Saturday, August 30, 2008


I went to public school for Kindergarten in 1971, my only year in public school until college. Damn Catholics had a hold on me for the intervening 12 years. But in 1971, as the Vietnam War was raging on, I parted my hair on the side and fashioned it into pigtails. My siblings range from six- to 13-years older than me, so they were a bunch of hippies when I turned five and headed off to Kindergarten at Nuview Elementary.

I remember my teacher, her red coiffed hair, horn-rimmed glasses and perpetual nasal drip. She stuffed her ever-present tissue under her expandable watch band. Classy. One of my Kindergarten highlights was getting the freshly printed ditto worksheets (dude, if you don't know what ditto paper is, f-you - go to Wikipedia and look up mimeograph). Once in hand, I would flip the paper over (we didn't print two-sided because we were too busy cutting down old-growth forests) and on the great white expanse, I would draw a big circle and fill it with a peace sign. I was five. I liked the peace sign because my sister had a peace sign patch on her purse and my brothers painted one on their doorknob with black-light paint. There were peace signs drawn all over the shoe box that held our crayons on the shelf underneath the encyclopedias at our house. So yes, as a five-year-old I would proudly draw a peace sign, knowing it was cool but not sure what exactly it stood for. I just knew it was good. Peace was good. Fingers held in a V for peace. Peace signs on my ditto paper. I was young and free and happy.

And then...The Man reared his ugly head. My teacher (who was a woman, but was my first experience with "The Man") told my I couldn't draw peace signs on my worksheets anymore. She said if I wanted to draw peace signs, I would have to do it at home. So that's what I did. Teacher said, I obeyed. Life went on. The war went on.

Flash forward 36 years later: On The Girl's first day of Kindergarten, she was given a paper to draw a picture of herself. And when she printed her name to the bottom, she followed it with a heart...with a peace sign in the middle. And the war went on.

1 comment:

PabloVTA said...

That's so awesome!
Your old teacher needs to be sent to the corner....who'd tell a kid that there's just too much peace signs on her paper? cmon!