This covers time from 1990-1992, while I lived in Evanston, IL. During this time, I developed a more clear sense of self centered around fun, learning, and curiosity. We moved there in the year prior, and I had been attending preschool, but that's not like going to "school".
Up until that point in my life, regardless of some days spent at preschool, home was predominantly where "things" occurred. During this period, I believe it began to shift toward more 50-50, as the educational influences of teachers grew, and the social influences of friends increased.
These would also be the last years where I was an only child. Today, I have two younger brothers, born in 1992 and 1994. But at this point, it was all me. =).
Starting at Willard Elementary School (Age 6)
In the fall of 1990, I remember my mom dropping me off at school for the first time. Even though I was just six, it was a memorable moment in my life. I'll never forget the first time I went up the steps of Willard Elementary and looked back at the massive yellow school buses still converging on the school's narrow circle drive; a whole line of cars with moms and dads saying bye to their kids, a number of them crying and obviously not wanting to leave; and the ugly green tiling that was set before me as it led into the school's slopping corridor.
Over the course of that year I ended up going to two different homerooms, for reasons I may go into later, but I will say that if you didn't think teacher-child at that age matter, I will attest to you that you are wrong. The two classes I were in were worlds apart in personal development and much of this owes to the individual teacher's philosophy of early childhood education.
Overall, kindergarten was an awesome time for me. I developed meaningful friendships, learned things I never would have on my own, and learned to interact with general society, at least as much afforded to me in Evanston. I learned many social mores that I had not acquired till then and had a few run ins for being a bit too independent minded at times, but overall, was a well established student.
I would spend a few years there starting with kindergarten and ending in 2nd grade and were largely filled with very meaningful childhood memories.
We went on a trip to Korea that year, the first time I ever that I got on a plane
Things at home were actually rather awesome, at least in my memory. We lived in a modest 2 bedroom apartment in on Michigan Ave, a few blocks from the beach. I had my own room, a twin sized bed, which I still remember my dad putting together from wood pieces. I remember most strongly that:
- I had a big map on the wall by my bed, which I would explore frequently, always being surprised at noticing something I had never seen before. I remember that it definitely had the "USSR" on there.
- I had a few toys at that point; I remember most treasuring my Hotwheels and related cars that I had gotten from a previous Christmas.
Later on, when I turned 6, after meeting some behavioral goals (cleaning my room, brushing my teeth, doing chores, behaving in school, etc...), a pivotal life event happened: I got a Nintendo (NES)! I'm not sure what persuaded them to do so, since I hadn't really asked or expressed interest in it, but indeed, I picked up the controller that day, and in 11 hours, finished the first Super Mario Bros (which, coincidentally was published the year I was born). A gamer was born that day, and he never died =).
I started getting pets at this point in my life. The first were a set of 4 gold fish in a 10 gallon tank. It was here that I realized that having an aquarium is really cool, but the regular cleaning necessary to maintain one is a pain in the ass. I never got around to naming these fish; but I did learn to tell them apart. There were two gold ones, a white one, and a black one.
In kindergarten, coming back from a field trip where my mom was a chaperon I was able to score a kitten from a litter they were giving away! I had never really interacted with cats before but I was fascinated by their playful hunter-like skills. We took one home, and named it May.
- I started actively liking Disney movies.
- I learned to ride a bike, and spent a lot of time in years since riding around my towns.