A reminder that I came up in the 80’s…

I didn’t say *my* 4th grade class. Even so, this was another class in my school, so I knew a lot of the kids because I was in the same class as them in earlier grades or the 5th grade. This picture will not be up for very long and will be replaced with an obscured one.

1 – Lived down the street from me. Disappeared from our school system at some point not long after this picture was taken (in fact, I could have sworn she had been gone by the 4th grade). She later died of a drug overdose.

2 – One of my best friends through parts of middle school. Then we went on different trajectories. He got a girlfriend pregnant almost immediately after high school and never went to college.

3 – I knew him quite well growing up, then at some point he just turned. He dropped out of high school and did a stint in prison.

4 – My family was close to her family and I’ve written about her on this blog before. She moved to Deseret and became part of some strange religion that required that she change her name. She was pregnant by 19 and had another kid by 21. While pregnant with her second, she cut off all ties to her family. She had one brother who ended up in Cascadia. He, too, severed all ties with his parents. It’s really weird, because their parents (who used to sit us often) seemed like great folks.

5. I was a horrible, horrible friend to this kid. I don’t even want to recount what exactly I did, but it ruined him socially. He must have known. Yet, years later, sent a Facebook friend request and we’ve chatted. If his Facebook info is to be believed, he has done unbelievably well for himself.

6. Remember that girl I posted about who married the guy several leagues below her? For those of you who don’t remember, she’s an MD now.

7. Is female. Even today, looks a little bit like a guy in drag.

8. Went to the prom with a guy who turned out to be gay. It should have been the first clue. She was gorgeous and he was utterly uninterested in her all night long. She was pissed, but they’re Facebook friends now, so I guess she got over it.

9. Graduated college at age 20, got two masters degrees and a PhD. Is a statistical analyst for a major insurance company. Four kids. Writes zombie fiction.

10. I was often confused with her brother, who was decidedly unpopular.

11. He left after the 4th grade, I think. He and I were friends, but the guy has the personality of a Monty Card dealer. I hope he ended up in Vegas.

With the exception of the tall brown kid, the boy below #4, and the girl between #7 and #8, I actually don’t remember any of the other kids in this picture. Which is rather astonishing to me, because it used to be that I remembered everybody.


Category: Ghostland, School

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18 Responses to The Fourth Grade Class

  1. Mike Hunt says:

    Did you watch The Class when it was on? For those who didn’t, it starred John Ritter’s son. He met his fiance in 2nd grade, so to celebrate their engagement, he organizes a 20 year reunion of that class. The show featured Jesse Tyler Ferguson playing an effiminate straight man, as opposed to his character on Modern Family, where he plays a masculine gay man.

    Anyway, as for number 9, was he the guy you mentioned in a recent post? If you didn’t tell us that you weren’t in the picture, I would have guessed that he was you…

    I am impressed that you have a color picture of another class. We only have them of our own classes. For laughs, you should post 8th grade class pictures. Even though everyone is 13/14, half the kids look 10, and the other half look 20…

    Too bad you don’t remember the girl next to 11; she looks like a go-er. (that was a joke, everyone)

    The concept of looking a picture of innocent kids while knowing how their futures would turn out was also covered in Annie Hall.

    Finally, I am MORBIDLY curious what you did to poor number 5… Please please tell us…

  2. David Alexander says:

    Somehow, I’m left wondering of all the male students, which one grew up to become Will Truman…

  3. trumwill says:

    I have The Class queued up, but I’ve never watched it. Did it end with a cliffhanger?

    Yes, #9 is he. And on your next item, I don’t have the class picture, #9 does and he scanned it. My 8th grade class had 200 people in it. That would be one hell of a post.

    I was actually surprised that I didn’t remember Would-be-#12. She looks like the kind of girl I would have had a proto-crush on.

    On number 5… it basically involved saying a lot of untrue things for reasons that I cannot for the life of me recall.

    David, it wasn’t my fourth grade class, so none of them did.

  4. Mike Hunt says:

    It makes sense that the picture came from number 9’s Facebook. I didn’t think of it. Duh.

    My 8th grade class had 200 people in it. That would be one hell of a post.

    Well we still had homerooms of 20 or so. But my point still holds, where you have a group of people who are the same age chronilogically, but are wildly different in physical maturity. Of course, you are dealing with this now since you are teaching. It is easy to see why so many kids are miserable in middle school.

    I have The Class queued up, but I’ve never watched it. Did it end with a cliffhanger?

    Despite ending with a cliffhanger, you should still watch it. The characters are quite compelling, and the show is very well written.

    On number 5… it basically involved saying a lot of untrue things for reasons that I cannot for the life of me recall.

    Despite not remembering the reasons, do you remember what awful things you said? Was he a bed-wetter? Booger-eater? Shit-sniffer? Sister-molester?

  5. trumwill says:

    Well we still had homerooms of 20 or so. But my point still holds, where you have a group of people who are the same age chronilogically, but are wildly different in physical maturity.

    They started homeroom in the 8th grade, but the picture was of the whole class. The problem with using a picture with 200 people on it is that everybody’s tiny. Now, if I could find the picture from the 8th grade field trip to Washington DC, that might be worthwhile. I could even show my face, because it was torn up something fierce.

    Despite ending with a cliffhanger, you should still watch it. The characters are quite compelling, and the show is very well written.

