I love the Midwest! Mukwonago, Wisconsin, was home for me the last two months of first grade. I felt anxious about moving to a new school, especially a two-room school and I was shocked to learn that they still existed. But it was a good experience. My older sister Linda, a third grader, shared the same classroom. That was a comfort. The teacher managed our class well. They were a rather rowdy bunch of rough-and-tumble farm kids. She didn’t put up with any nonsense.
Our teacher quickly realized that I was behind her first graders in reading, so she took time to teach me separately. That made me feel like someone who really mattered. I couldn’t help feeling bad that I was so behind that she had to take time from teaching the other children, but she did it cheerfully. It was only recently that I realized that I am significantly dyslexic. At the time I just thought I was dumb. Our teacher’s care boosted my self esteem.
Once school let out for the year, Mukwonago served as a playground. Linda and I paddled about in a rowboat on this very lake, further boosting my confidence. Though changing schools seemed a great trial, moving here proved to be an adventure. I already wore glasses and secretly feared that someday I would be blind. I hope I’m never completely blind, but even the little challenges I faced as a first-grader prepared me for challenges I had to face later.
It felt so good to come back and see Mukwonago again! Next visit, I want to spend more time and figure out where we lived and see if our little vacation bungalow and schoolhouse still exist. Life continues to be a great adventure!