It’s been a while since I’ve done Trainman1405 In Real Life posts so I figured now that I’ve finished high school it would be a good time to write some! In this post I’ll be recalling random memories from past school years. Please note that this post isn’t really going to have much of a flow to it, as I am just writing memories and thoughts as they come to me, giving a “raw” and unrefined look into my thoughts.
Up until I was 7 years old (I think) I lived in Massachusetts. I attended a preschool called Do-Re-Mi. It was an awesome pre-school, as the woman who ran it more or less converted her house/barn into the pre-school. I attended here for two or three years. I remember watching The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, making goo, playing in the sand pit, petting the dog, and taking home the pet gerbil. (at least I think it was a gerbil…my memory is hazy since I was so young) She also had horses too, if I remember correctly. It was an awesome experience. Once I brought my cousin who is my age with me since he was visiting.
I think the kindergarten I went to was called Little Beal, and then the elementary school was called Big Beal. Original, I know. I vaguely remember touring the elementary school towards the end of the year. Also, apparently I hated colouring in the lines since I thought it was “waste of time”, lol.
First grade was my first year of school in Pennsylvania, which is where I had moved to from Massachusetts. I had moved about a week before school started. My teacher was Mrs. H. I remember that year we had a new student from France and that we used really thick pencils. I also recall that we had a card system, where if we weren’t following the rules we’d have to flip our card. Let’s say there were four coloured cards: yellow, orange, red, and purple. The cards reset each day. Yellow would be a warning, orange would be a 5 or 10 minute time-out, red would be stay inside from recess, and purple would be a phone call home. It wasn’t exactly that, but it was something like that. I remember once I got a warning for whatever reason. No biggie, I went over to my thing on the wall and flipped my card since I got a warning. Then that day we had indoor recess because it was raining outside. The whole class was loud (except me) so EVERYONE in my class had to flip their card. Since I received a warning earlier that day I had to flip my card a second time…which meant I got a brief time out. Whoops. Some girl in my class was leaving school early for an appointment so she never had to flip her card. I still hate her for that. (just kidding!) I also remember we celebrated the 100th day of school, where we all brought in 100 of something (100 m&ms, 100 lollipops, 100 marshmallows, etc) and made it into a candy soup. That was delicious. I also remember we went on a field trip to Gifford Pinchot State Park. It was rainy and dreary outside but still fun nonetheless. At the end of the school year there was this event called May Day where there were games we could play, activities we could do, etc. That was fun. I did start reading Harry Potter in first grade. At least once I brought a huge bag of books to school. And I remember once I read a Magic Treehouse book that I borrowed from the library. It was due soon, but I wanted to keep a copy of it, so I started to copy the book and write it on paper. I gave up after a page or two.
Second grade was definitely the best year of school. My teacher was Mr. M. and I was sooo happy he was my teacher. At the end of first grade I had asked my principal, Mrs. C, if he could be my teacher. He was (and still is!) super cool and friendly. In fact, Mr. M. is now the principal at this school I attended. Each student he had over the years received a number, so his first student would be 1, his second student 2, etc. Over the years he had around 150 or so students. I was student 123 which I thought was cool. He had this lottery thing (I don’t remember the specifics) and one day I won because I had guessed 10, so ever since then 10 has been my lucky number. Mr. M. gave out Jolly Ranchers sometimes too. (side note: I’m so mad they stopped selling lemon flavoured ones!) Here’s a picture of our class. The arrow is pointing to me.
By the way, the girl to the left of me was my “girlfriend” that year. Her name is Lauren. We were going to get married and everything! :P I went to her birthday at the YMCA or something. It was fun, we went swimming lol. Sometimes we’ll text each other, although it is very infrequent. In second grade we all watched the movie James and the Giant Peach while it was storming outside. I actually invited Mr. M to my birthday party and he came! He got me a book or two which I actually still have. We also invited him over to our house for dinner on multiple occasions. Unfortunately I haven’t seen him in three years since I had moved again at the end of ninth grade, but we did run into each other throughout the years since he would visit the middle school and high school in the school district. Mr. M. also introduced me to a handful of books, such as The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles and A Series of Unfortunate Events. On or around the last day of second grade the floor of the school bus was covered in papers because the middle or high schoolers who rode the bus before us decided to dispose of them that way… (the middle and high schoolers go to school before the elementary schoolers do and so the bus drivers have to pick up those kids first, drop them off at school, and by the time they finish that it’s time to start picking up the elementary school kids) We also did a play for the whole school: The Lion and the Mouse. I was one of the hunters. I have it on DVD somewhere…maybe I’ll find it and post it. I also did it as a summer camp in third grade and fourth grade. I played one of the hunters each time.
