Saturday, September 8, 2007

Entry: Short Story or Photo Contest Aug 27-Sept 9


First Day of First Grade at Catholic School

by Veronica Mello



First day of First Grade was like the Wizard of Oz story; some parts were really great, others not even close. Initially, I was excited to put on my new outfit. Snow White smiled on my lunchbox. Lunch out of a box would be like having a picnic. Cool!

Kindergarten was fun and Sister Emelda was sweet. Why would first grade be any different, other than the fact that a different nun would be teaching?

Ma walked me to school, as St. Joe's was only a few blocks away. On the way, we met Mrs. Badecki AND her daughter. The Badecki family had just moved to our street. Monica and I were the SAME AGE! What could be more wonderful than to FINALLY have someone on my own street to play with! We got to walk together ahead of our moms. Monica had a Snow White lunchbox, too, but the picture was different on hers.

"I have a nicer lunchbox," she announced as we clopped down the sidewalk in our new shoes.

Now, I knew that MINE was nicer, but I let her think her's was. I didn't even get mad at her; I was just too happy that she was there. Great start to the day!

When we got to school, the nun sent our moms away right there at the door. At Kindergarten, they were allowed to come in and get us settled. The school was crowded and one nun would teach two grades at a time. First and second graders were in the same room. It was so great to have so many kids around. (Yippeee!)

"Quiet!" A tall, not so pretty nun banged a yardstick against the wall. I wondered who she was. Of course, when she shoved us into the classroom, I realized I was in her class. (Oh brother!)

I took a quick peek into the Kindergarten room and saw Sister Emelda welcoming the new kids. All the blankets were being placed on the floor and the stuffed animals were sticking out of the box near the nun's desk. Father Lepak was in there, too, with Lucky and the kids were petting the dog and laughing. (Wished I were back in THERE!)

When our new teacher had us rounded up, she had us stand in the back of the room and then she shut the door. Something about that door shutting made me want to cry, but I didn't. The nun went to the blackboard, took the chalk and began writing. She smacked the chalk against the board at the beginning of EACH letter. SISTER MARY AGATHA. Then she underlined it and added exclamation marks. I wondered if maybe she would smile or show ANY sign of gentleness. THAT didn't happen. (Again, I wanted to cry but I was too scared.)

I wasn't used to harshness. Sister Agatha reminded me of that character from one of my story books. You know, the witch who baked kids in her oven and made gingerbread boys and girls out of them. I imagined her doing that to us. After she turned us into cookies, she would serve us to our parents at the School Guild meeting.

The seating assignment began and I looked forward to actually having my OWN desk. Sister Agatha went around the room sorting us out by height. She'd grab a kid's shoulders, move him in front of another, push another kid around them both...no, then she'd rearrange them again. FINALLY, she was finished. I was about to get to see which desk would own me for the rest of the year. I kind of knew which one I wanted; the one that wasn't too banged up. It was in the row near the door, fourth one back. (I secretly claimed that one as mine.)

I looked around. Everyone else was taller than I me. Our place in class was determined by height.

Wow! I'd get to pick first! Cool!

The nun pointed at me and then motioned for me to take my seat. SHE decided where I would be sitting.

Oh booo! I sat down in that desk, right up front, wedged right up to HER DESK.

Double boooo hoooo! "Oh, Auntie Em, there's NO PLACE like home!"

1 comment:

HEWY said...

Great Story! Great Blog!