In 4th grade I had a crazy teacher. His name was weird, his classroom was weird, and he in general was just weird. He put a lot of effort into his job and that’s one of the reasons why I liked him. Lily and I didn’t talk much this year or ever again and Ellie was in a different class too. We never were in the same classes, not even in middle school. This is the year I met Virginia and I still talk to her almost everyday. She spends a lot of time doing theatre and talking to her helped me be less shy when I talk to people. I also met Olivia who is also outgoing. I remember being intimidated by her throughout elementary school and since we carpooled, I became closer friends with her. I said this year was big because one of the biggest things happened to me because of this year. Our local ballet company has an outreach program for fourth graders and my school participates in it. They have a dance team which gave me experience with tryouts and I made it. It gave me much more confidence even though I was placed in the 7th row out of 8. It pushed me to try harder to make the bigger team the next year. I spent most of my time practicing dance and I really didn’t do much else this year. Making the dance team was one of my biggest accomplishments of my life and I am really blessed with the opportunity to even audition.
3rd grade was the first year we really had quizzes and we did less arts and crafts. Most of my friends that I made in second grade were not in my class in 3rd grade and that ruined most of my friendships. However, I met a girl named Lily and we became very close. Ellie was also in my class, so the three of us were close friends. Also, the first boy actually liked me for once. It was really weird because we were friends and then I got so freaked out that I never talked to him again. He actually is really cute now but we don’t talk. Every year the lower school has a Christmas and grandparents day performance and the guy and I had speaking lines together and he got the part and I didn’t. A couple of people actually yelled at the girl who got my part saying I should’ve gotten it. Besides that, I really don’t remember much about 3rd grade. 4th grade, however was a big year for me.
Second grade was a fun one. My teacher was a painter and she was very nice. Ellie wasn’t in my class so I had to meet new people. I became closer with a few friends from book club like Lydia, Megan, and Jacqueline and also became closer with a girl named Miranda. Every year we did an ultimate fitness test to see where we ranked and in kindergarten and 1st grade I got a white which was the worst. This year I ran all of the time and Miranda and I were the only people in my class who got the highest rank. I also met 2 boys, Carter and Eli and they were the first boys I really became friends with.
This year I started my tomboy phase which consisted of wearing khaki cargo capris and hating dresses and skirts. When my mom forced me to wear a skirt I wore shorts under them. Also my teeth started to grow back in. Since my two front teeth fell out shortly after the teeth next to them were pulled, they grew in huge, crooked and with a gap. I also had bangs. I had this look until 6th grade..
The first time I really got in trouble was this year. I was talking to my friend and got caught talking. My teacher wrote a note to my parents and they had to sign the note and bring it back. I also got sent to my principal’s office for the first time. We were cleaning out or desks and everyone finished before me. The principal was talking and I was still cleaning my desk so my teacher sent me to her office. I really didn’t get into any trouble with her, but it was the most terrifying walk.
This year was great because I met so many new people apart from Ellie and I really branched out as my own person. I loved talking to the boys and hanging out with the boys and practically being one. I remember having a sticker collection of scratch and sniff stickers that our teacher gave us and being in the advanced reading class. It was a weird phase appearance wise, but I had plenty of friends and I loved going to school everyday.
1st grade wasn’t quite as memorable. My teacher was very nice and I remember Friday afternoons someone’s parent used to come in and read us a book. The best was when they brought the class food for after. I also had a strange dental problem and had to get 2 teeth removed. Shortly after these teeth were pulled, my 2 front teeth fell out so my four front teeth were missing. This became a problem later. One of my most memorable projects from first grade was making a poem book with the class. We all wrote poems and our teacher published them and made books for all of us. Ellie was in my class so we still remained close. This year is the first year where I started liking a guy and I liked him for four years. Love at a young age. That was my last year of being super girly before my years of being a tomboy. I will be posting my 2nd grade experiences soon talking about that phase.
