Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Remember Show and Tell in grammar school? Show and Tell was a popular public speaking exercise in North American schools. Show and Tell gave young students a chance to discuss or introduce a special memory, item, photo, book or object to their fellow classmates. Typically the child would stand in front of the class for several minutes and sometimes the teacher would allow students to ask questions afterward.
In first grade, I attended public school. I'm pointing this out because obviously we weren't wearing mandatory uniforms. It was the late 1970s and we were free to sport cute stripes, bell bottoms, corduroys, velour and Keds.
It was a very special day in Mrs. Gould's class. Why? Because I was in charge of selecting a handful of students to speak in front of the class and show off their beloved items. I had the power. It was all me. I'm not sure why this was so important.
My parents were teachers and knew how important it was to empower kids. My mom says she always let me pick out my own clothing, within reason and make many choices for myself, as long as they were safe and acceptable of course. She was big on properly picking her battles.
That day, I carefully chose students who were anxiously waving their hands, "Pick me! Pick me!" they'd call out. One by one, each child made their way to the front of the class, showing and telling. I'm guessing this activity was about 30-45 minutes of our afternoon.
At the end of Show and Tell, Mrs. Gould asked me to step outside the classroom. Busted. To this day, I'm always being called out for something. Typical Ally move. I wondered what I had done this time. I couldn't have been passing a note back then, I think I only knew how to put together simple sentences at age 6. Plus, I was busy being in charge! No time to pass notes or flirt with Benjamin F. Although I bet you anything that Benjamin F. was the first classmate I sent up there.
Apparently, a boy named Richie wanted to do his Show and Tell thing. I remember looking away from him and choosing other children. Mrs. Gould wanted to know why. Why wouldn't I allow Richie to take a Show and Tell turn? In mean girl fashion, I blurted out, "Richie wore the same shirt yesterday. I don't like that shirt and I don't like that he wore it two days in a row. Why would his mommy let him wear a dirty shirt to school two days in a row?"
To this day, I feel awful. How and why would I say such a thing? My parents were so chill. They still are. Nobody was/is snobbish. We were such a down-to-earth family. My mom shopped at JCPenney and Sears. I wore hand-me-downs passed on from my wealthy Jersey cousin, Lisa. If not for her hand-me-downs, I'd never own any Sassoon and Jordache. I was a Healthtex kid. In fact, I'm wearing my favorite pink striped Healthtex shirt in the fourth grade photo in my blog header above!
This post was inspired by this hilarious post by one of my favorite bloggers, Mean Girl over at MeanGirlGarage.com.