My third grade teacher, Mrs. Black, made us keep a journal throughout the entire school year. It was yet another part of my education that I absolutely despised the teacher for making me do, but that I am immensely grateful for her making me do it. As anyone who has attempted NaBloPoMo will tell you, some days you just don't have anything to say, but darned if forcing yourself to do it doesn't make some interesting things come out.
As an eight-year-old, school activities and cub scouts dominated my routine, and girls were clearly opponents considered to be "on the other team". I particularly like the references to people and big events that I still remember. Many of the people mentioned are still my friends 23 years later. Interjections in block quotes are from 2010-me.
Oct. 29, 1986
I have Cub Scouts today.
Oct. 30, 1986
We were doing our puppet show today.
Oct. 31, 1986
We led the Kindergarteners around the room.
Nov. 3, 1986
We did not write anything in our Social Studies book.
Nov. 4, 1986
We out out early today from school.
Nov. 5, 1986
Thelbert, Brad, Joshua I., and me have Cub Scouts again today. We also did a Self Check and a a test in Math. And before that we went to our school Library.
Nov. 6, 1986
Today is the day before our field trip.
Nov. 7, 1986
We went on our field trip today first we went to Register of Deeds, courtroom, Art gallery, the we went to the old courthouse witch is now a museum then the city hall, the New Herald, the post office, the police station and then we went to lunch at the recreation center. And we didn't have any work for school.
I have a pretty good memory of this day, particularly the dark room at the police station where they developed photographs...or was the the art gallery? Hmmm...nevermind.
Nov. 10, 1986
Today, we had P.E.
Nov. 12, 1986
Mike, Brad, Joshua, Thelbert, Jason, Ray and everybody else are having a Den me
Nov. 13, 1986
I made a
Nov. 14, 1986
Tonight we're having a Family Fun Festival.
At some point I went back to my elementary school, perhaps when I was in high school, to see one of these FFFs, but it seemed really lame (dude, I was in high school!) with silly little games and construction paper creations. I think that now, with my parenting cap on, I'd probably enjoy it again.
Nov. 17, 1986
Today our school P.E. teacher wanted us to do jump rope.
Nov. 18, 1986
We had to do jump roping again today.
Nov. 19, 1986
I don't have Cub Scouts today. We get to go to a band on Thursday with Cub Scouts.
Nov. 20, 1986
Today is Thursday. All the Cub Scouts and I are going to a band concert today in the new auditorium that was built about one month ago.
Nov. 21, 1986
Our class went to a magic show in the new auditorium called Magic over the Rainbow. And tonight my Cub Scout pack is having a Pack Meeting and our Den is having a Flag Ceremony. Ray quit.
Nov. 24, 1986
This is a two day week.
Nov. 25, 1986
Mrs. Black was not here today.
Dec. 1, 1986
We learned how to write letters today.
Dec. 2, 1986
Dec. 3, 1986
We have Cub Scouts today again. We also cut some logs.
Dec. 4, 1986
We didn't do very much today.
Dec. 5, 1986
Today is my favorite day. Yesterday I was in a parade.
Dec. 8, 1986
I'm going to the Dr. today because of my throat.
Dec. 9, 1986
The doctor gave me some pills for my throat.
Dec. 10, 1986
Last night I finished my report. We might buy a new car tonight.
Dec. 11, 1986
We bought our new car last night. I like the power windows!
Mazda 626, baby! I have very clear memories of the smells and excitement of the dealership. It had this awesome joystick on the dashboard to control the side mirrors. This is the car that would be used 7-8 years later to teach me how to shift gears before being sold.
Dec. 12, 1986
Tonight we're going to a party. I hope the ping-pong table set up.
Dec. 15, 1986
The party was great. I stayed there until 11:00 or more! My real bed time is 9:00. They had their ping-pong table set up, and darts. I played both.
Dec. 16, 1986
We made some candy to go in our candy dishes. It was mint candy. You could smell it all the way across the room.
Dec. 17, 1986
Today we are learning the last cursive letters of the alphabet.
Dec. 18, 1986
Today is a week from Christmas!
