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How to navigate to "Straying Home," my e-book about adolescent self-discovery through global travel. Just click on a Chapter tab, 1 to 5, immediately below.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

RARE DISTINCTION: HOW I "FLUNKED" KINDERGARTEN

A story from Growing Green Two Ways!

As I relate in Growing Green Two Ways!, I grew up in Tacoma, Washington. Neighbor kids and I attended the Oakland Grade School, housed in a classically designed building at the east end of South 34th Street, four blocks from home.

I won the rare distinction of “flunking” kindergarten. I was born early in the year, which made me almost a year younger than many of my classmates. As the end of the school year approached, the teacher and my parents decided to hold me back a year. I was pleased at staying in place while all others moved ahead one square because I enjoyed the benefits. They’d miss what I would still have: afternoon naps on my mat in the school room plus the milk and cookie treats kindergarteners, but not first graders, were offered.

When I was completing the third grade, that teacher called my parents in, very intentionally, for a conference about my progress. The teacher declared to my mom and dad that I was doing famously in school. The trio decided I could skip the fourth grade. By the fall of that year, I’d caught up once again with my friends in my initial class. We’d spent an equal number of years in school, but I felt I had one up on all the others: that extra year of cookies and milk.

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