First Grade Impressions

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Teachers thrive on order…
When I was young on my first day of school
One little boy cried tears to fill a pool
The classroom was a scary place that day
Marching in line // no time to poke or play
Our small wooden desks were in long straight lines
Like staunch rigid backbones of long straight spines
Evenly spaced with seats that folded down
Waiting for life where none was to be found
Not a soul whispered //no one made a sound
We all sat stiff and rigid as the teacher made her rounds
Every child’s little heart was now beating fast
I wondered in my mind if this would last
Turns out I’m not made for rigid rows of desks
nor for all those difficult tests
I seem to have one foot outside the box
With a mind running free to write my thoughts

Painting: Dwight L. Roth

Today at d’Verse we are looking at the word order and applying it to poetry. Lara asked us to write a poem that reflects how we feel about order.  I have never been one to stay inside the lines so order for me has always been difficult as you see in my poem above. You can see First Grade in school made quite an impression on me!

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47 thoughts on “First Grade Impressions

  1. The painting and the poem I find wonderful Dwight! It made me think of my first days at school. I don’t seem to have a clear remembrance of that. I guess one of the most important things that happened was when the school doctor found out I had poor eyesight. My parents got me spectacles and suddenly I could see! I noticed the teacher actually wrote recognizable letters on the blackboard and wasn’t vaguely just scribbling some chalk on it. It was a true revelation, and although I hated my glasses I was thankful in the end. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you Peter! I remember it like it was yesterday! You must have been really struggling before you got your glasses. Life is full of mixed blessings… seeing and looking different! Somehow we seem to rise above these and move on. I appreciate you sharing this wonderful memory.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. A sweet response to the prompt; teachers and cops–all “maintaining order”, right? I was already wearing glasses at 5; broke them a lot, mother glued them up with household cement and bobby pins.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I think you’re not out of the ordinary – just part of the wide range of NoRmAl – First graders aren’t built to be still – and desks don’t have to be in rows – you were just ahead of your time! Probably still are… a part of a new definition of OrDeR!! (btw, I never liked stayin’ in the lines either)

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yes, that is another story! This giant paddle came into the Habitat Restore. They knew I painted, so they said paint a picture on it so we can selll it. So, I decided to paint my memories of my first grade classroom.


  4. The things they teach in school are very different than what they appear. When I think of the anguish my kids went through (and me, watching them go through it) if I had to do it over again I would home school them. They survived, thankfully! Dwight, I love this part of your poem:
    “Our small wooden desks were in long straight lines
    Like staunch rigid backbones of long straight spines”
    A perfect visualization of those desks like a spine, as they really look like the segments of a spine!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Lisa! School is difficult for many kids, especially those who have ADD or ADHD issues. Learning demands order and attention and that is not an easy thing for a young child.
      I appreciate your thoughtful comment!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dwight, you are welcome. When I worked in juvenile probation, the ADD and ADHD for kids caused them all kinds of trouble. Dyslexia as well. Kids who don’t fit into the mold at school often start to misbehave in the classroom, which sets a terrible domino set in motion. My kids weren’t ADD or ADHD, it was more social awkwardness/shyness, which is a deadly sin in the social world of school. They were blessed to have a couple of teachers who took interest in them and kept them supported enough to make it through.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow, that’s wonderful How I love order to be full Amazingly, orderly and thoughtful The words were inspiring as Kung fu

    When I was young, I had no control Growing in the ghetto, everywhere we roll Even in the school I always scattered the roll And am always absent when the teacher calls the roll

    Coming up was not easy much Fact that I have to change and adjust My behaviour was the street and not the church. But the major character was of the church.

    Because of success, I had to learn We got John Maxwell book as we earn. Leadership and character we learn Because of success that we yearn

    Quietness and order gradually develops Right attitude suddenly pops up We become people to trust Even God assigning us because of his trust.

    I don’t really have a good start but surely the Lord has helped me with the pace and I keep on learning until all is perfected.

    Thanks dear Roth

    Atanda Ayorinde. O

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for your creative response!. I can just hear you saying all these words in rhythm and beat!
      I am glad it connected with you and that you found success and calling in spite of your difficult beginnings!


  6. Great post Dwight. Seems to have us all going down memory lane. I’ll be 73 in November so can relate to all you say. I suspect the young grades are a lot different today and allow for more freedom. I see automation becoming much more of a child’s future education. The particular irritation of my younger school days, I was taught by nuns, was their insistence on trying to rid me of my cockney accent. I was asked to tell the story of The Three Little Pigs at storytime.
    ” ‘e’ ‘uffed and ‘ e puffed and ‘e blew ‘is ‘ouse in”.
    No. It’s he huffed and he puffed and he blew his house in.
    That’s what I said sister, ” ‘e’ ‘uffed and ‘ e puffed and ‘e blew ‘is ‘ouse in”.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Len! A lot has changed in the last sixty years. Kids are learning and using tools only dreamed of back then. One of my favorite comic strip characters was Dick Tracey with his wrist- band radio. Now all police are using that very thing attached to their lapels!
      I am sure you sounded very cute back then even if the Nun thought you weren’t enunciating clearly!
      Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!!

      Liked by 1 person

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