Keepsakes

This is the first in a series of sporadic blog posts about items I have in my keepsake box. If you think I’m not sentimental, this should prove otherwise.

In third grade, we did a unit on the human skeleton. At the beginning of the unit our teacher, Mrs. Van Putten, had us draw and label the skeleton – so we could compare it to what we learned later. Here’s my charming drawing.

Including: brain skull, skull, elbow, ribs, finger bones, toe bones, and leg bones.

Including: brain skull, skull, elbow, ribs, finger bones, toe bones, and leg bones.

Thankfully, I also kept the end-of-unit drawing, for at least some slight redemption. I swear I am not an idiot, regardless of what the previous drawing might indicate. Proof that I learned something, at one point in my life:

Including: brain case, eye socket, humerus, rib cage, radius, ulna, carples, metacarples, vertebrae (or something like that), tibia, fibula, ankle bones, and metatarsles.

Including: brain case, eye socket, humerus, rib cage, radius, ulna, carples, metacarples, vertebrae (or something like that), tibia, fibula, ankle bones, and metatarsles.

Forgive my 8-year-old spelling. I did go on to become a pretty great speller. More or less.

I don’t actually remember the skeleton unit from third grade. I do remember the Native American unit, which I’m fairly certain we called the Indian unit. We all had Indian names – if I looked through all my papers, I might be able to find mine – and Renee and I (and another classmate, I can’t remember who – maybe Ashley Mitchell?) made an Indian hideout under the class steps. We went on a field trip where we learned how to grind acorns, and afterward we used broken bits of concrete under the class steps as rocks to grind grass and leaves. Or something like that. My memory is getting a little rusty at this point. Any help, Renee?

One of my other distinct memories from third grade is meeting a girl who was as small as I was – Samantha Herrera. Because I was in a special program for Extra Smart People (it’s my blog, so let me brag), most of my classmates didn’t live nearby; Samantha lived in Lawler Ranch, which I’ve never visited as an adult, so I can’t really say how far away it was. But it was far enough away that I always had to be driven to her house. Samantha was best friends with Soleil, who I now realize got her French name via her Vietnamese mother. But at age 8, I didn’t know anything about world history.

The last thing I’ll share is that I loved math until third grade. Because I entered GATE (the awesome thing I got to do for being an Extra Smart Person) in third grade, I went from second-grade math – which I loved – to fourth-grade math and had a LOT of trouble with it. I remember struggling with multiplying two 2-digit numbers. The jelly-bean explanation confused me. A few of the other students were so good at math that they went up to the fourth grade GATE class for math, which really put them at a fifth-grade level. I think they were mostly boys (Brad Handel, Andrew Gemmer, Jason-whose-last-name-I’ve-forgotten. Counihan?), and I felt like maybe that meant something. But by fifth grade I was in the advanced math group, and most of us were girls. So I guess it was just chance.

What do you remember from third grade?