[Last fall, Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings suggested thinking about your fifth grade memories. The time is often a pivotal point in a person’s life. I was speaking with my friend Aauriane about her fifth grade experiences and suggested she write about it. Here are some of her memories.]
Fifth Grade Memories
By Aauriane Veleda
Fifth grade was a year of new beginnings and explorations for me. Fourth grade had introduced me to the concept of men being teachers and I loved Mr. Kruger dearly but he left us mid-course of the year for health reasons. Soon fifth grade followed and not only did we begin changing rooms for subjects this year, but I had three male instructors! This year we had three subjects – math, English and everything else was in home room. Mr. Long was my homeroom teacher but he also taught me science and history. I was one of those kids who loved to learn and for Christmas I asked for microscopes and biology sets – things you used to be able to get through Sears catalogs. Mr. Long fostered that learning and let me bring my biology set to school. He taught me dissection before and after school. I fell in love with science even more and thanks to Mr. Long’s love of history and artistic expression, I was learning about the American Revolution through drawing and coloring maps, costumes, uniforms and books. It was when I decided I loved to learn even more! Mr. Locke was my math teacher. He was ok, but I decided I did not like math, much less fractions. However, he got me started in math to the point I did it well, even though, I still don’t like it today. Mr. McLaughlin was my English teacher – with a thick Irish accent. I don’t remember much about him or that year. I remember Mr. Long the most. I still appreciate all he did for me and he didn’t have to – he loved to teach and went above and beyond for those who wanted to learn.
The fifth grade brought another first – a boyfriend. Up to this point, boys were boys and some were friends. We had a huge sand pit outside our classroom door and a few of us went there early, on dry mornings, where we would have long jump competitions before class rooms were opened. I wasn’t always the farthest but I did win a few and I was the only girl willing to get dirty and have fun and match the guys. During this time one boy – Kenneth O’Brian – decided he liked me and I liked him because he was sweet and brave – he wasn’t afraid to talk to me. And he wanted to hold my hand. He was my first boyfriend, and officially so, because he asked if he could be. I received my first kiss from him. He wasn’t anything extraordinary, in fact he was a bit heavy set with freckles and red curly hair. His kisses were wet and sloppy, but quick. I told my mom he was my boyfriend and she giggled. Then she had to meet his mom. But we were taken to each others house to visit and be boyfriend/girlfriend. Nothing more than an occasional kiss and hand holding ever occurred, but lots of affection and gifts. He made it known I was his girl and he defended me. I thought this was a new and neat concept I had never considered in a guy before. He started me on the path of understanding relationships. At the end of our fifth grade summer, right before sixth grade, Kenny had to move. I never saw or heard from him again. I wonder how he turned out?
The only other things I remember from this year is a baby sister, lots of carnivals and fairs as mom was on the committee for events and a sack race and three-legged race on May Day events the school held for us and we all got to go outside and have fun. I don’t think they do these anymore. I learned to be on time and walk between classrooms as our middle school was all portables and multi-storied buildings and we had to find out way. My fifth grade was preparing us for the bigger schools to come. Our classes were in the very back and furthest portables so we walked the furthest, but we were also made to be aware we were the big kids on campus and we had to watch out for and help the smaller kids. This made us feel large and in charge. I didn’t realize how much I remembered of 5th grade but it was a good year!