All this talk about my triumphs and losses in school reminded me of my best year in school ever - fifth grade. My class had been divided into two classrooms since first graded, but the fifth grade teacher said he could handle all 62 of us with no problems. But there weren't enough desks! Our fourth grade teacher was asked if she would mind teaching a split classroom and she said that would be find. They let her pick thirteen of us and she took all the best students, who also happened to be the students who were in the band. One boy cried after she picked all his friends and left him behind, so she went back and got him, too. A new girl started a couple of weeks later and we got her as well.
I can't remember the name of that new girl, but she changed my school year for the better in very short order. She wrote "radio plays" and asked if we could put them on for the class. Mrs. Stanley said we could, so we found one of those folding screens that people use for privacy and performed behind that - remember, these were radio plays, so we didn't have to have costumes or anything, just a few sound effects. (affects? I can never remember.) Anyway, she was very prolific, writing a play every couple of weeks, and when the other classes found out, they wanted to hear one, too. We took our folding screen from classroom to classroom for the rest of the year and had a blast doing our plays.
We pretty much had free reign in our little corner of the room. When Mrs. Stanley was teaching the fourth grade, we read our assignments then were permitted to visit as long as we kept it quiet. She was good about giving we musicians extra time to practice before the music contests, too. All in all, it was a very satisfying school experience, the kind, I think, that can only happen in a small school with small classes, the kind of school where the teacher remembers all your parents and aunts and uncles and can tell you stories about when they were in school. My kids missed out on that experience. My daughter's high school class was over 1200 and my son's was only a little smaller. It's no wonder they never wanted to come home for their class reunions, while we love going to ours.