Behold what I did in second grade.


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(My legal name hidden, mostly. Hehehe.)

I didn’t remember that there was a notebook specifically for second graders. What did the first grader notebook and third grader notebook look like?! Do these things still exist?!

(Something about autumn.)

Ah, Frau K. took penmanship very seriously. If I remember correctly, that is why my second-grade notebook is all done in pencil, instead of a fountain pen. (Something about pencils being more suitable for developing hand strength.) Meanwhile, my brother, who went to the same school but had a different teacher, has his second-grade notebook filled with a fountain pen.

But at this elementary school, we had the same teacher for 4 straight years (the entirety of elementary school). And I remember that Gymnasium wasn’t the first time I used a fountain pen. So, either in the third or fourth grade, I must have switched to fountain pen too.

(Legible cursive. Something of the past.)

…and so on and so forth.

Why there are empty pages, I don’t remember. The earlier pages in this notebook are very densely filled; maybe the parts with an empty page on one side was for tests, or something.

Anyway, when I think about it now, it’s kinda crazy that 2 years before I used this notebook, I knew zero German! Frau K. was an excellent teacher; possibly the most excellent teacher whom I met in my entire life. How she could help a clueless Asian kid with zero German knowledge to write and speak more-or-less fluently, is remarkable.

Tangentially, one of my earliest memories is from these years. In class, I read “Garage” in what I thought was the German way—namely, with both “g”s read like the “g” in the English word “great.” But how it should’ve been read was to make it rhyme with “Orange” in German—which sounds similar to how “orange” is read in English

Everyone in the class laughed. 😂 I was so annoyed. But I wasn’t emotionally scarred, or anything like that, because Frau K. immediately told them to stop laughing, and told them something along the lines of, “She read it how it’s read in German. If you hadn’t already known the word, you would’ve read it the same way. Are you able to speak a second language like she (me) does?”

And the kids were actually so nice that they did stop laughing.

Frau K. was already old when she taught me. Within a few years after I graduated from elementary school, she retired. She was so old that she couldn’t take care of her dog (also old), so the dog had to be sent to a convent.

But oh, while she did teach, we did so much “wandern.” (Not the same as “wander” in English.) All we ever did was wandern, collecting mushroom and finding underwear (!) in the forest. What the German adults (teenagers?) were doing in the forest, getting out of their underwears and leaving them behind, was a great mystery to us innocent elementary schoolers.