Mr. Tuttle handed us our textbooks with an air of gravity. I took mine (trying too hard to not stare at the finger on his hand that had been left without fingernail by some ancient accident) and studied the cover—a sort of orange top that faded into red like a sunset with SCIENCE written across it in intimidating, yellow academic letters. We had risen that September no longer as first graders, whose lessons smeared together under the tutelage of one single teacher. We were second graders now, explorers of undiscovered countries, and to prove it we opened up the accordion divider that kept our two classrooms apart so we could trade desks for an hour while that other class learned about reading and we learned about…whatever one learned about in science class. I didn’t know, really. None of us knew. Everyone shifted and eyed each other cautiously.
This class was going to be hard; you could just tell. It felt like we had skipped accidentally to college. Continue reading