3 mins read

On My Dislike Of The Third Grade

Had I done something wrong?

Of all the school years that I sat through, I think my least favorite was the third grade.

And as I thought about it over this past weekend, I think I figured it out…


Unfriendly teacher

One of the things I thought might account for it is that the teacher and I didn’t see eye to eye. (I mean yes, a teacher isn’t going to literally see eye to eye with any third grader, but this goes beyond that)

My report card shows that I was strong in math and patterns, reading, and social activities (except group activities). I was weak in language, spelling, and writing. (Apparently D’s were used down in grade school back then;-)

She urged me to apply myself more…

But I already knew that she wasn’t nice, and that alone may not account for my feelings.

The Lisa incident

And then there’s the blond haired girl I pined over.

I ended up writing a love note, but something went horribly wrong. I wasn’t sure if she shared it or I had placed it in the wrong desk, but the note and myself were the subject of ridicule for quite a while.

And while this absolutely hurt me, I knew all about it.

And this too was probably not all of it…

The game

It occurred to me that there might have been something else going on.

We played two games. One of which involved erasers, sitting on the desks, and throwing the erasers about the room. The other involved picking people with closed eyes. I could remember neither’s name, but looked up the later – “Thumbs up” / “Seven up”.

It’s hard to say anything bad about a game that involves throwing anything within a classroom, but the other… that was perhaps a problem.


The game is played with several participants called out. The remainder put their heads down, eyes closed, and thumbs up. The selected participants touch the thumbs of one person, and when all have completed, those touched stand and try to identify who selected them.

If successful the two swap. If unsuccessful, they remain as they were.

But to have any fun at all in this game, you have to be chosen initially, or later on by others.

And it’s not very much fun at all if others never select you…

I had certain memories, “low-lights” of third grade, and they were enough to explain my overall dislike. But this one about being left out by the class – it probably hurt more…

And other than hearing about my past (as unique as it was;-), have you thought about your own – why you remember certain things in certain ways? I’d bet that the obvious memories aren’t always complete.