Things I Learned About My First-Grade Self From My First-Grade Classmates

Today was the first day in a long, long time in which all four members of my family were at home, and since my parents have been on a major cleaning spree, one of today’s tasks for me and my sister was to clear out some of our old stuff from the basement and either decide to take it with us or throw it away. I remember most of the stuff I kept in those boxes, mostly old assignments and drawings from elementary school, but some of the items took me by surprise. One such item about which I’d completely forgotten, even upon seeing it again, was a book my classmates in first grade made about me.

I do remember that in first grade, we had a “star” of the week each week, and that my week was sometime in February, but I had forgotten what exactly that entailed. What I uncovered was my “Star Book;” nothing to do with astrology, but rather a collection of sentences my classmates wrote about me and the teacher stapled in a book. Needless to say, I learned a lot about myself from this very eye-opening book of six-year-old scratches.

On the front cover, it says my full name, and that I am Shy, Terrific, Amiable, and Respectful, spelling STAR. I remember all the adjectives that my teacher had and we could pick the ones which we thought best described ourselves. I have no clue why I picked those four words; I probably was terrific and usually respectful, and I had my shy moments, but I’m not sure what possessed me to pick amiable.

So, let’s take a look inside and see what we can learn, shall we?

1. My favorite food is spaghetti.

A number of my classmates mentioned it, but I remember growing up hating spaghetti. My mother always overcooked it and usually it ended up on my lap. I hated eating it and I hated marinara sauce. Nowadays, I don’t mind it, but what a weird answer for little me to divulge.

2. My favorite flag? Slovakia.

Another odd choice, but somehow serendipitous, given that twenty years later I would visit Slovakia for two weeks and write my 155-page Master’s thesis on it. My guess is because it had just become an independent country and I’d seen it on the news or something.

3. I like Bugs Bunny.

Really? Bugs Bunny? Not a clue on why I said that.

4. My favorite animals are horses and lambs.

I think it was because of some children’s books I’d read featuring those animals. Not that I have anything against them today, at all, but it’s written several times, including in my own handwriting in other places. I have no recollection, though, of liking horses and lambs, or why.

5. My favorite musical instrument is a guitar.

Again, no clue. I thought I liked pianos from an early age,

6. My favorite car? A van.

Apparently, I knew nothing about cars. Still true.

7. I am the best speller in the class.

Yep, true. I even have a story about it.

8. My favorite flower is a morning glory.

What the…? Of all the flowers, Jacob? Someone had probably been reading seed packets at the grocery store that day or something.

9. I am handsome, kind, and almost everyone listed me as “my friend.”

Not true. Out of the 18 people in said class, I am still friends with 6 of them on Facebook. I am still in contact with exactly 0 of these people, even though I know where many of them went after high school. Most of these people were either rotten to me at some point, or just indifferent towards me. I know that I definitely thought that more people in my class disliked me, when it was probably the case that people just didn’t care one way or the other, but didn’t go out of their way to talk to me or interact with me, which I guess meant to little me that we were not friends, and therefore, enemies. I didn’t really grasp the concept of friends back then, probably because I was a weird kid.

10. My birthday? October 21.

Yep, still true. Some things never change.