While I am a home school graduate, I did attend 3 years of Public School; 3rd to 6th grade. I attended five or so different schools in those three years. Elementary and Middle School. My first year in the public school system has to be the most memorable, and most precious, to me.
On the first day of school, my sisters and I boarded a school bus for the very first time. I didn’t speak a word during the whole ride, and I’m sure my eyes were as wide as dollar coins. My sisters sat up in the front, and I sat towards the middle. (The bus was age segregated.)
When we arrived, the bus driver (Gary, aka “Hairy Gary”) looked at my sisters in a rough way, and said, “What’s wrong?” They both busted out crying saying they missed mommy. Later we came to understand that that’s just how Gary was; he was a rough old man who had a soft spot for kids, once you showed you were good. Anyways, he sighed, and waved a teacher over to help get them off the bus and to their classroom. Shamefully, I stayed behind and didn’t say a word. I wanted to cry, too, but I mustn’t because I was older, and I didn’t want to embarrass myself.
I don’t remember exactly how I got to my homeroom, but somehow I did. Mrs. Bloom was there to greet me. She was busy rushing around, greeting her new students. She had medium length, gray hair, wearing sleeveless turtle neck. I would soon discover that she would wear them often, until it got too cold and she would wear normal turtle necks. She would also wear these beautiful, tiered skirts. I didn’t know the word then, but I immediately recognized she was a “hippy.”
I was fascinated by her from the get go. First off, her name was beautiful, I thought. “Mrs. Bloom.” On that scary day, she brightened it up by the mere mention of her name. When she asked for my name, put her arms around my shoulders, and welcomed me to the classroom. She made me feel real special. She pointed me to my desk; it had my name on it, and I immediately felt that I belonged.
I don’t remember every detail of that first day, but I do remember having to explain to Mrs. Bloom that I had never been in school before. I remember the look she gave me, but she was very gracious and understanding toward me after that. Learning the rules about raising your hand, going to the bathroom, no chewing gum in class, etc. All of this was brand new to me.
Lunch time was especially lonely for me. Yes, I quickly made friends. I was the quiet, nice girl and could get along with most people. What made it lonely was the lunch made by strangers, eating it surrounded by strangers, and not having anyone to pray with. I was so used to praying over my meal, that I was surprised to see a lot of my friends not praying over their food. I tried to be discreet about it; I didn’t want to make a scene. My friends eventually got used to me having a moment of silence before eating.
3rd grade was also the year I made my best friend, Kaila Calhoun.
Oh, she was the best! We got along so well! We shared the similar, cruel humor. (We were both quiet and nice; who’d have thought?) We could talk for the longest periods of times and not tire of them. We liked doing similar things during recess, although I did rebel once in a while. I get tired of the monkey bars, alright?
She had medium length, blond hair, with bangs. She wore glasses. She had a slight tomboy look to her. (I imagine she’s just gorgeous now.) I thought she was wonderful. She was a God send. (I honestly do believe that.) I lost all contact with her after I moved, but she still has a special place in my heart.
I can’t say whether she was saved or not; she did give a vague testimony. We talked about the devil and mother nature once. We shared the same opinion on that. That might have been my first theological discussion; I still remember my heart beating so hard in my chest when discussing that topic, in the same way it does now.
I came to just love my class; I thought we were THE best class in that whole school! I still like to think we really were.
In that class I developed a little crush on this cute boy named Evan. He had black hair, a cute smile, and was just handsome. I think I only spoke five words to him, ever. He moved that year to another state, though. It was definitely a small crush, for I wasn’t crushed when he left.