Dec. 19, 1986
After today we have our Chritmas Vacation. And tonight my Cub Scout Pack is going to go Christmas caroling.
Jan. 5, 1987
I felt bad about going back to school today, but I got to feeling better after I got to work.
Jan. 6, 1987
My Dad left early this morning to go to Missouri. he will come back tomorrow from 7:00 to 8:00, but I do not know when.
Jan 7, 1987
Today we had a Spelling page in our book with sentences about people named Paul and Betsy. And tonight my dad is going to come home and I have got Cub Scouts.
Jan. 8, 1987
My Dad came home last night and brought me a t-shirt that said "Kansas City" on the front.
Jan. 9, 1986
I wrote a paper about a robot and me for English yesterday. And Jacob came over and played with me.
Jan. 12, 1987
My dog has been acting very strange. She thinks a little ball that squeaks like a puppy when you squeeze it is her puppy. Lizzie's body thinks she has had a baby and the green ball is her baby. So she takes care of it like a puppy, she carries it around the house like a baby, she licks it like a baby. We called the vet to find out half of this information.
This was very bizarre. I can't really explain it any better than I did at age eight. Apparently pseudocyesis isn't that uncommon in dogs.
Jan. 13, 1987
Today we had a math tournament on addition and subtraction problems. I won my first match. I have to compete 12 people. I have to admit I'm not the best one.
Jan 14, 1987
Today we had some mystery matter.
Jan. 15, 1986
We had spelling baseball today. And my dog, lizzie, isn't so strange.
Jan 16, 1986
My dog still like the ball. I'm out of the tournament.
Jan. 19, 1987
I went to The Angus and played pool Saturday night. My friend Jacob spent the night, he rode home with me from The Angus. And last Saturday I invited Josh Martin over, but I forgot. And Jacob stayed until three o'clock P.M. so Jacob, Josh and I played together until Jacob had to leave. Then Josh and I played until five o'clock which is when Josh had to leave.
We got a new kid in our class.
Jan 20, 1987
Today we made some sandwiches on an assembly line.
Feb. 2, 1987
Today we got back from 11 days off of school (It was like a second Christmas vacation).
Feb. 3, 1987
Yesterday I had forgotten about a lingual arch, which I had to go to the Dentist to get put into my mouth. It hurt a little when he put it in, and a little today.
Feb. 4, 1987
Today I did a potpourri activity. I told my dad, and he was really proud.
Feb. 5, 1987
I'm doing better this grading period, I think.
Feb. 6, 1987
We had a popcorn party today.
Feb. 9, 1987
I read three books over the weekend. I'm going to get a new watch that has a lot of things you can do with it this week also.
Feb. 11, 1987
Yesterday I got a watch, you can play a vediogame, a piano, and use a calculator on it. It's 1 inch / 2/1 inches.
As I recall, this watch was the BEST THING EVER. I had a few calculator watches since this one, but never with a video game.
Feb. 13, 1987
Today is a week from our pack meeting.
Feb. 19, 1987
On Sunday, 15 my dog died. We had to dig a hole.
Feb. 20, 1987
The Cub Scout banquet is tonight. I'm going to get my WOlF badge.
Feb. 23, 1987
We are moving to a new store. I helped build a wall. It was ten feet high.
This was when my parents' computer store moved to its current location. In order to partition the huge open space, they got Phil, then my father's employee at his state government job, to build a little wall with a door in it across the room. I got to help at pretty much every stage, and I enjoyed it immensely. That wall is still standing today.
Feb. 24, 1987
We are learning about electricity.
Feb. 25, 1987
Today I have Cub scouts and I only a little bit of homework.
Feb. 26, 1987
Today Scott (Mrs. Black's son), he showed us some experiments using electricity, it was really neat!
Mar. 2, 1987
On Saturday our team had our firest soccer game. My mom and my friend seth's mom are the coaches. We got beaten 14 to 0!! That was just a practice game though, that my mom that we need to practice by ourselves. Now we practice every Wednesday.
