The rain pattered down, gently slapping the long row of windows lining the left side of Ms. Chandler’s 5th grade classroom. Small desks filled the center of the room, perfectly placed into two rows of ten. A large bookshelf on the back wall burst with colorful picture books. Ms. Chandler’s wide desk sat in the front, constructed of hard mahogany and covered in assorted papers and assignments. A bright, red apple carved from wood stood erect in the center, a cartoon worm protruding from its side. On the apple, in black, bubble letters, read the greeting “Welcome to Ms. Chandler’s Classroom”.
I sat in the back of the class, taking in the scene. It was much the same as it had been for last six months. I always showed up early. I hated the idea of being late almost as much as being caught off guard. A classroom is like a small town, each classmate has a story and very often it takes a little work to get it out of them. I liked to think I knew them pretty well. So much for that. Continue reading