The Transition Generation

Those School Girl Days: The Early Years

May 17, 2011
1 Comment

The first day of school ever – a day most of us don’t forget.  It’s one of those milestone moments in your life that stick in the photo album of memories we all store in our heads. My parents took a picture (and no I won’t post it here – believe me it’s for the best), and I headed off on the bus for my first day at kindergarten. 

My kindergarten class was pretty typical.  There was the one kid who cried every day when his parents left, another kid who ate paste, the pretty one the boys followed, the teacher’s pet … all the clichés were there.  And then there was me – the unassuming, quiet one who, according to my report card, should try to overcome her shyness and work with the other children more. 

There are a few memories that stick out as I think about kindergarten.  First, I remember that my teacher, while always nice, probably should have pursued a new line of work.  She rarely encouraged, and the memories which stick out the most are the times that she told me my work wasn’t good enough.  It’s kindergarten; what constitutes good work? One time, I remember I colored a picture for her from my Jem coloring book, and she gave me a critique on the colors I should have chosen and then she gave it back to me.  I should point out that I was pretty bright kid (not a genius or anything, but a step or two above the kid who ate paste). I started kindergarten at 4 and I could already read, but apparently I still needed to hone by ability to choose complimentary colors while drawing and make less bold choices.

Another memory which sticks out from kindergarten was the day my older brother’s class came to visit and read us a story.  I was so excited!  Of course, in typical older brother fashion, he signaled me as soon as he walked in and basically told me not to recognize him.  That was a little hard to do in our school, if you catch my meaning. But he did grow out of his aversion to picking on me … eventually … many years later.  And now we get along great and are also friends.

So what does this have to do with being a child of immigrants?  Well, it just goes to show that while some experiences may be harder for us than others (such as those mentioned in my blog from last week), other experiences transcend cultures.  I mean, what little sister didn’t have an older brother or sister who enjoyed teasing and tormenting her in her early years?  Or a teacher who seemed less than enthusiastic about you as a student (condemning my color choice was a step in the wrong direction, I think). We all go through those experiences in our lifetime; my parents went through it, I went through it, and one day my children may go through it as well.

What experiences did you have in kindergarten?  Please comment and keep the conversation going.

Thanks for reading,



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    First generation born and raised American, and member of the Transition Generation © (aka Generation T ©). Join me as I discuss the struggles and joys I have faced as an American. What's your story?


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