Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Grace's week before school anxiety kicked in last week, which results in a nightly wake up call at two a.m. for us. She calls me into her room to ask for Jo (why wake up only one parent when she can wake up two of them?) We've pretty much accepted this little glitch in Grace's system - the glitch being that whenever there is big change on the horizon, or an uber-exciting even tcoming up (think Hallowe'en, Christmas) there will be a sleep disruption.
She is entering grade 3. Apparently this is a killer year for kids, they have some provincial testing that they have to go through and from what I gather, the teacher breathes fire on them to help them prepare for this big important test and all the fun of being a grade 3 kid is incinerated.
A Facebook thread got me thinking the other day when a couple of childhood friends made comments about our Grade 3 experiences. I don't think we had standardized testing then, but I do remember it being the worst year of my life *polish drama queen crown now*.
Allow me to paint a picture of myself for you, at the tender age of 7-ish. I had legs up to my armpits, a bowl cut that resembled a pyramid because my hair is so thick, madly spaced teeth and the early onset of acne. Cute, right? I also favoured rugby pants with a wildly patterned shirts made of material you might be able to wrap food in if you had to. And so, you might be surprised that I was not the reigning queen of popularity.
Our teacher that year, Mme Bunston, had that wonderful ability (that all good, solid teachers should have) to pick favourites in her class. She saved her nicest, most serene and loving smiles for the prettiest, smartest girls. I craved her attention so badly but she could hardly hide her disdain for me. Like the abused in an abusive relationship, I worked hard at my school work, tried to tame my hair with bad bows and crooked barrettes and emulate the pretty girls as much as possible. All these efforts and I never received a word of praise or one of her beatific smiles that she reserved for her angels. My little 7 year feelings were pummelled on a daily basis by this woman in her simple act of ignoring.
One day Mme Bunston stood in front of the class with a box of chocolates. You know those Laura Secord chocolates, the mint kind? Half are brown and the other green. Soooo good. Anyhooo, she stood in front of the squirming class and asked in her most charming voice, who would like a chocolate? Hands shot up in the air, reaching for heights never before attained. My own hand reached for the speckled square tiles on the ceiling. And miracle of miracles, she called my name. Kids swung around in their chairs, and gave me that look that all kids want to be on the receiving end of - the look of envy. I made my way to front of the class, forgiving Mme Bunston of all her sins, seeing a future of popularity, flat hair and clear skin. She held out the box of chocolates and told me to choose one. I reached for a green, my favourite. She asked me what I should say and I sweetly said merci Mme Bunston. I brought the chocolate to my lips, opened my mouth and bit down.....I bit down on a hard, plastic pretend candy. Mme Bunston exploded into laughter telling the class that the chocolates were fake. The class erupted into laughter as well. The joke went on for what seemed to be an eternity, I felt shamed and humiliated and quickly put back into my place.
From that day forward I didn't give a rat's ass what Mme Bunston thought of me, I had no desire to get on her good side. Even at age 7-ish, I knew teachers shouldn't dick around little kids like that.
Sigh, I hope Grace has a nice teacher this year.
*names have not been changed in this story because she was really really mean.