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    1. It’s Back to Fourth Grade (with Billy Burke)

      by , 08-22-2015 at 02:22 PM
      Morning of August 22, 2015. Saturday.

      It seems I am returning to, I think, fourth grade, though the school is actually the one I only went to the first part of first grade to in reality (before moving to Florida). I am more like a miniature version of my adult self instead of seeing from a child’s perspective.

      For whatever reason, a faux “child version” of actor Billy Burke (as he appears on the television series “Zoo”, one of the only shows we watch presently) is also going to school (complete with glasses and a five o'clock shadow). He walks on my left side and I talk with him about what to expect as we head towards the main entrance. In a way, this seems odd due to the fact that I had supposedly gone to this same grade several times before (which is not like any aspect of reality - in fact, they always wanted to put me two grades higher in the earlier grades - though I refused their advice). It is also a slight association with apparently having been the same age before.

      As we go into the school, I realize that the school had recently been in some sort of bad weather that destroyed many of the records. In fact, the floors of the halls are still wet, with a few puddles here and there. I see random sheets of notebook paper and partly opened damaged backpacks here and there, the notebook pages of homework and schoolwork ruined by the water. I do not know quite what to think as it seems school will not be held this day even though a lot of students are arriving.

      Only on one level do I associate a real life event from 1966 with this scene. I had gone to the school grounds on what was apparently a day off (my mother not being aware of this for whatever reason) and on my way into the building, I accidentally splashed into a puddle that was deeper than I first thought. Once I got into the building, two teenage boys took me into the principal’s office and went on and on about it being the worst thing I had probably ever done (one boy actually sitting on the principal’s desk, the other in the chair) and how much trouble I would be in for “tracking water into the school” and misbehaving. It was only later that I began to realize that this event did not really make any sense. I was only five at the time and for whatever reason, thought these boys might actually be part of the legitimate school system, perhaps the sons of the principal or one of the teachers. I never reported this incident and simply walked around in the building before going home later, and never understood why the building would be open if it was an actual holiday. It is possible that “Billy” is a play on “bully” here, though I cannot be certain.

      The only other embarrassing event from this time period was dropping all my math flashcards all over the intersection near Rose Street and I absentmindedly ran around picking them all up (including in front of moving cars) while the crossing guard stopped all the cars for a few minutes, me chasing after some of them as the wind blew them around. I actually kept these cards until just after I moved back to Wisconsin, a few of the cards still having tire marks on them.