I know people say this every year, but I can’t believe summer is over already.
Lately, as I glance through all the back to school photos with adorable smiling faces, I can’t help this year but feel a sense of deja vu.
The French term translates to “already seen” and is used to describe an overwhelming sense of familiarity with a situation. But according to the “How Stuff Works” website, I might be experiencing deja vecu, which means already experienced or lived through — only through my son, so maybe it doesn’t apply at all.
As you may or may not know, I moved to Union when I was 10. My first school in Union was Clark-Vitt, my first teacher Mrs. Penberthy (and Mr. Malone for science and social studies). My classroom was on the main floor, across from the cafeteria.
The deja vecu comes in with my son, who just started fifth grade at Clark-Vitt.
First, we live in the same house I did as a child. His room is my old room. That’s . . . different.
Then, the classroom was my first classroom in Union.
And if that weren’t coincidental enough, my son has the same fifth-grade teacher that I had, Ms. Carolyn Bocklage.
People have asked me if I requested her, and as much as I wanted Vincent to have her, I did not make a request. I’ve never done that and I guess I didn’t even really know it was an option.
When I look back at fifth grade — and I’m not just saying this because my son has the same teacher — but fifth grade was one of my favorite years of school.
First, I met one of my best friends, who was new in fifth grade. I told her I liked her dress, but I liked everything about her. We spent so many days and nights together that I’m sure her mom thought she adopted a third child. I even called her mom.
And now, despite being separated by nearly 800 miles, we still talk and see each other at least once a year.
I also look back fondly at the creation of mouse houses, though I can’t really remember why we made them. And the songs! Ms. Bocklage taught us songs, typically historical in nature, and we would go to our neighbor classroom and sing. I still remember the lyrics from some the songs.
When my friend’s husband got a job at Wells Fargo, she called me and we sang about the Wells Fargo wagon.
“O-ho the Wells Fargo Wagon is a-comin’ down the street,
Oh please let it be for me!
O-ho the Wells Fargo Wagon is a-comin’ down the street,
I wish, I wish I knew what it could be!”
There’s more, but I’ll spare you. It goes without saying, but I’m pretty sure her husband thought we were crazy.
One thing I admired about Ms. Bocklage is her apology policy. I’m not sure if she still does this or if we were a particularly mean class, but I feel like we apologized a lot.
We had to say the person’s name, what we were sorry for and that we wouldn’t do it again. She was insistent about each of the steps and made us own our apologies.
Fifth grade is the year I began to love books, I mean really love books.
Part of that was the friend I told you about earlier. We would read together on the playground after lunch. Ms. Bocklage always made us feel like we were the brightest, best group of kids. She made us do classroom chores and taught us to treat each other well.
In high school I had to tutor students as part of the A+ scholarship program. I was paired with Ms. Bocklage, where I would go to her class and read with struggling students who needed a little extra help.
This is becoming a novel so I’ll stop, but not before I say how excited I am that my son gets to have some of the same experiences that I did with a teacher who is the best of the best.
Here’s to a great year!