(Picture from: http://sylviagarza.wordpress.com/2010/04/30/do-you-remember-5/)
I have zero idea what made me think of tetherball the other day while driving to a meeting. I make quick connections in my head from one topic to another, and they can be pretty weird sometimes. I think I drove by kids on a playing on a playground at school and it made me think back to what I used to do. I guess that wasn't really as big of a stretch as I thought.
Anyway, I wasn't really the girl who just sat on the bench with my friends talking, but I really wasn't the star athlete with the guys either. I sort of always had a lot of different groups of friends so I floated between them and their activities. Sometimes it was swinging, sometimes soccer until a ball hit perfectly off the goal post and right into my stomach - I caught it, but it really knocked the wind out of me.
Fifth grade was a banner year for me. I loved my teacher, I had a lot of friends that I enjoyed, and I even "went out" with this boy I had had a crush on for years (we also "went out" in fourth grade too). In fact, now that makes me think back to Valentine's Day that year since that is coming up. I think I'll save that story for Valentine's Day actually. Back to recess and fifth grade...
I think fifth grade was sort of the last year of complete innocence. There weren't really "popular" and "unpopular" and your clothes and all didn't matter as much. Sixth grade was a tough transition for me, and I quickly realized I was never going to be able to keep up with the Joneses. Fifth grade was bliss though, and my game at recess: Tetherball. I was good at it, and my early growth spurt only gave me an advantage. I remember its popularity just exploding that year, and we would all wait in line to play at the multiple "courts" (what do you call that area?)
I think there were four or five different poles, you lined up with whatever group you wanted to play in. Now this is where the negotiation came in - one rule remained the same, the winner stayed and started the next round, but the two teams had to agree on the basic set of rules. Did you want to allow tornadoes? Could you catch string? Did you have separate sides with a line drawn in the sand or did you move around in tandem?
Thinking of this made me laugh and then kind of cock my head a little. Isn't it funny the relative civility that us fifth graders had? We stated our sides (what rules we each wanted to play with), then negotiated and comprised until we had agreed upon rules for our impending tetherball match. Sometimes it makes me wonder what happened to us as grown-ups that made us lose that civility because sometimes it just seems like all you hear about is this side versus that side. Just a thought...
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