It seemed like a simple enough task. Allison Tait over at Life in a Pink Fibro posted a photo of herself from third grade and challenged others to do the same. Great, I thought, that could make a cute blog post.
Then the search began. I had my high school photos here at home, but no sign of primary school shots. My mother was away, so I did what any self-respecting, demanding child does, I sent her a text, where are my primary school photos?
She did what any self-respecting, mother on a weekend’s escape from a demanding child does, she ignored the text.
The next day I ransacked her flat, leaving messages on her mobile do you know where my primary school photos are, I need a third grade photo for the BLOG.
Eventually, I uncovered a box of photographs. There they were, my brother in kindy, my brother in first class, my brother in second class … and so it went on. Every year of my brother’s primary education neatly catalogued. Me? No sign. I’ve always known he was the favourite.
My mother, when she eventually returned my calls, insists she gave me all my school photos years ago. I absolutely deny this, although the fact I have all the high school photos tends to weaken my argument.
Finally I found two shots, one from second class and another from fourth class – oh the irony the year on either side of third class!
The first holy communion of second class, my only memory of the day, Greg O’Connor swapped a piece of chocolate cake for my soggy tomato sandwich, what a guy! The remnants of the cake remained on my face for this official photo.
The fourth class photo. The sibling shot, obviously my mother still has it because it features the favoured one!
So if you can just use your imagination to picture the face that may have been the halfway point between these two years. (By the way, next time my mother says I need to get the girl’s hair cut for their school photos I’m going to point out that failing to get your child to the hairdressers is obviously a genetic thing, someone please give this child are hair style! I will not accept it may have had something to do with my wanting long hair and refusing to go to the hairdresser!).
Year 3, was 1976, while I was daydreaming at St Matthews things were happening in the world. Fernando was the hit song of the year. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak were forming a little business called Apple Computer Company who knew how that was gonna change the world? Nadia Comaneci was winning 3 gold medals at the Montreal Olympics with seven perfect scores and Rocky was taking out the Oscars.
This trip down memory sends one into a sepia edged, hallucinatory experience. Snippets of memory linger, the details have gone but faint images, voices, faces, moments spin in and out. My teacher, back in the day before nuns became a rare and endangered species, was Sister Luke who became Sister Marjorie when the Pope declared nuns could revert back to their own names (well that’s how my nine-year old brain remembers it).
We made spiders out of aluminium cans and strung them up across the room, we drew an outline of our body on butchers paper and filled it with pictures, this is what I remember from all the lessons that year, kinesthetic learner or what?
My ode to childhood was further fueled by Rachel at The Kids Are Alright creating a Pinterest board for Generation X. Those of you who played jacks, watched Swiss Family Robinson (I was more a Little House on the Prairie girl myself) and remember the intoxicating aroma of Perkins Paste as you glued your worksheets into your schoolbooks will LOVE this board.
What were you doing in 1976? What do you remember from the year you were in third grade?