I Believe in Kindergarten
If there’s one thing I believe, it’s that nothing can beat the life of a six year-old. One of the best things was nap time in kindergarten. NOBODY would want to fall asleep, and nobody did – except for maybe the teacher. We were too energetic, curious, and just plain dying to go back out to recess. They wanted to give us time to cool down, or relax before we learned the Pledge of Allegiance, or how to write our ABC’s, but it hardly worked (you could tell by the fits of giggles in the room). Everyday we’d also get a snack, usually animal crackers and juice, but on Fridays, everyone got cookies and milk. That was the best day of the week – and still is, but not for the same reasons.
Ever since First grade, I’ve been on the “accelerated learning path”. At my elementary school, there was a small loft in the Library where the “gifted and talented” (GT) students would meet during class. I never understood what the point of that class was. There were about ten kids, and we would just talk about stuff, and do little activities to entertain ourselves. I didn’t feel any smarter than any other students, but I liked to think I was.
Nowadays, I don’t get nap time. I can’t just bring a towel to class, lay it on the floor, and snooze through a lecture on squaring the hypotenuse leg, or researching the Scopes Monkey Trial, and what-not. In all honesty, that’s what I do instead of homework, which is why my grades “suffer”. My GT teachers used to say that being “gifted thinker” meant I had such intelligent thoughts going through my head that sometimes I struggled with mundane day-to-day activities. What I think actually holds true is that I am no different from the “average” students. I just had higher expectations. There were no expectations in kindergarten.
My grandpa has a poster that I just love; it’s called; “Everything I Needed to Know, I Learned in Kindergarten”. The sum of it is; “Play nice, don’t hit, share your things, say you’re sorry when you hurt someone, look both ways when you cross the street, say please and thank-you, and always take a nap after you eat cookies and milk.” If only you could survive that way in real-life. The only problem is no matter how hard I try, I can never place myself in that vast room with impossibly high ceilings, huge doors, and so many friends, who want nothing but my time. I didn’t waste time judging people in Kindergarten – nobody did. There was no “GT”, nobody was less “gifted” than me, or nobody knew the difference. I had too much to do. I had to finger paint, learn the alphabet, play a game, slay a dragon, win a race, and go bite that kid for taking my marker. I only stopped for three things – cookies, milk, and “nap” time.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.