Third Grade

Third Grade.

I don’t remember a lot from my childhood, it’s sort of like a painting by Monet: not a lot of details, but if you look at the whole thing, it makes sense. What I remember of third grade is a series of worthless skills and poorly delivered facts. Maybe it was just my third grade teacher? I don’t know the exact timeline of the events, but somewhere around the time I was in third grade, my teacher started dating and later married the father of a girl in my class. He was still married to her mother.

In third grade, we learned multiplication and cursive handwriting. I, and everyone I know, uses a calculator and print as adults. In fact, we were required to write in cursive and if I had to today, it would look exactly like it did when I was in third grade. If you think about it, why would you teach a kid to write letters and then a couple years later, teach them to write the same exact letters a different way? And times tables? Meh, I can do that on my phone.

When we were learning about nuclear energy, we watched an educational film that explained the entire process from raw uranium to a light switch being flipped. Except that the film had not been rewound when it was delivered and was put on the projector backwards, so we watched the whole thing backwards. I do not remember how nuclear energy is made, but I think it has something to do with turning off light bulbs and steam.

Then we were learning about the sun and were told that at some point, it will burn out and the world will freeze and everything will die. They just forgot to mention that it would not happen any time soon, so I spent most of the third grade worried about freezing to death when the sun burns out.

I do remember selling the most tickets to the Ham Dinner in my class that year. I think it was only nine because I was the first grandchild and nephew on both sides of the family to ever sell anything for school. It didn’t take much to win, I didn’t go from door to door in my neighborhood or anything. The winners and their teachers got to go on another teacher’s fishing boat to Blake Island.

Other than the mentally challenged female classmate that thought she was the Incredible Hulk‘s girlfriend and would scream and wet her pants when we told her she wasn’t, that is all I remember from third grade.

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