Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Minty Fresh

I'm not sure how it came up at lunch today, but I found myself confessing that, when I was in kindergarten and first grade, I ate the paste. I think I must have assumed that everyone did that so I was a little surprised that I was the lone paste-eater. I felt it necessary to explain.

"Seriously? You never tried it?" I asked. "But, it was so delicious-- all sweet and minty. I wonder what kind of paste that was? I wonder what was in it?"

I thought back 45 years in time. "My teachers used to cut little squares of paper," I recalled, "and the paste came in these giant tubs, so they would take like a tongue depresser thing and scoop a glob onto each square and then student helpers would bring one to each of us," I continued. "We had to use our fingers to rub the paste in, so of course you could taste it, and it was good!"

For a second, I was my present adult teacher self standing in that long ago classroom. I considered the routine from a professional perspective as I tried to describe it to my colleagues. What did we do next? I tried to remember.

"Hmmm... Now that I think of it, I'm not sure how we were actually supposed to get the paste off our hands... did they send us to the bathroom? Did we have a sink in the room?" I shrugged. "Who knows? For me, that was never a problem!"

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