This isn’t going to be your typical list of where I went to school, the classes I took, etc.
I started to write this as a single post about all my education, but it got really long so I decided to break it up. Part 1 is about my years in elementary school.
I spent my elementary school years at Rio Vista Elementary School, except kindergarten. Rio Vista Elementary School wasn’t opened until I started 1st grade, so I went to kindergarten at Saugus Elementary School. Saugus Elementary closed not long after that and was vacant for a long time. Then in the 1990s (I think), someone or some company bought it and turned it into a small shopping center with interesting boutiques. I’m not sure if it’s still there anymore. Rio Vista Elementary School was just around the corner from my house so I walked or rode my bike to school. I don’t remember anything about kindergarten except having to ride a bus to school.
I don’t remember many interesting things about 1st grade, though my teacher’s name was Miss Mercurio. I think she got married during the school year and became Mrs. Erflie. I may have gotten in minor trouble once for standing on a chair.
My 2nd and 3rd grade teachers were Mrs. Kaufman and Mrs. Hickey. They team taught. Mrs. Kaufman was my primary teacher, but some things were taught by Mrs. Hickey. Mrs. Kaufman taught us some Spanish, like numbers, colors and basic stuff like that. I had some poor grades for citizenship, like talking in class and such, in 2nd or 3rd grade (can’t remember which one). It was because a bunch of us boys started playing Little League that spring and we were all excited about playing. We wouldn’t shut up about it. Of course we all sat near each other. Once Mrs. Kaufman changed our seating assignments, most of the talking in class ended and I didn’t get any more bad marks.
My 4th grade teacher was Mr. Weiss. He had a big bushy mustache. He played guitar and offered guitar lessons, but for some reason, I wasn’t allowed to take the lessons even though I wanted to. I remember one afternoon we were all outside for PE. All of a sudden, Mr. Weiss went running for the classroom door. He was running so fast that when he got to the door, he couldn’t stop. He put his left hand out to brace himself, but it went through the window. His hand and forearm got cut up pretty bad. 4th grade was where I learned long division. Even though I was good at it, I hated long division.
I had the same teacher for 5th and 6th grade, Mr. Knauss. I really liked him. But partway through one of those years he decided to go on sabbatical and I got a new teacher. I can’t remember her name, but I didn’t like her as much. During recesses and lunch, a bunch of us would play softball. We’d always play boys against the girls. There were some girls who could really play. I usually played catcher, pretending I was Steve Yeager of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Not really sure why I played catcher. On my Little League teams I almost always played 2nd base or center field. I ran for Student Council President in 6th grade. I don’t remember who won, but I didn’t. There was a mess up with the office. I turned in my application, but the office misplaced it. So my name wasn’t on the ballot. If kids wanted to vote for me, they had to write my name in. I probably only got one vote, my own. That was my only foray into politics of any kind, though I did contemplate running for Student Council in high school. Because I was always one of the shortest kids in my grades, I got nicknamed Mini Gent in 5th and 6th grade. Fortunately, it didn’t stick beyond elementary school. I got braces in 6th grade. I didn’t get them off until 12th grade.
All through elementary school there was the usual stuff: Halloween carnivals, Christmas shows and the like. Occasionally on Fridays we’d have Crazy Clothes Day where we could wear the most outrageous outfits we could think of and not get in trouble.