Wednesday, July 11, 2012

1978: 40 Thoughts in 40 Days

In August 1978, I was in First grade at what was always known as "the Cooney School".  Mrs. Foster was my first grade teacher, and I remember getting into trouble for what I thought was merely helping my classmates with their math...apparently even just holding up the number of corresponding fingers to the correct answer was frowned upon even if I didn't verbally tell them the right answer.  Go figure.

When I think of first grade, I also think of my first "major" injury.  It was recess, and recess was in the gym on that dreaded day.  A group of us had gotten the brilliant idea to play Crack The Whip.  Again - this was in the gym.  Not the most intelligent thought of our 1st grade minds.

"Crack the Whip is a simple outdoor children's game that involves physical coordination, and is usually played in small groups, either on grass or ice. One player, chosen as the "head" of the whip, runs (or skates) around in random directions, with subsequent players holding on to the hand of the previous player. The entire "tail" of the whip moves in those directions, but with much more force toward the end of the tail. The longer the tail, the more the forces act on the last player, and the tighter they have to hold on.
As the game progresses, and more players fall off, some of those who were previously located near the end of the tail and have fallen off can "move up" and be in a more secure position by grabbing onto the tail as it is moving, provided they can get back on before some of the others do. There is no objective to this game other than the enjoyment of the experience." (Wikipedia)
Sunset Hills / Crack The Whip
"Crack The Whip" by J. Seward Johnson, taken by Blooms n' Twigs: Flikr
     It was a successful game in that yes, children were falling off the tail. Well, it was more like FLYING off the tail. Specifically, it was me who went flying...On the gym floor. There was blood, and crying, and wailing...and it wasn't pretty. Of course mom was called into the school, and grandpa came with her because mom can't handle the sight of blood.
     A visit to my doctor's office, and stitches in my chin.  I swear when I heard I was going to get stitches that would mean a needle and thread going into my chin and through my lower palate.  The only "stitch" I knew of was what I had seen grandma doing as she worked on her hand-sewn quilts.

Pretty certain my screams were heard down the hall, into the waiting room, out in the parking lot, and further on down the street.

The best part?  I got to do it all again the following year....same school...same friends...same chin...same number of stitches...same doctor.  Awesome.  And now I have a scar that looks like a little tic-tac-toe board on my chin.

C.


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