Ten Things I Didn't Learn In Kindergarten

I am a kindergarten reject. Yes I am. That was 1969 when the mean lady put a pin to my educational balloon. Even 43 years later, I am still coping with the effects of being a K-ject. It's been a lifelong struggle.
  • I'm lactose intolerant. This is due, I am sure, to the fact that I did not get to have that extra year of a mid-day half-pint of milk. From Sinton's Dairy outside of Colorado Springs. Whole milk, too, because I am a child of the sixties.
  • I don't nap well. I never learned how.
  • I am not good at cutting straight lines with scissors. Ask any client who ever got an auto ID card from me. It's going to be a wavy mess.
  • Having someone looking over my shoulder drives me batty. I attribute this to missing the whole kindergarten model of teachers and aides helping students at their tables. My first grade teacher (Hi, Mrs Vest!) stood at the front of the class. If you had a question on your work, you went to her at her desk, not the other way around. I have only lately come to suspect that may have been because Mrs. Vest was at least 70 years old, and not because of her lofty expectations for first graders.
  • I never really learned the whole group dynamic thing. I can work on a team, but I always do best when left alone.
  • I don't really share very well. Your turn, my turn? Not so much. If you want my crayons, you may have them. I'll just go get some others.
  • Neither do I borrow. Do not like to borrow.
  • I think I missed something important by never having been exposed to much children's literature. My only experience with Dr. Seuss was the annual tv broadcast of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas". The first time I read one of his books was when I read them to my own children. Sweet Hubs tells me about Ramona the Pest and other characters, but I've no idea. I also don't know about the Star-Bellied Sneeches. I knew about Laura Ingalls Wilder, The Hobbit... and a wonderful poem called "Pigs is Pigs" but I completely missed out on Dr. Seuss and Curious George. The problem is, I missed it, so I don't know what exactly it is that I missed. What did I miss?
  • The kindergarten in our school had group potty breaks. The whole class lined up and went to the restrooms. First-graders went individually, carrying a garishly painted hall pass made out of a 2X6 and about the size of your Dell keyboard. I still do not have the herd mentality where restrooms are concerned. I notice other ladies often go to the powder room in a group. I'm still the maverick.
  • I missed out on a lot of crafty things by being a K-ject. I don't have very many turkeys made from the outline of my hand, salt-dough Christmas ornaments and construction paper necklaces in my repertoire. The first school project I recall was a Native American inspired thing. We took a piece of heavy brown kraft paper, scrunched it, wadded it and flattened it out repeatedly until it looked nothing at all like a deer hide. Then we painted symbols on it that were supposed to tell our life story. At six or seven years old, we didn't have much to work with for that part. Anyway, it was intended to represent the tradition of pictographs and painted lodge covers. Mostly what I got from it was that I was living a mighty sheltered life and would have to go off to war and count coup or something, before I had anything to paint on my paper hide. My teacher said I was being too literal. It's a trait that troubles me still.

What I See--Alita

Oh, Alita! What can I say? We've known eachother for so many years! Alita and I became acquainted first because our husbands worked to...