I didn't realize it as a six-year-old, but elementary school was a fantastic time for self evaluation.
Remember how many projects were "All About Me" themed?
- The "What I Want To Be When I Grow Up" collage
- The "My Favorite Things" poster
- The general awesomeness and egocentricity of Show N' Tell
Looking back, I'm sure there was a reason for this consistently self-centered subject material (apart from the fact that our educations had just begun, and we therefore knew very little about anything else). It was a time when we were first "leaving the nest," so to speak. We were interacting more regularly with peers than parents and trying to figure out who we were, why we mattered.
Heavy stuff to contemplate over chocolate milk and dodgeball.
For some reason, one of those self-defining projects still stands clear in my mind: the adjective rainbow.
Each student in Miss Kieter's first grade class was given a paper cloud with their name written on it, along with a stack of colorful construction paper strips. We were instructed to create a rainbow out of these strips by writing adjectives (one for each letter of our names) on separate strips of paper and then stapling the individual pieces of rainbow to the cloud.
I remember finding this assignment rather discriminatory against some of my classmates--specifically Zak, who sat next to me--but I digress.
My rainbow consisted primarily of adjectives like "loving," "radiant" and "excellent." Not bad for a first grade vocabulary, but rather vague, wouldn't you say?
Completing the exercise years later as a twentysomething is both an entertaining time waster and a fun form of self reflection. I think Circa 1996 Claire would have been disappointed with my updated choices for "L" and "I," but hey, no one's perfect.
|My "radiant" and "excellent" self|
If you were to create an adjective rainbow today, what would it look like?