Jun 24, 2010

School Daze: Grade 5

Day 236

Grade Five was probably one of my favorite grades of all my school years. Surprisingly I don't have that many memories of the fifth grade probably because it melds right into my sixth grade since I had the same wonderful teacher in Ms. Archer.

I don't think we had a class picture this year or at least I didn't get one. We only had a yearbook which is now very beaten up.

CONFESSION TIME: I had to alter these pictures with Photoshop because I ranked each one of my classmates with either a star, check mark or an "X". I don't want to offend anyone here.

What made this class so special was that it had one row of 6th graders and the rest was 5th graders. I really wanted to be a sixth grader and be like these guys. I thought they were so cool. It added a unique atmosphere to the class. What I enjoyed the most about having the sixth graders in my class is that I had a major crush on one of them. All I can remember about her is that she wore this awesome "Men at Work" t-shirt that I thought she looked so darn good in. Unfortunately that also led to one of my biggest regrets. I tried way too hard to get her to like me.

One of the things that I remember strangely enough is that Ms. Archer had a huge row of books above the cubbyholes. So if we didn't have a book to read during reading time we could get one of those. Towards the end of the 5th grade we would write and hide notes in one of the books on that shelf for other classmates. This was how we found out who likes who and how much. The problem with this system is that you would just watch to see who placed what note in what book. But it was way too much fun to stop and think about it.

Ms. Archer turned out to be my favorite teacher through Sifton. What I liked about her was that she was very patient, funny and was deeply concerned about her students. I have shared this story here on the blog but I think I will share it again. I felt that Ms. Archer cared more about me as a person than by just making sure I got good grades. Towards the end of the 5th grade I began to hang out with this other kid in my class and he was not the nicest kid. He would threaten other kids and bully some of them and threaten beatings but for some stupid reason I wanted to be like this kid. Ms. Archer noticed this too and saw that I was changing and not for the good. So she made the decision to move my desk away from him and back to some of my other friends. And she asked me to stay after school for a couple of minutes. She told me after school that I was not being true to myself and that I should stop trying to be like this kid. She then told me that I was not being nice and I would lose people's respect and friendship. At the time those words hurt since I liked Ms. Archer a lot. After walking home and thinking about it, I knew she made sense. So I eventually stopped hanging around this kid and went back to my normal circle of friends. What she did had nothing to do with school work, nothing at all with my grades but she was so concerned about me. What she did that day will stay with me for as long as I live.

I don't think it tastes like soap at all. More like Sen-Sens.

One thing that I remember about Ms. Archer is that the smell of Thrills gum made her sick. I love this gum and would chew it often after lunch but would always spit it out when I got back to class. One time I chewed it on purpose to make her sick and all it really did was make her mad. And she caught me and made me do a special essay.

One of the things she would do to make us quiet was institute the Traveling Essay. Whoever would speak last or make a noise last would get the essay. Fortunately I never got the Traveling Essay, unfortunately I didn't need to get the Traveling Essay since I got essays assigned to me on my own.

Now I know where Logan gets it from. I didn't know I was such a talker but so far all of my teachers have agreed. At least I was polite about it. It is really surprising that I never got that Traveling Essay.

We had a new principal of the school named Mr. Chester. And we didn't like him at all. He issued a rule that stated that all students were not allowed to pick up snow during recess. Of course we ignored this rule, how could you not ignore this rule when you had to go out for recess during the winter? We didn't throw snowballs at other kids but one time we were throwing snow outside. We were just seeing how far we could throw. One of our classmates saw us do this and she turned us in and he yelled at us like nothing else. His face got all red and looked like it was ready to explode. I thought for sure I was going to get the strap. He was such a jerk.

We were at the library one time and our Librarian was instructing us on what reference materials were. Ms. Archer told us what an almanac was and asked us to think of something we could look up. Michele (a nice girl but one we all thought was a bit off) asked Ms. Archer if she could look up sex. Ms. Archer didn't bat an eyelash. She opened the book and said she would see if there was anything new about sex we could find out. I remember looking over at Alvin and giggling about it. As if we knew what sex was anyway.

Our school had an indoor Floor Hockey League. We would have games before and after school and we would have a mix of 5th and 6th graders. We were named after the newest hockey team in the NHL, the New Jersey Devils. I really admired our Team Captain (I cannot remember his name, for some reason I want to call him Rusty) and we had a decent team but we were not loaded with talent like the Blackhawks were. I didn't think we could beat the Blackhawks but we did. And after a month or so, our team was in the school championship. The school decided to have the game at the end of the day and all the students were invited to attend. I was the only one in our class that was on one of the two teams fighting for the school championship. Ms. Archer was so cool enough that about an hour or so before the game she allowed us to make signs for the game to support me.

We won the game and I even scored a goal! We crushed our opponent 4-1. I usually played as a defender but my Team Captain wanted me to play Left Wing and so I did and that is when I scored the goal.

Every year in elementary school we would participate in the Canada Fitness Program and we would be awarded for how well we did. This year I was awarded the Platinum Canadian Fitness Award. The highest award you can get. The hardest part was the Endurance Run which we were all forced to do. Looking back that was probably what made me a fan of running. Still, I am glad that Canada made its students exercise.

One of the things that I really liked about Ms. Archer's class was creative writing. She usually had us write our own stories. One of my favorite stories to write was called "Teacher for a Day".  We would write what it would be like for us to substitute our own class. We could write serious or funny stuff, really whatever we wanted to write. She encouraged us to be as creative as we wanted to be. Writing was one of my favorite things to do in her class.

I was fortunate enough to have Ms. Archer again the next year. Which is why I am having a tough time remembering what happened in what year. I cannot remember if it was this year or the next that I joined the Ukulele club. I have a feeling it was this year since Mrs. Miller taught it and I had a different music teacher the next year. Hmmmm... I guess I will blog about that next time.


  1. It is so much fun reading about your grade school experiences and how similar some of them were to me. I really enjoyed creative writing in 5th grade, too. And our principal wouldn't let us play with snow, either! Anyway, that's awesome that you scored a point in your floor hockey game! Great job!

  2. So are you guys coming down to watch the game on Saturday? I hear that if Steve makes food it's a possibility :)