In my recent purging of things from my past and cleaning and reorganizing as I settle back into my parents’ house, I’ve definitely come across some interesting things. One of the boxes I had avoided before but had to deal with as I actually moved in was a box full of my yearbooks, from grade five all the way through my senior year at Elon. Twelve yearbooks.
I was most intrigued by the one from my final year of elementary school, and highly amused when a piece of looseleaf paper fell out of it.
At the top, I had written the following in my blossoming cursive (I am one of those rare people who still writes in cursive) handwriting:
Elmwood has prepared me for the future by…
I couldn’t wait to read what insights I had about how elementary school had taught me about how to deal with the “real world” at that time. I came to find out that some of it was still pretty true.
Now I bring to you the essay, with my commentary in italics.
Little Lindsay on… sportsmanship.
Elmwood has prepared me for the future in many ways. (Great introductory sentence. I learned paragraph structure, apparently.) I have learned that you have to play by the rules of a game and have good sportsmanship. (I always loved sports.) You also have to try your best at everything you do. (Word.) In a game of kickball (my freaking gospel in elementary school), I learned that when someone gets out, you should say, “Nice try. You’ll do it next time.” (Pretty sure I never actually said that. I was a competitive little bia.) In another kickball game, I learned not to laugh at people when they kick it foul.
Little Lindsay on… people and friendship.
I have learned that all people make mistakes. (Preach, little me.) I found out some important information the hard way. I had sprained my ankle and hurt it again at kickball. (I told you I was a walking disaster.) Everyone tried to help me. That’s when I learned that my friends would always stand by me and help me. Two of my best friends acted as crutches to get me to the nurse. (Shoutout to Julie, because I’m pretty sure you were one of them!)
Little Lindsay on… being a child genius?
Some other information was easier to learn. (God, I loved topic sentences.) Basic facts in math, spelling, language and other subjects. (Apparently I was a child genius in academics, but the other basic life skills were a little more difficult to grasp.)
Little Lindsay on… taking pity on others?
I also learned things just by working with other people. I learned to try to work with everybody and help them. (Because I was so superior…clearly.) I also learned that you have to be patient with others. (Because they’re imbeciles and are wasting my time.)
Little Lindsay on… the REALLY important issues.
You also learn things for the future in specials. (Get ready for these gems…) In physical education, you learn to be on the opposite team of your friends. (Profound, little Linds. Although I must say, it’s an important life skill to this day.) You also learn teamwork in physical education.
In art class you learn how to be creative with your work. (Heyyy, liberal arts education!) I’ve also learned to listen to the teacher and not my friends. (I have no idea what that one is about.)
In library you learn how to find books and you learn about the Dewey Decimal System. (Yes. Because I use the Dewey Decimal System daily. And I now use the Internetz to find my books. I did love library though…)
In music we have learned to breath from deep down instead of right at the top. (My musical career did not progress much further than this lesson. I suppose those breathing techniques are useful for other things like yoga, which I don’t practice…)
In computer lab we learned that the internet is very slow. (Ohhhh, 1998… if only I knew what wonders lay ahead!)
Sadly, page two is missing.
So, let’s recap here.
- I learned all my most important life lessons while playing kickball.
- I really grasped the concept of paragraph and essay structure fairly well.
- I was a little bit elitist and snobby.
- The Dewey Decimal System is fairly irrelevant.
- Deep breathing and the Internet were some of the things that helped me prepare for the future.
Really, I’m not sure what to make out of most of this. A couple of the things were fairly wise for an 11-year-old. About relationships with other people. Lessons that I continued to learn, and am still learning today. But I think I definitely forgot some of the most important lessons, such as…
Oh well, lessons learned!
What are some of the lessons you learned as a kid that have stuck with you?