I don’t know what grade I was in. Third? I think third.
We went to a “career center.” I don’t remember most of it. I do remember there was something for hairdressing and the mannequin head that I got was disgustingly worn out. It was like a mostly bald lady. And of course we weren’t given anything but combs and brushes, so there wasn’t anything I could do with it. I remember at the time thinking, “This is really weird. I’m not sure what this could possibly do for anyone career-wise.” (Except I thought it in a third-grader’s vocabulary. Or, rather, probably a fifth- or sixth-grader’s vocabulary.)
And we made our own flathead screwdrivers. We were given the metal part, we poured plastic “beads” into the top of a machine that melted them down, and we pulled down on a lever; the plastic was molded into the handle of the screwdriver.
And I remember that I pulled as hard as I could on the lever, and it didn’t go down all the way. And I pulled and pulled and I ended up pulling myself right up off the floor. There I was, hanging on the lever, with nearly a half-inch gap in the mold.
A girl in the class, Debbie, who if I remember correctly lived on a dairy farm, came over and pulled down on the lever until it closed.
I was simultaneously embarrassed and grateful.
Sometimes, I feel that way now when I screw up socially and y’all let me forget it.