tell me everything you remember about kindergarten.

the kindergarten room at queens was unlike all the other classrooms in the private catholic school. it was by itself on the second-and-a-half floor along with the reading room for grades 1-5. there was a short stairway taken up from the 5th and 6th grade classrooms, and you were in kindergarten domain. it was a green room, i remember, large and cut up into sections by dark-trimmed large archways like you see in older homes. there was the small corner cut off from the rest of the room for reading, another for playtime, and a semicircle of small desks with small chairs for when we learned our ABCs. and can’t forget the statue of the virgin mary, around which every morning we said our prayers.

but the mainstay of the room was sr. brian. i had no particular beef with the teacher of the kindergarten class, other than she seemed to make a lot of people cry more than any other teacher did. one time i was humming while i was putting my ABC blocks in order, and she told me to quit humming. i don’t know why a kindergarten teacher would discourage humming in children, but there you have it.

we hatched a butterfly in kindergarten. i don’t know who it was, but someone found a cocoon, and we put it in a jar to watch its transformation into a monarch.

our kindergarten bags came to us before we started school. they were simple, made out of cloth with a design on the front and our name, just big enough to carry the few sheets of paper needed for kindergarten homework. mine was light pink.

then there was the rivalry between me and nicki bibus. she was at the beginning of the morning kindergarten line, and i was at the end. because we rotated leaders in the line, when she got stuck at the end, she was behind me. and for some reason she started literally picking on me. don’t as me why – maybe she didn’t like my face. anyway, i ratted on her because i was sick of the picking. sr. brian made us shake hands underneath the virgin mary. and guess what? the picking became worse – who knew, right?

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