The elementary school years are a small miracle: when we all learned such fundamental things as reading, the basics of mathematics, the rudiments of civic behavior (which consisted mainly of not pooping on people) , that we discovered our first primary school victories there, these great memories have something to make us devilishly nostalgic.
1. Recess games
Marbles, pogs, rubber bands, hopscotch, Crados cards or collectible Pokémon. Oh that, at the time we knew how to laugh. We didn’t need an expensive console or a computer to have fun (ALERT ALERT: old man’s thoughts). And remember, our grandparents themselves found our games already much too modern: “You know man, at your age I received an orange at Christmas and I played with it all year round”. Like what, being an old fart is transmitted from generation to generation. And you, are you an old fart?
2. Books to learn to read with pretty, well-drawn letters in them and dotted lines for you to complete yourself
The “Ratus” who taught us to read… I’m crying just thinking about his little face. Well OK it was weird to stick a green rat in a teacher’s uniform to try to teach us how to line up three letters. But between that and the “J’aime Lire” collection in which we only read the Tom-Tom and Nana comics, we can say that we were very happy. And then afterwards we discovered Proust and we cried, then it took 15 years to understand that he was a little more than an author who writes long sentences.
3. The end-of-year fair where we could experience our choreo in public
And the parents who were wondering if it wasn’t time to make you change schools when they saw you there, in black tights, supposedly disguised as a bee on a G-Squad tube.
4. Dictation as daily torture
“Dictation…Dictation…tee…” with a teacher who ostensibly pronounced the marks of the feminine: “The branch has fallen…the branch…has…fallen-eh…”. For you it was perhaps the worst nightmare, but you will understand later that you were living in a good time when you start to approach the rules on the COD agreement. Moreover, it is the same to know what you have retained and if you are a ball in spelling.
5. Discovering your true age at the bottom of the canteen glasses
The objective was to find a good word for each number that fell… “Hahaha…he’s 37!” Shame!… he no longer has the right to the 12-25 card and not yet to senior reductions at the SNCF! “. Yeah it was pretty swaying at the time.
6. Poems and fables learned paaaaaar heart
“The crow and the fox” which we took literally and which we always recited in the same way with this silly voice without the slightest desire to give a bit of meaning to what you read. Anyway, you had to wait ten years to understand the metaphors.
7. Multiplication tables
Half a decade of learning to finally discover the calculator in college. It’s damn good these little machines anyway. Still, our traumas have persisted for many years, we even ranked the worst multiplication tables for you (TMTC the 7th gave suffering strokes).
8. When we had a secret lover (who didn’t know BECAUSE IT WAS OUT OF THE QUESTION TO TELL HIM EVER EVER EVER EVER)
And even that your best friend was in on the secret (and your mother. And your father. And your brothers and sisters. And your cat. And your neighbors. And your teacher. But after that, that’s all). On the other hand, today you don’t even know what he was called.
9. The textbook with the homework to do and some stupid words from your friends
He was given all the delicacy in the world the first two weeks. With this certainty that having stuff to do for the day after tomorrow was the prerogative of responsible and mature students.
10. Wednesday: day of glory
And the permission that went with it to go to bed later on Tuesday. This semi-legal provision which allowed you to see the entire filmography of Louis de Funès.
How I would have smashed everything if I was going back to primary school today.