I don’t actually remember much about kindergarten, other than the fact that my teacher was Ms. Stein (probably Mrs. Or Miss, but I don’t recall – as I look back, she was of a generation that preceded the Ms. prefix). The main reason I remember her name is that she also taught my brother and sisters when they were in kindergarten.
Regardless, I have been having flashbacks of late to learning how to write in kindergarten – more precisely, how to print.
When we learned how to print the number 5, it was taught to us in two distinct strokes: down from the upper left, then make the incomplete circle to the right, then, after reaching the appropriate point, we were to lift up our pencils, return them to the top and complete the top bar by drawing the line to the right.
I quickly realized, because I have an above average IQ, that as long as I was careful in printing my five, I could do it in one stroke of the pencil and nobody would ever be the wiser.
This being kindergarten we had to practice our printing – entire rows of carefully printed 1s, 2s, 3s, 4s, 5s, and so on – all of these on Big Chief tablets (I hope to never have to write on paper of Big Chief tablet quality again—just thinking about the paper sends shivers down my spine).
Select students (read: teacher’s pets) were selected to check our printing—I was not one of the graders—and I remember presenting my paper for proofing to a girl, who looked at my 5s and asked me if I had written them with one stroke or two. (I have no idea how the question was phrased—but it’s how I would phrase such a question today if I were going to ask such a stupid question of somebody.)
Thinking on my feet, I lied.
Presumably the statue of limitations has long since passed.