Thursday, July 8, 2010
Memories 5: Age 8 / Grade 3
Grade 3 almost felt like full-time recess. I learned to play recorder; in fact I still remember how to play 'hot cross buns' to this day. Not an impressive feat I know, but I'm not all that musically inclined so I'm impressed. Perhaps we learned music in this particular class, because its universal; you don't need to speak the same language when your playing music. It's about the sound, the soul and the feeling.
I think my teacher, hoped that she could bring us together with art, with the recorder and with drama. She wanted to find something to unite us children, for to see that we were truly all just variations on the same, even if we had trouble communicating. We spent a significant amount of time on drama and I remember we did a play of 'Little Red Riding Hood'. I was so proud to be Red herself. I think I was the first (and only) kid to volunteer, but that never mattered to me, I was pretty oblivious. As an adult I feel uncomfortable doing impressions, accents and other imitations (though the boy is changing that), but it makes me smile to remember how as a child, I embraced the opportunity to become someone else through drama.
I now know that my Mom complained to the teacher that there was too much fun and not enough learning in my third grade class. She knew that although my class needed tools like drama to learn the English language, I needed more substantive knowledge for my developing brain. Although I loved grade three, my Mom was right.
Although numbers are consistent across language and culture we rarely did any math. In fact, when we probably should have been introduced to times tables, we were hatching quail's eggs in an incubator that sat in the front of the classroom. The chicks were so adorable when they finally hatched but this particular trade off would prove to be problematic as time passed.
In fact, I am a biologist with a university degree and I can't multiply.
It's truly amazing how the experiences of an eight year old can influence the actions of a lifetime.