Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Letter To the First Grade

I am contemplating whether or not to add my own personal drawing.

Tarkington Elementary School
3414 Hepler Street
South Bend, IN 46635
Attn: Mrs. Hesch’s First Grade Class

Dear Children,

It occurred to me while watching David Letterman that first grade classes are always writing people letters, but nobody ever writes them! There is too much unfairness in this world for me to let this injustice go on any longer. As I wondered what class I should write to out of all the elementary schools in the country, I came to the obvious conclusion that I had to write my alma mater, Booth Tarkington Elementary. Go Tigers!

Back when I was in school, things were a little different. First of all, my teacher was Mrs. Harper and the Principal was Mr. Sabo. The playground was old and covered in wood chips, which were probably removed after studies showed that recycled wood contained arsenic and other carcinogens. Carcinogens are bad things that make you sick, like eating too much Halloween candy. Listen to your Mom and Dad, kids!

I bet lots has changed since I left Tarkington. Do you still play the Oregon Trail and Numbers Muncher in the computer lab? Do you have art class? We had art class with Mrs. Verturamo, and there were two big trash bins in the front of the class. She always said they had clay in them, and that next year we’d get to sculpt clay. But every year we just kept using crayons and paint! What in the world was she hiding in those trash bins?!

I also noticed on your school’s website that Mrs. Majewski still teaches the fourth grade. Can you believe that she was MY fourth grade teacher? It’s true! She built a log cabin made of giant cardboard rods in her classroom every year, and each student took turns moving their desk into the cabin for a week. It was great! You could get away with anything in that cabin because she couldn’t see you. I really hated her. Sometimes you don’t like a teacher, but when you grow up you realize how much he or she was really helping you and your feelings change. This isn’t one of those times, though.

Things were crazy back then. The cafeteria didn’t exist; we ate lunch in the gym. The teachers parked where the basketball court is now. The school was aqua green on the outside panels, and the bus circle had not been built yet. But some things have not changed. We were at war with Iraq back when I was there. I bet the cafeteria mashed potatoes are still delicious. Do you still have the Fun Fair in the spring? I’d rather go to Fun Fair than the Moon! Unless Fun Fair was being held on the Moon, then I’d go to both! Let’s hope President Obama puts Fun Fair on the Moon.

Looks like I’m out of time, kids. I hope you have a great day, and say hi to the portrait of Booth Tarkington for me!


The Correspondent