Kindergarten was one of my favorite years at school. I went to a private school and I remember my mom dressed me in a blue dress with an apple on the front. We were not allowed to have backpacks, so we carried our supplies around in a tote bag. On Mondays and Thursdays we wore navy blue uniforms and khaki bottoms which I hated. The first day my teacher explained to us what a carpool was and I was terrified because I could not swim yet and the word “pool” made me anxious.
It took me a few weeks before I made friends and I still felt self-conscious because of my ethnicity. One day, a girl named Ellie approached me. We were playing in the sandbox at the same time and we instantly became friends. We made up a game called DD & Sally where she pretended her name was Sally and my name was DD. We had our own secret handshake and she became my best friend. She also had a few other friends and introduced me to them. I also met a boy named Joseph and we used to play tag on the playground. He was cute and made a great tag duo. I really started to feel great about this school.
I remember loving P.E. and music. Although I was awful, singing was something that I loved doing. We also had international week where we pretended to fly to different countries and learn a little about each one. Also, during Dr. Seuss week, our teacher made us green eggs and ham. Nap time was boring because I was never tired but Ellie used to sleep through the next class so I used to pretend to sleep so my teacher could walk me to my next class alone.
Near the end of school, a sniper alert went around Richmond so the school took classes in the gym. They set up cubicles for each classroom and nap time was especially hard with all of the lights on and the other classes. I don’t remember much more about this, but I didn’t mind. This year I also got surgery on my belly button. Basically I made it from being an outie into an innie. I got huge support from my classmates and my teacher. They all wrote me letters which was so sweet. I’ve never gone through an experience like that but everything worked out fine.
Overall, kindergarten was great. I really wasn’t friends with many people, but I finally didn’t feel as if everyone was staring at me because I was different looking. Some girls and I even formed a mother-daughter book club and I couldn’t wait to grow up and see what was next.
I got inspired to do a breakdown of my life from watching Shane Dawson’s school vlogs. I thought it was very interesting and I thought it would be kind of fun to talk about. My first four years are the ones I remember the least, so this might be a very short blog post.
It all started in Maoming. Maoming is a small city in Southeast China and it is also where I am from. I was adopted with a couple of other girls: Hannah and Isabel, who I still talk to today. Looking back at some pictures from China, I see how beautiful it is there and I would love to visit soon.
After our trip home to Richmond, my parents took me to my grandparents house for the first time. My parents said I cried a lot and broke a bunch of stuff when I first started walking and crawling. Oops, my bad. Apparently my first word I ever spoke was “hot”, which is not at all surprising. Shortly after that I became a citizen of the United States, so no, I am not an illegal immigrant or anything like that.
Preschool was alright. I met my first friend ever, Haley. She was awesome but she didn’t stay for Pre-kindergarten and I missed my best friend. I also met a few other friends but I don’t talk to them anymore. I don’t remember much except playing with play-doh in art and I remember we either played in the parking lot or the playground. The playground had rubber tire pieces (aka “black stuff”) which ruined any white shoes I owned.
My fourth birthday party was probably the biggest party I’ve ever had. We had a horse and a face-painter dressed up as Glinda from the Wizard of Oz. I still have pictures and I even dressed up as Dorothy. The horse reminded me that I named one of our neighbor’s horses Paddo (pronounced pad dough). He was a dark brown horse and I was obsessed. I also thought we had a neighbor named Bobby Car-Key which I found out years later who he was. His actual name is Evan, but I mean, close enough.
I was scared of many things. Swimming, skiing, Santa, and snow were all terrifying to me. For some scary reason, I named my cat YumYum and was very jealous of her. My mom’s friend decided to go to China and adopt my friend, Grace and we have been friends since we were very young. She was very bossy and every single time I went over to her house, it usually ended in me cleaning some part of her room for her. I loved dancing when I was around four and even got compliments from my dad’s coworkers on a business trip. My parents were mortified since apparently I was not dancing appropriately but it happens.
One of the hardest things when I was this age was being Chinese. I felt self-conscious because other girls would stare at me in school or at the grocery store because I was different. I went through a phase where I wore my mom’s foundation to make me look white. Instead of being proud that I was tan and different, I was so concerned with looking like everyone else. I eventually got over this, but that’s not until I started kindergarten.