Recently, Jane, a child of my kindergarten teacher, posted a request on social media asking any of us who had her mother for a teacher to write her mother a note. As I prepared to write my note, I started reminiscing about this kindergarten caper.
It was a big day. The kindergarten classes of Mrs. Hill’s school that met in Blacksburg Presbyterian Church were making music on the stage. Our musical instruments consisted of sticks, triangles, cymbals, maracas, bells and more. I don’t remember what songs we accompanied — I just remember being on the stage, banging my two sticks together to the beat. Maybe it was just a rehearsal, because I don’t recall families being there for what occurred afterward.
The stage where we performed was on the second floor. After we practiced, we took the back stairs to our classroom. The boy two people ahead of me flipped the light switch off and turned it back on as we walked downstairs. The girl in front of me followed suit. Next, I flipped the switch. We kept moving down the stairs.
Back at our classroom, my teacher, Mrs. Wiggert, scolded us three light-flippers separately. We each got a spanking. I was so embarrassed. I asked to go to the bathroom and cried. When I got back from the bathroom, I told Mrs. Wiggert that I thought I had an ear infection (I was prone to them). I went to the school office to wait for my mom to come.
I didn’t really have a hurting ear. That was my escape plan. Boy, did that lie backfire.
My mother, a physician, picked me up. I figured she would check out my ear. No such luck. She took me to the pediatrician’s office in Radford. I did not want to see a different doctor. I think my mom smelled a rat that I wasn’t really sick. Well, maybe sick with remorse but not with an aching ear. The pediatrician checked my ears: nothing out of order. No surprise there.
I finally got to go home, where I had to stay in my room since I “felt sick.”
At the early age of 5, I learned two important life lessons:
1. Don’t do something stupid just because others are, and
2. Don’t lie that you’re sick.
It took me several more missteps (actually, many) throughout my childhood to grasp the first lesson, but that second one stuck pretty fast.
— Claire Childress, a reader from Montgomery County