Today, tell us about the home you lived in when you were twelve. For your twist, pay attention to — and vary — your sentence lengths.
The home I lived in when I was twelve…all right, near as I can figure, counting on my fingers, that means sixth grade plus or minus a year? ’74, probably. And sixth grade was Mississippi. So dad was still finishing up at Keesler AFB, and we were living off-base east of Biloxi (Ocean Springs? D’Iberville? Some place in Jackson county, anyway, the exact borders of a lot of those little townships were unincorporated at the time. Ask Mom.) Don’t argue with me, spell-checker, D’Iberville is spelled correctly.
Anyway, we were close enough to I-10 that I considered it ‘right in my backyard’, though is was probably closer to a half-mile away, or a couple of minutes for kids on bikes. On the both sides of I-10, pine woods. Streams, creeks (one creek literally pushing the property line in our backyard). Dad raised rabbits at the time; we had rabbit hutches and an Irish Setter. My friends kept turtles, frogs, toads, snakes and pretty much any other living animal we could catch. We spent a lot of time terrorizing the local wildlife.
Enormous humidity, heat. Lots and lots of swampland in a ten mile radius. Skeeters from hell.
Sixth grade would be the Year of the Smart-ass. Miss Pleasance and St. Martin. You see, coming out of a military grade school (quite good) and going to a southern MS middle school (really, really bad)…my first year at St. Martin had me a) competing for valedictorian (finished second, barely) and b) winning the science fair. Effortlessly.
My fifth grade math teacher, Mr. Watanabe, had been feeding me on HS algebra books. Sixth grade students at St. Martin were probably operating around fourth grade level equivalent to anywhere else in America. MS schools were not good.
Miss Pleasance was nice enough, as I recall she was very supportive. Maybe too much so?
I coasted through sixth, seventh and eighth grades. I didn’t crack a book again until college. And if I have any tendency toward egomania, know-it-all-ness; it was born of sixth grade. Imagine I was a pretty damned annoying brat, at that age. Did I ever grow out of it?
Anyway, we’re living in the past, again. If these projects have any serious shortcoming, it’s how often they focus on retrospectives.