Posts Tagged Second grade

Multimedia Marvel

Darlene tells me every now and then I should post some non-Cool Jerk art on this here blog. Well, here’s a little gem from 1976.

Apparently I wore clothes like that

As some of you may know — either through my astonishing tales of yesteryear or from first-hand experience — my second grade was unlike any I’ve ever known. Mrs. Joyce Frank turned our Ralya Elementary (Haslett, MI) classroom of 30 desks into a freaking CITY. “Super Citizen City” was its name, actually. And there isn’t enough time in the day to impress upon you how incredible it was. Sure, we learned the three “R”s, phonics and cursive, but we also learned about federal, state and local government and each student had a role (I was a federal judge, IIRC). We also learned about commerce (we each had to create a store to sell our own hand-made goods) and assembly lines (for craft projects and the Yellow Pages-sized yearbook each kid received on the last day). Good grades earned us “money” and we could buy toys and candy with our hard-earned currency. For the major holidays we each made papier-mache decorations (pilgrim and turkey, Santa Claus in a chimney, etc.). And we each made a mobile.

Apparently I liked waffles.

The mobile was a personal reflection of each student. It had to contain a self-portrait, your house, your pet or pets, your favorite food, your favorite TV show, some of your memorable dreams, a list of your positive qualities, a testament to your patriotism (this was during the Bicentennial, after all), your loves and favorite activities. Each art element of the mobile had to be drawn and colored by the student, front-and-back, then reinforced with a sturdy middle layer, then varnished. Mrs. Frank helped out with art touch-ups and lettering where necessary.

My interests that year pretty much revolved around Godzilla movies, Six Million Dollar Man, “Jaws,” my pet iguana Igszy and social networking (except back then, “social networking” was actually “talking in class when I shouldn’t be”). While my art skillz have certainly improved over time, you can see my ability to draw cars pretty much plateaued when I was 7.

In the "I feed gerbils" piece, I tried to draw a green pleather ottoman, wetbar and a Habitrail system on a tile floor. In the heart, I talk about loving my soon-to-be pet iguana. In the "Six Millon (sic) Dollar Man" piece, that's Steve Austin lifting the back of what I can only imagine was a car.

I’ve actually hanged the mobile in every place I’ve lived (when Darlene first saw it a decade ago, she wondered if I secretly had a grade-schooler). It’s gotten a little faded but looks pretty good after nearly 35 years. Thanks to Facebook, I’m in contact with about 25% of my second grade alumni and I bet they all still have their mobiles, somewhere.

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