Just a year or two ago, Seth and I and our mothers were laughing about this sporting farce. For some reason our indoor soccer team didn't have a coach, so our mothers stepped up and took control of the team. To this day, I'm pretty sure neither of them know much of anything about soccer or coaching. If we scored a goal during the entire season, I'd be surprised.
Mar. 3, 1987
On Monday I had a ton of homework. I did not even have time to get it done, so I'm pretty sure I'll have double homework tomorrow.
Mar. 4, 1987
Today I have Cub Scouts, and my mom came to have lunch with the class. And I have soccer practice today too. I hope we learn a few things about soccer.
Mar. 5, 1987
Soccer practice went great. I think we will do well next game. I got hurt a few times but . . . Boy, after it was over I felt like I could boil a pot of wate just using my face.
Mar. 6, 1987
Today is my pen-pal's 72nd birthday. My pen-pal is my Grandfather. We have to play a real game of soccer tomorrow.
Mar. 9, 1987
On Saturday We played a soccer game. I came two inches from scoring, but they won four to zero.
May 10, 1987
Tom brought me to school today. Tomorrow I have soccer practice.
Mar. 11, 1987
My dad has been sick ever since Mar. 1, 1987. His throwing up woke me up today.
Mar. 12, 1987
I didn't have Cub Scouts yesterday because the den leader (Ann Call) was sick. I sold 20 Cub Scout Show tickets. Would you like one free?
March 16, 1987
I got sick from my dad (Paul). Seth (my best friend) got sick the very same day.
Mar. 17, 1987
Yesterday we got an Amstrad.
Mar. 18, 1987
Yesterday was St. Patrick's Day.
Mar. 19, 1987
I am sick.
Mar. 23, 1987
I played my best soccer game on Saturday, the score was 0 to 4. On Sunday I played some tennis with my frends.
Mar. 24, 1987
My dad went to the doctor and Grace Hospital yesterday. He stayed home sick yesterday too.
Mar 25, 1987
Today I have Cub Scouts. I have to turn in my ticket money. I have 30 dollars.
Mar. 26, 1987
I am going to get a flashlight for Cub Scouts. We had to give back our Amstrad. But we got a new computer. It's called a Beltron. We learned who wrote the words to The National anthem. It was Francis Scott Key.
Mar. 27, 1987
Today we had a practice for the C.A.T. (California Achievment Test), which is next week. And tomorrow I will get my flashlight. Today we had to split up into groups of four. When we were in groups, we had to make seeds float, glide, be attractive to animals, stick to clothes and fur, and explode. My parents will have to do that too.
Mar. 30, 1987
Today we took the first part of our test. Half of it was very, very, very hard.
Mar. 31, 1987
Today's test was twice as easy as yesterday's was hard. I fell out of my chair today too. We did a new dance in P.E. It was really hard. All I had to do was watch the girls. It was really fast music, so you had dance fast too. I admit boys aren't best at everything.
April 1, 1987
Today is April Fools Day. I'm playing jokes on everybody. I forgot to tell you our school burned down so I'm writing from home.
April Fools! Ha! Ha! I got ya.
April 2, 1987
Today we had math for our CAT. We didn't have English, Science, or Reading.
April 3, 1987
I made an orange on one side red on the other bird-like airplane. This girl named Courtney just said it doesn't look like a bird. Ok... Ok... Maybe it doesn't look like a bird. She just picked it up a through it. And now she's messing with my watch. Lauen (this other girl) is putting clay in my hair. Ow! Ow! It hurts trying to get it out. Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! I hate girls.This is embarrassing.
Now Mrs. Black is reading, Mouse and the Motorcycle
April 7, 1987
Our desks got moved today. I have my work all done. I sit by Brooke and she sits by Courtney. On Saturday and Sunday I saw these birds, crow, robin, eagle, barnswallow, bluebird, goldfinch, tufted titmouse, chickadee, evening grosbeak, carolina chickadee, wren, chipping sparrow, downy woodpecker, cardinal, red-bellied woodpecker, mourning dove, and red-tailed hawk. That 16 birds.
April 8, 1987
Today we have a long scout party.