The school district I attended had multiple elementary school buildings. The town I was in was a fair size and the district had a lot of students so there were three elementary schools for grades 1 and 2. After that they went to a new school (usually right next door or down the road) for grades 4 to 5. Grades 6, 7, and 8 were in a single middle school. Except after I finished third grade they completed construction on the schools for grades 1 and 2 and added 3rd grade to those schools, then 6th grade went from the middle school to the upper elementary school for grades 4-6. Since I feel like it’s kind of confusing:
Anyway, like I was saying after, second grade I went to the next school, which was literally right next door and separated by a hill/field which we played soccer on sometimes at recess. So after second grade I went to the building on the right instead for grades 3 to 6. If you look at the building on the left, any building towards the back to the left and right of the arrow’s beginning was an addon to move third grade from the school on the right to the school on the left due to an increase in students. So I was the last class/year to attend the school on the right for third grade, as after I finished third grade the addon construction finished and third grade was moved to the school on the left. Sixth grade then took over the classrooms that were originally used for third graders.
Since I had Google Earth open I might as well show you the house I lived in since it was only a mile or so away from the schools shown above. It was a pretty sweet house and our neighbours let us use their pool, which you can partially see.
Anyway, back on topic. My teacher in third grade was Mrs. D. Halfway through the school year she left because she delivered her baby. As a result a permanent substitute teacher, Miss M, took over. I remember once a kid fainted in the middle of the class for reasons I don’t know. I remember once I ordered easily seven or eight books from the book orders…so I had a really stuffed backpack the bus ride home day they arrived. We also learned to type in third grade. Believe it or not, I was AWFUL. I kept looking at my fingers which we weren’t supposed to do. But after years of practice I don’t even need to look at the computer to type and I can type over 100 words per minute. Quite a change, really! That’s about it for third grade, other than in the Spring every year at that school there is an event on a Saturday called Fun Day or something like that. Just like May Day at the previous elementary school there are games, activities, etc, but also you could ride down a ramp in a trash can! (clean, of course) I’m going to draw a bad diagram to explain this to you. At the school the upper elementary school there are two floors. There is a sloped ramp instead of stairs. So on one side you had that ramp go up, and on the other side it went down. (there was a wall/guard rail, of course)
So at Fun Day there were three trash circular trash cans duct-taped and maybe roped together. It was safe and secure, don’t worry. So then three of us would each climb into one of the three trash cans and then whoever was in charge of the ride would then give it a little spin and send us down to the lower floor! It wasn’t super steep, but it was enough you definitely picked up speed and spun around at least a few times. It was actually quite fun. Everyone loved it. I rode it every year at least a few times. At the end of the school year we completely decorated our classroom as a rainforest since we were learning about it. I had to do a powerpoint on anteaters that year, actually. Also…in the middle of silent reading on time I farted and it was really loud…yeah… :|
My teacher in fourth grade was Mrs. G. She had a dog named Auggie and would sometimes give him an M&M or two. I actually went to Minnesota to visit my aunt and uncle two months before I began fourth grade and a month before I actually got a dog myself, Ginger! I’ve showed her off in a few posts before. If my memory serves me right this was Mrs. G’s last year teaching, as she was retiring. Around late third grade and into fourth grade I enjoyed writing short stories so I would type those up sometimes and then put them in the classroom for other students to read if they wanted to. Once in science we had this test where we had to sort something for the type of sea creature they were. (I think it was something like phytoplankton, zooplankton, and something else) Anyway, I did bad on the test and failed it, the first test I ever failed. I laughed it off and took it like a joke haha. Of course I attended Fun Day again this year. At the end of the year we also had a fun track meet at the local high school with the other 4th, 5th, and 5th grades. I forget what event I participated in, but I think I was at least in the tug of war – everyone was. Maybe I ran too, I’m not sure. There were four teams: green, blue, orange, and red. We all voted for the team names. I was on the green team this year. I still have the shirt and it kind of still fits me…I wear it as a pajama shirt. I don’t remember if we won. Also, every day I attended public school I packed my own lunch except once.
