Grade 4: 1975, Van Bellingham Elementary School, Winnipeg, MB Teacher – Mrs. Delaquis
Both Mrs. Delaquis and I graduated to Grade 4, and with many of the same kids in my class again. The “room” was open-area again, right next door to the previous year’s room. With the same school, teacher, room and classmates, I was building friendships and settling into school life.
Class pictures again, this time sans perm and in an outfit that mom hand-made for me – a hooded tunic top/dress and shorts, with a modish paisley scarf (I believe this was made from an old silk handkerchief of my grampa’s).
Prior to this, things had pretty much been reading, writing and math, with everything else a mish-mash. Now there were more detailed subjects: science, social studies. It started to feel a bit more grown up to have things divided up and focused on.
Grade 4 was the start of extra-curricular things, including Brownies. I remember often whining to get out of going, and cheating on some of the assignments (confessions: I never learned to knit as a brownie, and I was terrible at cleaning my room). I was definitely never going to be a star brownie or guide, but I did like the uniform, with its little utility belt and change purse, and the tam. There were also tap lessons (complete with sequinned outfits and patent shoes) and softball teams. Nothing compared to the busy lives of kids today, but still a good mix of sports and arts and fun.
After school in general became more interesting, as I was getting to know kids in the neighbourhood as well as at school, and so a little cluster of us on Weatherstone Place were soon bike-riding and visiting in all the off-hours. My closest friend was Angie, and I remember starting a tradition of sorts – a Saturday sleep-over at her house, with tv, popcorn, and giggling and yacking till the late hour of 10pm, a tradition athat would endure for several years, and the friendship a lifetime.
Report cards from then attest to my overall general improvement with organization and attention and punctuation, all those things so essential in grade 4.
And then it was on to grade 5. But first I had start career planning. The Book of Treasures included the various standard career options for boys and girls. My choices were also pretty standard, but given my current career – research manager in a health centre, and teacher/trainer in project management – I guess I didn’t stray too far.