Monday, May 20, 2013

My Story -Part 5

When I left off with "My Story" in my last blog post, I had gotten up to the age of six years old. In this post, I will cover a few more years of my childhood. If you have not read the previous entries in the "My Story" series, I have included links to them at the bottom of this post.

As I mentioned in my last post, I became an avid reader at a very young age. I enjoyed fiction the most (and I would read fiction in a variety of subjects), though I was also known to take an interest in reading from the encyclopedia and other types of non-fiction. Usually, once I picked up a book, I didn't want to put it down.

I can recall experiences from my childhood that I was more interested in reading than in playing with friends. If I was involved in a book when a friend came by, I'd more often than not want to continue what I was reading rather than  play with my friend.

I did well enough in school in Kindergarten and first grade, though I definitely had an active imagination. And it was very easy for me to get lost in my imagination when I was supposed to be focused on something else. My first grade teacher once had a conversation with my mom about that, and she also spoke of at times seeing me just stare at my pencil for periods of time, probably trying to figure out how the lead was put in there.

Once I entered second grade, being able to focus on school work started to become more of a problem, as I would still find it very easy to get lost in my imagination when I was supposed to be focused on something else. When it came to assignments involving reading, including a class competition for reading, I did very well (in fact, I spent more time reading at home than all but one other person in the class). Though when it came to other assignments, I would get distracted rather easily. I remember charts kept in class tracking our progress in completing various types of assignments, and I was almost always behind nearly everyone else in the class.

Shortly after finishing second grade, I was diagnosed by my pediatrician as having Attention Deficit Disorder. Shortly after starting third grade, I started taking a low dose of Ritalin. This was long before extended release versions were available, and I remember having to stop by the office at lunch every day to take my second dose of the day.

The difference in my ability to focus from before I started taking medication was like night and day. I was now able to focus on my school work and much more easily complete assignments. When I was in third grade, my school separated students into different classes for math and English based on what level they were at. I met with my former 2nd grade teacher for English, and she noticed the difference firsthand.

I continued to do well in fourth grade, remaining near the top of my grade level in reading, and at average or slightly above in most other subjects. I also continued to do well as far as citizenship grades went. I was definitely an introvert during my childhood, and it was almost unheard of for me to be disciplined in school for any behavior problems.

Though Jaron and Evan (mentioned in my previous post) remained my closest friends throughout my childhood, I do recall making other friends during my early years in school. There was Dylan that lived down the street that I was close to for a couple of years, until his family moved away. There was Derek that I met in school, and formed a friendship with due to some of our common interests. And there was Don that lived a few streets away that I was also close friends with for a period of time. Throughout most of my childhood, I was also close to my cousin Lance, who was only a month older than me.

I also had several female friends, one of which lived in the neighborhood for a few years. She was the same age as me, and we were also in the same grade in school. At about the age of seven, it was from this girl that I received my first real introduction to the differences between boys and girls. As this is the only experience of this type in my childhood that had involved any kind of touch, it is something that has stuck with me through the years.

We did not go on too many trips or vacations when I was younger (other than an occasional overnight camping trip, or sometimes staying overnight with my uncle and his family in Wyoming that lived about two hours away), so the few trips that we did take stick out to me.

My first big vacation that I can remember was when I was nine. My grandparents took me, my brother Matt, and my cousin Lance on a road trip. We first stopped in Reno, where we stayed at Circus Circus (which as kids, we thoroughly enjoyed), and then went on to the Bay Area where we stayed for several days with my aunt and uncle. While we were there we visited San Francisco, some some other sites in the Bay Area, and (for us three boys) had our first experience playing on the beach.

The only other vacation I went on during my childhood was about a year later when I was ten. My dad (who at the time did contract work as a drywaller) was offered a job in southern California, and so my parents made it into a vacation for us. We first drove down and stayed in Boulder, NV, where we got to tour the Hoover Dam. After staying there for a day or two, we then drove down to the L.A. area where we went to Disneyland, Knott's Berry Farm, Univeral Studios, as well as another trip to the beach.

One other event of importance during this time of my life was my baptism. About two weeks after my eighth birthday, I was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Though I had attended church with my parents before this, and continued to do so afterward, this has remained an important milestone in my life.

* * * * *

My Story -Part 1
My Story -Part 2
My Story -Part 3
My Story -Part 4

I am now up to about the age of ten, and once again, this feels like a good stopping point. Stay tuned for future blog posts in which I will continue my story.

As always, feel free to leave comments or ask questions, whether here on the blog, or by sending me a private message.

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