A month before fifth grade started was when I joined Club Penguin – I joined August 4, 2006 to be exact. Anyway, a week or two before school officially started we could go to the school to check out the class and meet the teacher. When I was there I saw a girl who was going to be in my class. Her name was (and still is, I don’t know why we use past tense in English) Haley. I had a big crush on her all of fifth grade and most of sixth grade – more on that later. My teacher in fifth grade was Mrs. G. In fifth grade they started to get us used to changing teachers for each subjects, so Mrs. G. taught us and the classroom next door science and the teacher from that other classroom taught us social students. Then both teachers taught us the rest of the subjects like math and language arts. I remember in social studies we learnt about Roanoke Island and the lost colony, which I thought was really cool. In science that year we learnt about the human body and aspects of it such as the digestive system. To go along with that I did the saltine challenge, which is where you take four saltine crackers and have to try and eat them all within a minute, without water. They instantly dry up your mouth thus making it nearly impossible…I failed. Also in fifth grade I sat next to my two friends Chandler and Walker. Chandler and I would always goof off, so one day for fun we scribbled all over Walker’s desk with out pencils. And we’d just scribble on each other’s desks at random as a joke. It was pretty funny except when the teacher caught us. I went to Chandler’s house on his birthday for his sleepover. We had pizza at night then I had some more at midnight. Then we watched movies until 3AM when my friend Kuyler got sick so he had to go home. The rest of us woke up around 8 or 9. I don’t know how I remember these things. Oh, and I met Kuyler back in first grade. He’s the one who got me into video games. He’s a cool guy, although I have not spoken to him in several years just like Chandler, Walker, and almost anyone else I’ll be mentioning in this post. *sigh* I also read the Pyrates book series in fifth grade amongst other things. The books were very good. I had also saved up my money ($70) to buy a 2GB USB drive that year…nowadays you can get something with that much space for a few dollars at most. Grr. For a project this year we had made a rap to the tune of Weird Al’s White n’ Nerdy, which is actually a parody of another song I won’t be mentioning due to slightly inappropriate lyrics. I don’t remember what the rap was about. Also in fifth grade is when I asked my teacher if I could eat lunch in the classroom for a few days so I could use the audio recording program on the classroom’s computer and record Club Penguin’s songs. She let me. :-) I don’t have the files anymore though. In the Summer after fifth grade I did a week long summer camp at the school in gym class where we’d play games and stuff. It was fun. Finally, we did a play for the school based on Shakspeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’. In the play there’s actors who perform a play for the king. In the actual play I played a guy, but for the play for the king inside the play I was a girl…so I wore a dress, high heels, and had to do a high pitched scream. I’m on the left…
Sixth grade was pretty cool. Instead of just switching for one class like we did in fifth grade we switched teachers for every class. My math teacher and homeroom teacher was Mrs. S, my science teacher was Mr. G, my Language Arts teacher’s name was Mrs. C, and I don’t remember the name of my social studies teacher and I’m too lazy to get my yearbook out to look. It was a pretty normal year, not too many highlights aside from learning algebra for the first time (ick) and doing some cool experiments in science class. Sixth grade was when I asked Haley out. I was waiting outside the science classroom for the teacher after lunch when I saw Haley, so I took my chance. She said she’ll think about it…which ended up being a definite no. Oh well. I got over her after that. January 2008, a few years into sixth grade, was when I started feeling the symptoms of chronic fatigue, which you can read and learn more about in this post I wrote in 2012. I was absent from school the rest of the year except once or twice, so I was on homebound education where Mrs. S. would come to my house four or five times a week after school and sit down with me to teach me and give me some school work to do. So that’s about it for sixth grade.
Seventh grade meant the start of middle school, which meant I had to wake up at 6 and catch the bus a few minutes past 7:00 in the morning instead of 8:15 in elementary school. Fun, I know. :/ I still had the symptoms of chronic fatigue but I felt good enough to at least attend school, so I did for two or three months before I was unable to attend school again so I went back to being taught at home. For language arts I had Mr. F, for history I had Mrs. G, for math I had Mrs. H, and for science I had another Mrs. H. My language arts class wasn’t anything special. I did enjoy history class though, as we learned about topics such as Mesopotamia. Science was a lot of fun too as many of the labs were hands on. Once we went on a small walk off school grounds to a little river, collected samples of water, then put it under a microscope to examine the microscopic organisms. We also did stuff with cockroaches…I didn’t dare touch them. September 2009 was actually quite depressing, as one of my grandpas and one of my grandmas both died a week apart. (My dad’s dad and my mom’s mom) Those were the first funerals I ever attended. I really miss my grandpa, he was so jolly. I miss my grandmother too of course, but for some reason I have more memories with Pop-Pop. That’s about it.
Again, I still had the chronic fatigue. I still have it today. But at the start of every school year I at least attempted to go to school. I did pretty well in eighth grade. I was absent here and there, but for a majority of the first few months my in-school attendance was pretty stable. Once a month there was an event after school called Fun Friday which had food and games. I didn’t really go in seventh grade but I did a few times in eighth grade. My teachers in eighth grade were Mr. M. for history, Mr. S for science, Mr. I. for Math, and I had two English teachers: Mrs. H. and Mrs. A. For whatever reason we had two English classes. I forget the reason why. All of eighth grade I had a crush on a girl in all of my classes. Literally every class I had with her. Her name was Megan. She didn’t like me back so after the school year I was done crushing on her. Unlike Haley I never asked her out. Eighth grade is easily my favourite school year. I made a lot of good friends, including Kym, Sabrina, Margot, Matt, Tyler, Tiana, Liam, Nikki, and Meredith. We goofed around so much in English class and other classes. Kym had a crush on me but I was too dumb to realize it. Too late. :-( Oh well. :P Anyway, some random memories include goofing off in Language Arts class while supposed to be working on projects like so…
…and even sitting in a trash can.
