Tales Of A Pre-Schooler Essay, Research Paper
Hurry up, Kent, you don t want to be late for your first day of school, mom called as I was eating
my blueberry muffin. I picked up my muffin and bag and headed toward her voice in the hall. I sure didn t
want to miss any of my first day at Hair-gee House, or Heritage House, as the adults called it.
Hair-gee House was a former residence that was converted into a preschool and Kindergarten for
3, 4,and 5 year olds. The building, which seemed immense to me at the time, was white with a large porch.
The side play yard was huge with play equipment of all types and great oak trees that produced delightful
acorns. The acorns could be used for throwing, collecting, or cracking open. There were jungle gyms,
swing sets, seesaws, and other toys, once painted in bright reds, blues, and yellows. I cherish the memories
that I still reflect upon now and again.
I remember being late for school a lot, probably because I was always in my own world and
difficult for my mother to keep up with. She d drop me of at the front door, and I d run up to the front, still
holding half a muffin. Miss Virginia, a stately older lady with a deep, frightening voice would open the
front door for me. All Southern children address women, without a care to the lady s marital status or
feminist views, Miss. Well, hello Kent!, she d bellow, which only sent me racing for my class in the
back of the school as fast as my little legs would carry me.
As I entered the door to a room full of 15 hyperactive 3 year olds, the chemical smell of
mimeographed paper filled the room. I still love the scent of that wet white paper with purple drawings. I
still have a fondness for the fuzzy violet letters on slightly damp paper versus the crisp, dry Xerox copies of
today. We were always warned not to touch the royal purple carbon copy that rested in the trash bin, lest we
soil our hands. No kid could resist that temptation. We would always end up touching it, getting the ink
smeared on hands, clothes, and any recently cleaned surface.
I loved learning our alphabet in the morning. A,B,C,… was my favorite song in 1973, quickly
replaced by Eric Clapton s Lay Down Sally the following year. The sing-songy melody makes it easy for
children to pick up on and actually learn something. The song seemed to put me in a great mood as we
sang the letters as loudly as all 3 year olds do. The letters were printed on bright cards with an object
representing each of them. These cards were placed on the top of the walls around the room. Miss Bobette
would then get out the fairy , a flashlight with glitter all over it. She d turn out the lights and we d yell out
the letters in random order as the fairy illuminated each one. Wild with excitement from that, we d all march
around the room singing the alphabet song.
When it rained, we d gather around the window and look at the drops hit the pavement with little
splashes. Casting aside all political correctness in 1976, Miss Bobette would say, Those are little Indians
dancing outside. We screamed with delight, and then frowned upon realizing there would be no outside
recess. There was a terrible snowstorm in Arkansas that year, so we stayed home a lot. But when the roads
were safe enough to attend, we d watch her cut out beautiful, magical snowflakes. We tried our hand at
snowflakes with less satisfactory results. Four-year-old class seemed to have a lot of hand-eye coordination.
Everyone remembers learning to write with those thick pencils with a rubber ball on top.
Art was my favorite time of the day. Going over to my basket and retrieving that huge box of
crayons, I felt as if I were in heaven. Binney and Smith may not know the excitement that they create in
children when they first open that box of 64 colors, but it is priceless. I would carefully open my box,
inspect the crayons to make sure that they were in order, and smell that wonderful aroma of wax. I couldn t
wait to use my palette of colors to create another masterpiece! I was obsessed with monkeys, bees, and any
creature that flew. I would draw endless scribbles of these creatures. When the teacher asked us to explain
the pictures we drew of what we wanted to be when we grew up, I proudly exclaimed A monkey with
wings! I had just seen the Wizard of Oz, and was enchanted with the outlandish beasts.
Recess was another highlight of any child s day. Because it was a small school, with less than 50
students, 3, 4 , and 5 year old classes took recesses at the same time. The Kindergartners or
Kiddergardners as we called them, were bigger and faster, so they would lay claim to they large play
equipment first. Oh, the thrill of recess, after being seated for what seemed like hours on end! We ran and
chased and chatted garble until we were exhausted before going back to class.
I remember getting in trouble at school for the first time when I was four. I was angry at Heather
Norsworthy for getting onto the swings before I did. To retaliate, I spit on her. This made her angry also,
promptly running off to tell Miss Virginia. I knew that I had done something but I didn t know that it was
bad until I heard my name called across the school yard. KENT!!!, she roared, Come here right now and
apologize to Heather! I ran in the other direction to hide behind a tree. There s no way this wicked witch
can find me here, I mused. Boy, was I wrong. She snatched me up and took me to Heather where I
apologized, received a stern lecture on the virtues of not spitting, and went home with a note pinned to my
shirt. Oh those damned notes!
In the 4-year old class, I remember learning to tie my shoes. We had boards with a picture of two
shoes with real laces crossing in and out of the holes. We practiced for what seemed to be months on those
boards. After many nights rehearsing with my parents, I was ready for the first test of many in my long
academic career. I remember being very nervous as Miss Kay called my name. I anxiously left my desk and
walked to her desk. I looked at the board and couldn t remember what to do. She helped me with the first
laces, and left the other shoe to me. Proudly, I tied correctly the knot. I then yanked it apart with one jerk
of the lace and beamed at my accomplishment. Her smile told me that I had done well. I walked back to my
seat with a look of confidence on my face. I had done it!
Because I m a sentimental person, I drive past Heritage House sometimes when I go back to
England. The school is larger now because of additions, yet it looks much smaller than when I was a kid.
The playground equipment, once so cheerful, has oxidized to pastels over the years. The kids playing in the
yard have different faces, yet they are still the same kids that have always attended. It s amazing to think
that at one time, that school was my whole world. Life seemed to be so much simpler then. I had no
responsibilities, no deadlines, no bills, not worries. When I was a child, my job was to play hard, and I was
good at it. Now, I m about to graduate from college, and I live outside my parent s house. Perspective is