April 23, 1987
I've been playing tennis a lot. I can almost beat my mom. I have a twohanded backhand. I hope to get to take tennis lessons this summer.
April 24, 1987
Today is Mrs. Black's birthday. We talked and talked and talked and talked and finally Mrs. Black said: "We talk so much used up our time for Social Studies. Then everybody was cheering and everything like that.
April 27, 1987
On Sunday Dustin came over and we caught 70 caterpillars, but last year Charlie came over and we caught 446 caterpillars, so that isn't our record.
My parents used to pay my friends and me some tiny, tiny amount to catch these eastern tent caterpillars and put them in mason jars, presumably to suffocate, to prevent them from turning into moths that eat all the leaves.
April 28, 1987
David, Josh, and I were writing papers about oranges. Eddie Erwin came and played a few songs for us. He's blind and has a dog named Liby. He is a guitar player.
April 29, 1987
Last night Bert came over. My Mom and Dad were playing tennis. In Scouts we went to the Computer store that my dad owns.
April 30, 1987
I was sick.
May 1, 1987
Today we went to the Schiele Musum in Gastonia and we saw a planetarium about Uranus. Some rocks and a ton of other things. Go sometime.
May 4, 1987
Jacob, Daddy and I went to Wake's farm.
May 5, 1987
Yesterday we had a Science and Math fair, so our parents could come do what we have done.
May 6, 1987
On Tuesday my Dad won a tennis tournament and the first place prize was a new tennis racquet.
May 7, 1987
Yesterday I went to the library in Scouts.
May 8, 1987
I'm sitting beside Emmi. I'm also going to a party tonight.
May 11, 1987
Yesterday was Mother's Day. Today is when we get our report cards. I made all A's and S's.
May 12, 1987
Today in P.E. we practiced T-ball. We made a telescope by painting a paper towel roll then we put black over one end then put rubber band around it and poked holes in it with pins in the shape of constellations. It's fun to look through.
May 13, 1987
Last night was the Science fair. there was one neat thing that I thought was good was a robot that moved and talked. A band was held too.
May 14, 1987
I was sick.
May 15, 1987
The Bike Rodeo was supposed to be today but it was cancelled, so it is going to be next Friday so I had to work all day.
May 18, 1987
In P.E. we played a game of t-ball. My Dad's birthday is tomorrow.
May 19, 1987
Today is Paul's birthday. we got him a pool table.
May 20, 1987
Today is Field Day. I got a first place ribbon for the4 frisbee toss.
May 21, 1987
Today we watched the older 4th through 6th grade have their Field Day.
May 22, 1987
Today is the bike rodeo.
May 25, 1987
In P.E. our team won.
May 26, 1987
I have soccer practice today. Our next game is Saturday today is Tuesday.
May 27, 1987
A Lady came and gave us a tooth brush. She is some kind of dentist.
May 28, 1987
I got a kitten yesterday her name is pippi short for Pipsqueak.
May 29, 1987
We made apple sauce. The whole school had a music program each class sings a different song and we did Michie Banjo.
June 1, 1987
My dad left for Atlanta for a computer show.
June 2, 1987
I'm going to my mom's softball game tonight.
June 12, 1987
Sorry I haven't wrote to you lately. Today is the last day of school.
Also found in this same notebook were four "essays". They are as follows:
If the Pilgrims did not land on America than we would be Indines. Thanksgiving means to have turkey and every thing else.
I'd not like to live in colonial times because they were to strict. On Sundays you could not kiss your Mom or Dad. And you could not work. And everybody had to go to church, even babies had to go to church. And you could not fall asleep in church. The school was very strict.
The most fun thing I did on my vacation was build a 7 feet tall!! It was BIG!
I stoped my house from burning down. There was a fire 1 foot tall in MY house.
My family buried my dog, Lizzie. I put in some snowballs for her. I also played inside and outside. I called my friends on the telephone, and wrote to people on our computer bulletin board. I played some computer games, read some books and wrote to my pen-pal (My Grandfather).
Thank you very much to my father, who took the time to type this up, leaving in all my errors.