    I swear, like it would kill them to have some sort of ending on these shows. I like what Back To You did. They filmed 17 episodes. They had a good stopping point at 14. So they just never aired the last three.

    Despite not remembering the reasons, do you remember what awful things you said? Was he a bed-wetter? Booger-eater? Shit-sniffer? Sister-molester?

    I made him out to be a very bad person (of the malicious variety). Not a sister-molester, but along those lines (if not quite to that degree).

  6. Linus says:

    I have a few memories of some of these people, but knew very little about what became of any of them (so thanks for sharing!). #4 lived really close to me and was my first friend when I moved in 2nd grade. I had heard about some of the weirdness, but not that both she and her brother separated from their parents. Odd. Agree that #6 is a bombshell (always was, really) – she was my first crush. But honestly, as surprising as it is to see someone marry someone so “below them” in the looks department, I’m not as surprised she did.

  7. trumwill says:

    I remembered that #4 lived near you. It’s interesting that you, Clint, and I all knew her in different ways (location, church, and parents).

    I forgot that you also had a crush on #6. Of course, we were hardly alone. I agree that it’s not surprising that if someone is going to marry down, it would be her.

  8. Kirk says:

    I’m a bit lost. You seem to be suggesting that both you and your wife are in the picture, but you also act like it’s not your class, which would mean you’re not in it. What gives?

    Anyway, I’m surprised you remember so much about your fourth-grade class. I can only remember one name from that far back. Does Facebook somehow enable you to delve more deeply into your past that you’d normally be able to plunge?

  9. trumwill says:

    Kirk, neither my wife nor I are in the picture. #6 refers someone else that I posted on a while back who became an MD. Here’s the post.

    Oh, and I missed one of your comments recently. Sorry about that. My answer is here.

  10. ? says:

    Out of curiosity, why make such a big deal of the fact that the girl (? Clementine Something-or-other in your prior post) became a physician. I admit that it’s been one hell of a long, hard demoralizing slog for me and probably for many others (note: I started the pre-med cursus in the 1990’s). However, the social cache of the profession is in serious decline, and I should know because I’m a functional omega who earned a degree from a high-Ivy undergrad. She’s probably just going to end up in the ordinary Fussellian middle class with a lot of student loans.

  11. trumwill says:

    It’s significant to the previous post because one of the main questions I figured would be asked was “Maybe the dude’s loaded” and the fact that she’s an MD means that she is (or will be) self-sufficient. I mention it in this one because it is one of the comparatively few things I know about how she turned out.

  12. ? says:

    Fair enough, and I promise I was just asking out of curiosity and not trying to belittle her or be a jerk. I do recall people in the comments to that post asking why she chose that guy. I would add to your thoughts back then that she has probably spent most of her time during the last few years around other resident physicians, so they would form a large part of her pool of potential dates and mates.

    Young female physicians are definitely decent catches compared to the average of their age-matched peers. Subjectively, they are a bit smarter and more focused, usually come from good family backgrounds and tend to take good care of themselves. Those attributes are as important as looks, although I’ve met a few knockout female residents in my time (including a really intelligent Kristen Stewart look-alike with a fantastic personality, of course already married).

  13. Mike Hunt says:

    I made [number 5] out to be a very bad person (of the malicious variety). Not a sister-molester, but along those lines (if not quite to that degree).

    So you said he would peek at his mother or sister while they were changing or showering?

    ===

    Anyway since you are now talking to number 9, you should ask him about number 12. Maybe he still knows her.

    ===

    Looking back at it, I would be able to identify all of the kids in my class from K through 8th grades. I went to a regional high school, so I may be spotty on some of them.

  14. trumwill says:

    Anyway since you are now talking to number 9, you should ask him about number 12. Maybe he still knows her.

    #6 apparently has her friended. Her profile has five kids playing on it. I assume they’re not all hers, but she’s got another last name now, it would seem.

    Looking back at it, I would be able to identify all of the kids in my class from K through 8th grades.

    Really? You either have a much better memory than I do or your school didn’t have kids cycling in and out nearly as much as ours did.

  15. Mike Hunt says:

    By your silence I will take it that my peeking comment was on the money…

    You either have a much better memory than I do or your school didn’t have kids cycling in and out nearly as much as ours did.

    Mostly the latter. My community growing up was remarkably untransient.

  16. trumwill says:

    Mostly the latter. My community growing up was remarkably untransient.

    Come to think of it, mine was probably abnormally transient. You wouldn’t expect it with posh neighborhoods with high levels of home ownership, but people would upgrade their houses. I can’t tell you how many people I know that “moved away” only to meet back up with them in middle school or high school because they ended up moving a couple miles over, into a nicer neighborhood.

    Regarding #5, I’m not going to get any more specific than I have gotten.

  17. Mike Hunt says:

    Regarding #5, I’m not going to get any more specific than I have gotten.

    Fair enough.

    Anyway, to state the obvious, it is bad enough to spread mean things about people when they are 100 percent true. To make mean things up is lower than low.

    Hopefully you doing this was a function of your youth and immaturity, and you have grown out of it…

  18. trumwill says:

    It was a product of youth and an over-active imagination. I was a compulsive liar. Most of the time about irrelevant things, though not in this case, obviously. Once I began fiction writing and fiction dreaming, I got a handle on things and was able to more clearly make the distinction between “this would be good for a story” and “I should tell people this.”

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