Who cares if it‘s not exactly lesson-oriented towards math or reading skills? It’s still for a good cause (charity) and it’s fun. After all, first-graders’ wearing pink hair to school (from a bottle of raspberry food coloring) isn’t something they do every day… or is it?
In retrospect, I don’t know what that lesson taught us…maybe that butter doesn’t grow in a box in the refrigerator, but we loved it, and we all remember it, to this day.
Second grade was characterized by our getting the chance each week, on Art Day, to go to the back and pick from a stack of construction paper, the color we wished to work with, for our project. We girls always went for chartreuse, a color that was often missing by the time I got to pick, since there were only 5 of each color.
Third grade is characterized by Charles Foster and his liver sandwiches. He sat behind me and thoroughly grossed me out. Every day, when the teacher announced “Lunch,” Charles took out his paper napsack his mother had dutifully prepared and unraveled his sandwich from the waxed paper it was wrapped in. It was always the same–two slices of white bread containing a fat slab of liver pressed between.
He told me he had to eat liver every day because of his ASTH-MAR (said just this way). Considering his lips were thick like the slab of liver, I basically believed he got this way from his steady diet and swore off liver, forever. To this day, I don’t eat it.
Fourth grade was characterized by a girl named Carolyn whose mother dressed her in the most magnificent creations I’d ever seen. Each was a work of art, fashioned and sewn by her mother. If I wanted the chartreuse construction paper in the second grade, I obsessed about this girl’s dresses, in the fourth.
Because of this, I spent whole days dreamily considering her layers of taffeta, crinoline petticoats and grosgrain or velvet ribbon threaded through eyelet sashes, wondering why my mother couldn’t make these. When her mother passed on (a few years ago), I wrote my former classmate a letter stating what a huge impression her mother had made on this young girl. She keeps it to this day.