Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Memory Day: 1985

I continued to kill it in kindergarten in 1985 (at the age of 5) as shown in the progress report below, where I had Mastered everything.

In fact, the only low grade I had was in my first quarter under "Recognizes pennies and nickels", a skill that is no longer necessary in today's societies. I don't put too much weight in this grade anyways, as it's inconsistent with the final category, "Copes with change", which I got an M in.

I continued to play with He-Man and Transformer action figures and my favorite gum was Juicy Fruit. Unfortunately, we only kept Doublemint in the house, and getting some Juicy Fruit was a matter of pleading with my dad in the grocery store (and he rarely caved).

At this time, my dad's hardware store of choice was Hechinger's. He took us regularly to the one on Duke Street and left us in the doorbell aisle while he bought miscellaneous screws and pipes. One time, I knocked over a glass light fixture dome on the bottom shelf while reaching for the doorbells and a customer angrily asked where my parents were and why I wasn't supervised. He ran off to get a store worker while I frantically found my dad and fled the store. I would not return for a year and a half, worried that my picture would be up on the wall by the door and I would get arrested immediately.

In the fall, I turned 6 and started first grade at James K. Polk Elementary school. Since it was right up the street, we switched from our family babysitter to before-school and after-school day care. The day care workers were not particularly skilled -- on the first day, there were two kids crying and the workers split me and my sister up to play with the cryers. The result was four crying kids instead of two. Still, day care was worth it for the wooden floor hockey table that you could play with using a checker and pencils. I enjoyed playing with this so much that I had my dad build one from scratch so we could have one at home.

My first grade teacher was Mrs. McClung, and she had a small board with the numbers 1 to 100 hung on it. I could post all of the numbers in order in record time, so it was my assigned job to reset the board every afternoon if the other kids had knocked the numbers off.

First grade was also the time period I started playing text adventure games, after my parents picked up Zork I at the Seven Corners Mall. This greatly increased my vocabulary (at least with imperative phrases consisting of one verb and one noun) and led me to search for games to play at school, but they only had the weird and pointless Gertrude's Secrets on their Commodore 64s.

Here's a picture of our family at Christmas time, where my yearly loot stash was gradually evolving from action figures to computer games.

Other posts in this series: 1979 | 1980 | 1981 | 1982 | 1983 | 1984 | 1985 | 1986 | 1987 | 1988 | 1989 | 1990 | 1990 - 1991 | 1991 - 1992 | 1992 - 1993

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