The Boy is entering fifth grade this term. But it is yet too soon to see the light at the end of a very dark tunnel. That is to say, he hasn't yet envisioned the likelihood that school will ever be over. (Had he known then that it would be another forty-six years before "the end" of it all, he might simply have pulled the covers over his head and stayed abed until merciful death carried him away.)
Trepidation was compounded by the fact that he now resided in a new community, would be going to a new school, and basically knew no one else who would be there. The upside? Who said there could be an upside? Okay, okay. It was this. The Boy now lived only two doors from Bristol School and no longer did he have to slog miles and miles through rain and snow and cold and heat to get to his appointed spot for the school day. He could simply walk out the back door, go to the alley, walk the forty yards to the playground wall, drop down into the school grounds, and he was there. *groan*
There, actual experience was not only every bit as bad as his little imagination could ideate, it was a reality much worse than he had anticipated. His fifth grade teacher was Mrs. Kennedy, who was nice enough as teachers go, and The Boy has no negative memories of her as a person. But in the "semi-departmentalized" arrangement in this den of torture, everyone went to Miss Gardiner for arithmetic, and to Miss Anderson for music. Remember the terror who was the first-grade teacher? Miss Gardiner was this terror, but writ large. Black dress, white collar, corset stays visible up her backside. Someone (who shall remain nameless to protect the guilty) placed a thumbtack, point up, in her chair once while she was out of the room. She returned, sat in her chair and showed absolutely no sign that there was a problem. When she stood to write on the chalkboard, the tack was plainly stuck in her derriere. Wooden woman.
This grade level deserves more space than this, hence we will continue next week.