Next year, I would develop a crush on a boy that was in my 3rd grade class, and ended up in my 4th grade class. His name was Taylor. He had auburn red hair, freckles, a cute gap in his teeth, and was a little chubby. He was real funny. A few months after starting 4th grade, he started going on the same bus as me. Turns out his parents were divorced, and they had switched custody. When he first went on the bus, I saw him and gasped, “Taylor!” He mimicked me and gasped, “Moriah!” We (jokingly) scowled at each other, and he kept walking. Eventually we would talk a little, some about divorce, and developed a basic friendship. Later that year, I would leave school unexpectedly. I’m led to think that Taylor had a crush on me, too. It was probably best that I left when I did. (lol)
3rd grade also brought some grave revelations to me. There was a kid named Austen in my class. He was always very moody; normally very angry. He had very light blonde hair, and had light skin. He would have tantrums, and just rage. He scared me, at times, but normally he just annoyed me. Why couldn’t he behave? And why was it so random? I later realized that it all depended on when he took his medicine. After he did, he would zone out and not really do much. He was drugged into “good” behavior. After that, I felt really bad for him.
I mentioned two paragraphs up that in 4th grade I left school unexpectedly. I did this at least twice; reasons will remain unnamed. The first time I did was devastating.
On this particular school day, Mrs. Bloom decided to have a girls lunch. The boys would go to the cafeteria, and all the girls would have lunch in the classroom. How exciting! We set the tables in the middle of the room, and put a pretty table cloth over it. Right before we were to eat, Mrs. Bloom came in the room and said that I was needed in the office. There, I met my Mom and hear the news that I was going home for the day and would not be coming back. We were moving.
I was shocked; speechless. She told me to go back to the classroom to gather my things, and to come back when I was ready. I wasn’t sure where my emotions were taking me, so I took the long way to the classroom. When I reached the hall that lead to my room, there was Mrs. Bloom walking toward me with her arms outstretched. How I felt must have shown on my face. I embraced her, and just started to cry. I couldn’t believe it. On such a good day, I was to leave. After making all these friends, getting used to everything, making plans. It just wasn’t fair.
I remember all the girls asking me and Mrs. Bloom what was wrong, concerned at my outburst. Mrs. Bloom explained it; I hugged my friends; received encouraging words from Mrs. Bloom, “You may just come back.” and I left. I clung to that hope.
I did return. The time in between the two events, I can’t remember. It wasn’t very long, I don’t think.
I was in the school office with my sisters; my Mom was signing me up for class. She had hoped we could start that day, but turns out we couldn’t until the next day. In came one of my classmates, Mark. He was dropping off the role call sheet. “Hey, Moriah!” He said cheerfully, and then walked out. About five minutes later, Mrs. Bloom came rushing toward me, and gave me a big hug! Reunited!
She decided to play a trick on the class, and pretend that I wasn’t actually there in the office. She brought me down the hall, and had me stand beside the door, hiding. She stood in the doorway, put her hands on her hips, and proclaimed, “Mark, Moriah wasn’t there!”
“But I saw her!” He retorted. “Really, guys, I did!” Everyone was grumbling. My face blushed when I heard their disappointment; it feels good to be wanted.
Mrs. Bloom laughed, and pulled me into the doorway. Everyone cheered. I became very bashful, but couldn’t help smiling. I looked around and saw all my old friends, and blushed even deeper when I saw Evan, haha.
Considering the circumstances, I was very blessed to be put into that 3rd grade class. Yes, even though I developed crushes, they were, in all honest, very harmless. There were no dating games at this point; no teasing about who likes who. The boys and girls were able to be friendly, but still be disgusted at each other. (Boys are gross; girls are weird.) Everyone was very kind to me. I was never once bullied or made to feel bad. I loved my teacher, and I believe she loved me. (She remember my name three years after that year, after all.:) )
My young faith in the Lord did grow; I was still a child, but I was never really challenged. I don’t remember openly witnessing to anyone, but I didn’t hide my faith, either. Looking back, I can easily see the Lord’s hand in that year. He provided a kind teacher, a wonderful class, precious friends, and small interventions to protect me.
I thank the Lord for all the work he has done in my life; I haven’t always recognized it at first, and have allowed grief to overtake me at times, giving up on the hope of the Lord. Yet he’s always pulled through. In the end, everything turned out okay, all thanks to Him.
“O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: because his mercy endureth for ever.”