1992 — Age 7

Music is a very central theme in my life.

This year I started 1st grade.

My teacher, Mrs. W was nice too. I’d guess her to be in her 40s at the time. She always had a perpetual tan and short, black hair. I remember she went on a trip to Costa Rica while we had her as our teacher. I get the feeling that she’d go there every year. Looking back on it, she may have had family from there. She read us the Boxcar Children, and I always liked that book series since.

I remember a few of the students in my class. We had a boy named Chris who we all agreed was an amazing artist. He’d color inside the lines, and he had this very light-touch with his crayons. His crayons were always in the best condition of all of ours. Black was a coveted color because what we’d do is color a rainbow pattern onto a piece of paper, and then very heavily color black on top of that rainbow. The thick black wax would then be scraped off with a pencil tip to reveal rainbowy writing underneath. Chris was the only one who had black color left at the end of the year. We’d beg him to lend it to us.

I also remember a girl named Gloria who was shy, heavy-set and struggled with reading. We never got to know each other very well, but for some reason she sticks in my mind. I think I knew that she was vulnerable though, and I’d was never the type to tease other kids. I think I felt protective of her a little bit.

I remember at this age I must have had a hard time with being polite because my dad printed out this list of “magic words” that I’d keep folded up in my pocket. On it were the words, “Please, Thank You, You’re Welcome, I’m Sorry, and Excuse Me”.

Once I was in the school library looking for a book to read, and I was in a section for the second-graders or something and I was told by the librarian that I can’t check out any of those books because I wasn’t old enough. Man, that lady pissed me off. When I was young, I used to brag to people that I learned to read at 5 years old. That may or may not be true, but I had an early start in reading, and that was a point of pride for me. Even today, my husband tells me that I am an extremely fast reader. I completely credit television for this. Counter-intuitive, you think? Well of course, because I was hard of hearing, I always had closed captioning turned on! I am a strong advocate for using closed captioning even if you “hear just fine”. Believe me, you do not know what you are missing! For those that say, “I hate having to read an entire movie,” keep this in mind: it takes about 6 months of using closed captioning before you hardly even notice it anymore. Give it a try for a while. Plus, your kids will benefit too.

I started playing piano. I played piano every year until I was 15 or 16 years old. I get the general impression that it was always a struggle to make me practice, which frustrated all of my piano teachers. I’m really glad my parents stuck with it though. Music is a very central theme in my life.

Image Source: M I S C H E L L E

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