Chapter 6 Attending a new school. They should have warning signs posted!
It was getting close to the end of Summer and Uncle George had already gone back to work after taking an extended vacation… Aunt Ida said it was time for us to go get registered for school. She taught at nearby Roosevelt elementary where she taught 3rd grade. We headed out the door and down the street to the school. I was real nervous… I didn’t know anyone there? “I don’t know anyone there Aunt Ida.” I said nervously… “Don’t worry John, you will be fine.” She said. “Besides, it is the same school Emily goes to and a number of other children in the neighborhood go there too…” That didn’t reassure me much. There could be a whole lot of crazy going on in that school for all I knew… But it did make me feel better knowing that Emily went to that school and she didn’t seem too bad… For a girl anyway… “Aunt Ida.” I said; “Will Emily be in my class?” She said, “Unfortunately John she is in 4th grade since she is a year older than you, or almost a year older I should say she will be in a different class.” Great I thought… I could be stuck in some class with some real weirdos… I am going to stick out like a sore thumb! I was not a kid who liked all the normal stuff kids like. I preferred to read, and I loved to do school work, and I didn’t like sports like football or baseball or things like that. After we talked for a while before I knew it we were approaching the school. The school looked like my school I remembered in Seattle, but a little more old looking. It was all brick with a small entry way in the front. My school was newer and more modern. We made our way inside. the front. It was pretty small compared to the school I went to and it was really old looking inside. Kind of like the house that my aunt and uncle lived in. In a way I kind of liked that. I could almost feel all the students walking the halls and imagined it filled with students when school started. For now it was pretty empty except for a small line of people wating to register their kids for school. Since my aunt was a teacher there I was able to get in before the crowds started showing up just before school started. We went to the office and got the registration forms. As my aunt was filling them out I wandered through the school. There was wood everywhere. The floors, the stairs, wood trim around the doors and the doors were a solid wood and were really heavy… I started peering inside one of the classrooms down the hall… “Well hello there?” “Who may I ask are you?”said this young woman in a nice pretty floral dress. “I’m John, I am going to school here in September.” I said. “Well nice to meet your John, I’m Mrs. Willard. I teach 4th grade here.” “Oh, well it is nice to meet you too.” “I wish you were my teacher.” I said. “Oh well John I’m sure I will be seeing you around.” She said. And with that I left and went exploring the halls some more. The halls were filled with pictures here and there on the walls of art projects and various picture of students and teachers. As I walked down the hall I could feel the old floor creak and moan with each step and the sound echoed in the long hallways. The walls were tall and I felt dwarfed in size in comparison. I felt a little bit like an alien visiting another world like watching episodes of the Old Outer Limits television show… The beginning of each episode always scared me, but I still watched it because I found it exciting. There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission and so on… I think that is why I preferred westerns. But I still did like a good scare off and on… Aunt Ida came down the hall and found me looking in another classroom… She happened to come up behind me and startled me a little. “Hi John.” She said. I jumped a little and turned quickly around like I thought I might be in trouble. “Well.” She said. “Did you happen to look at the name on the top of the door to this room? “No.” I said. Then I looked up and it said. Mrs. Ida Johnson, Third Grade. “Oh, this is your room?” I said. “Yes it is John.” “Maybe you will end up in my class?” I was hoping I would. I liked my aunt a lot! She was pretty cool as far as aunts went. We headed back to the house.
The first day of school was unnerving for me. My aunt and uncle had shopped for school clothes ahead of time and got me all ready. I had my school box and book bag all ready. Uncle George let me use one of his cigar boxes for my school pencils, etc. for my desk.My aunt and uncle escorted me in to my first day. I hated how the other students stared at me. The other kids had their parents bring them to school and their parents were much younger than my aunt and uncle were. I was feeling really self consious when Emily spotted me down the hall… She came skipping up to see me… “Hi John.” “Your first day at Rooselevelt huh?” she said. “Well you will get used to it.” “The teachers here are really nice!” Emily said. “Thanks Emily.” I said. And she skipped on down the hall her pigtails bouncing along with each skip. My aunt and uncle escorted me to my classroom and it was my aunt’s classroom. What a relief, I thought. I settled down into my seat that had my name on the desk and got ready for my first lesson.
The first few couple weeks of school went pretty uneventful. Except that my aunt was surprised to find out that I really understood most or all of the concepts taught in third grade. In fact! She was so impressed with my skills that she recommended to the school principal that I be moved to 4th grade. I was not too surprised. School had always been pretty easy for me. I often got bored in school so my mom would get me books out of the library to read and would give me extra school lessons at home. My mom went to college herself and graduated with honors. Unfortunately she met my father and she fell in love, or so she used to tell me, and then she quit her career goals to be a mom. So I guess she tried to focus much of that onto me.
So I was moved to 4th grade. I was the youngest 4th grader in the class. I was a little bit scared of what the other students would think, but as I entered the classroom I saw sitting in the front row was Emily and she was smiling at me. And at the head of the class was Mrs. Willard. She said; “Well John, it looks like you will be in my class afterall.” She smiled at me and showed me where my seat was and it was right next to Emily’s seat. Well what do you know… Maybe there is hope for this group of weirdos. Or maybe they weren’t so weird afterall? Maybe I might be okay…One could only hope?