Follow the yellow brick road – or, why I loved third grade

A couple of weeks ago I got this message through my blog:

I am trying to do a follow up on my students from PS 166 class 3-305.
I believe that I have found you. I am extremely proud of all your accomplishments. Please email me back with an update.
I would love to meet with you to discuss old times.

It was my third grade teacher! How cute is that?  Suddenly I felt like I was nine years old again, learning my multiplication tables and playing the recorder.  Third grade was a very good year…

So we met for lunch in the city the following week and reminisced about old times.  She looked the same except she had straight hair instead of the reddish curls I remember.  It was so weird to be sitting next to her as an adult!

We had both brought pictures from the defining event of that year: the production of The Wizard of Oz we put on.  I played Dorothy. Actually, I was one of two Dorothies. My voice was too small and quiet to hold up for the entire show, so it was decided that another girl would play the lead for the second half.  I was “Dorothy #1.” 🙂

Follow the yellow brick road! I still have one of those paper corn stalks from the set in my closet. I am such a hoarder.

From left to right, Clint Borzoni, Armita (?), Stefanie Weisman, Danny Ho, Michael Petrocelli. I still remember their names! We had such amazing costumes. (I love the dinosaur dioramas in the background, too.)

Me as Dorothy, with the Lion and Tin Man in the background. I love the tree costumes!

We had really great costumes, most of them hand-made. My mother sewed this Dorothy costume from a pattern she got at the Five and Dime – can you believe it?

My former teacher said that it got harder and harder for her to put on plays like this as the pressure to teach for standardized tests mounted.  What a shame.  This was one of the defining moments of my childhood, and you can see how much love and care we put into this play.  More kids should be given this opportunity.

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