My first school memory is in kindergarten. We sat on a colorful carpet for music time and our music teacher Mr. Kermit Wells was attempting to teach us rhythm. He taught music class K-6 Grades for the entire district. To help teach us the song they drew out the lyrics in pictures. We were little, we couldn't read. I loved music time. Some of the kids would roll around on the carpet and drool. I sat in perfect Indian style facing Mr. Wells with his keyboard in his lap. I was in my hot pink t-shirt with the teddy bear holding gold heart shaped balloons. How can I possibly remember that detail? The teacher was playing and wanted us to clap along. I clapped. I knew where the claps went without thinking. The other kids were lost. They had no idea. Then Mr. Wells stopped and said. "None of you are getting this right. I want you to watch the teacher (our regular class teacher whose name I don't recall) or you right there. You've got it right. Raise your hand so everybody can watch you" He pointed at me! Out of all the kids in the class he pointed me! I was so proud of myself. Take that freak kid that knows how to multiply already. You don't know how to clap properly and I do. Yay for me.
I have wondered several times throughout my life why this memory stands out to me so clearly. I remember what I was wearing. I know I was facing north when it happened. I remember a lot about that teacher but then again I did see him once a week for seven years. I wonder if I was already musically inclined or if that small bit of positive reinforcement nudged me in that direction. It's really amazing what a teacher is capable of in a child's life in just a brief passing moment. Something adults should remember.