I also did track and field in eighth grade for part of the season before my chronic fatigue got the best of me and made me stay home again. I did the 400 yard dash and 100 meter hurdles. I was quite bummed my chronic fatigue ruined it all midseason since I really, really, enjoyed it. I was absent from school most of the Spring until in or around the last day of middle school. Those are my main highlights from eighth grade.
Ninth grade was pretty average. It was my first year of high school and final year at the school district I had been in since first grade. My history teacher was Mr. D. My math teacher was Mrs. B. I don’t remember my English teacher’s name. Same with science. And I had Mrs. A. for some spinoff English class called 21st century literacy. I also had Mr. C. for my computer programming class where I learnt C++ and HTML. Mr. C loved llamas. Finally I had Mr. H. for my acting class. I lasted in school less than a month before going back on homebound education yet again. At the high school they had block scheduling: instead of all 7 or 8 classes at once for 40 minutes each, you had half your classes the first half of the year and the other half of your classes the second half of the year, then instead of 40 minute long periods they were 80-90 minutes in length. I was absent most of the school year like I said, except I did go to school almost every day in the Spring for just one class, the acting class. The teacher and class was great. I’d show up after lunch, attend the class, then go home and wait for a teacher to come to my house to teach me. It was just the little bit I could manage and it was nice. I guess that’s about it. At the end of ninth grade I saw my second grade teacher, Mr. M., while I was waiting to be picked up one day after taking a final exam in the school’s office, since I couldn’t take those at home. We spoke briefly and that was the last I saw him in person, since before the beginning of tenth grade I moved again.
Back when I moved at the end of ninth grade/beginning of tenth grade I never really said where I was moving to. If you’ve read this far, then congratulations! You’re about to find out where I currently live. When I moved, I didn’t move to another state. I actually moved two hours away from my old town to a new town in Pennsylvania. I haven’t kept in touch with any of my old friends since I moved. Nobody. Not Kuyler, not Kyle, not Kym, Tyler, Liam, Shennen, Margot, or anyone else. They’ve moved on and I’ve just sort of faded away. It’s sort of upsetting to me at times but I’m used to it and the past is the past and I’m happy enough how things are, although sometimes I will “stalk” my old friends on Twitter or Facebook just to see what they’re up to. But other than that I haven’t spoken to anyone from my old town in ages. :( Anyway, enough of the sadness bit. New school, all new people for me. I made a few friends but it wasn’t anything special. Soon enough, after about a month or so, I was out of school and on homebound education *yet again*. Same story, nothing special. I finished the rest school year from home. I don’t even remember the names of my teachers and it was only three years ago. Heh. I guess it shows how unimportant going to a new school was. I had a slight crush on a girl named Ashley and there was a cute girl in my gym class but that was it. Pretty boring school year.
Before I even started eleventh grade our request for more homebound education was denied by the school district because they wanted to at least see me “try to attend school”. I couldn’t due to my extreme fatigue so my family looked into homeschool/online school. I ended up taking online courses all of eleventh grade. Since I was home all the time and never set foot in a public school there’s no real memories. I learned Java and some more Spanish, so that’s cool. I did take the SAT in the Spring.
Same story as eleventh grade, I took online courses again for my final year of school. I learned even more java amongst other things. I also took the SAT again in December. Unfortunately that’s really about it for twelfth grade too! I’m not saying I’m a loner buttttt all of my friends are online friends now, ever since I moved/did school online. It has its pros and cons, I’m used to it but at the same time meeting up with some old friends in real life would be cool. Anyway, enough ranting, I’m kind of going away from the point of this post.
Some Closing Words
Now, if you read all of this, then first of all I have to say wow! This post is over 4,400 words in total length from beginning to end. Quite a lot – in fact it’s my longest post yet and I wrote it all in about 2 & 1/2 hours with minimal breaks. (you can kind of tell the more I ramble later on in the post, but I doubt most of you will mind since you get to see the real me, the person behind the penguin – after all, these types of posts are called Trainman1405 In Real Life for a reason!) In short, I hope you enjoyed this inside look to my school life these past 12 years, even more if you count kindergarten and preschool. Maybe I should post more pictures of me throughout the years in a follow up post? Also, keep an eye out in a few days when I do another post where you can submit your questions for another Ask Trainman post. It’s been requested I do that again so why not? :)