In second grade, two friends and I ran and ran around a concrete pad. They both ran till their sides hurt, and though mine didn't, I said it did.
There was a tree on the playground, and I went under it with a girl named Sheila. I liked her, and we'd try to sit with each other on the bus, but the bus driver wouldn't allow it.
In the second grade, my writing was very small. Mrs. Jenkins often wished I would write bigger. By the fourth grade, I was writing bigger, and Mrs. Jenkins said she wished I'd written that big for her. That made me feel bad, like she didn't like me.
John Kennedy was shot while I was in the fourth grade. I made an inappropriate joke about it and Keith Carlisle told me it wasn't funny.
So what's the point? Simply, it's that memories aren't made of learning facts and figures. They're made of people and places, doing things. This tells me that wherever Jordan does his learning, more important than the words and numbers--all of which come easily to him--are the places and people.
I asked Jordan what he remembered from school in Colorado. I'll write about what he said, tomorrow.