In order to start kindergarten, I have to take a screening test. As we walk into my brand new school, I read the signs, pronouncing “OFFICE” as “OFF-ICE.” I hold my parents hands and we enter a small room. A nice lady has me read, count and put together a puzzle. As I put together a puzzle of barnyard animals, I feel an odd hard thing on my tongue. I taste blood. I reach in my mouth and pull out a small tooth! It is the first tooth I’ve lost. When I get home, my mom gives me a small, pink pillow for me to put my tooth in. It has a pocket and a small embroidered tooth on it. I can hardly wait to go to sleep that night and get my money from the tooth fairy!
Kindergarten is one big blur. I remember my teacher, Mrs. Kuchenwriter, who was old but still fun. She played her harpsichord for us every day. We painted and played games and dressed up in silly clothes. I got to read books and eat lunch in the big cafeteria. I love school, mostly because it’s easy and fun and I don’t have to take naps any more. At the end of the year, my parents tell me that my teacher is leaving the school to join the Peace Corps. My parents explain to me that she’ll be traveling around the world helping others. I imagine my old teacher with a backpack, wandering the world.
At the end of the year, all of the kindergarten students practice a big hula dance. “We are gooooing, to the Hookeee Laoooo…” sticks in my head for weeks on end, and I learn to shake my tiny hips. We perform in a big show for all of our parents, and just like that, I’m a first grader.
I have no idea how much my life at school will change.