It was the fourth grade. I always heard rumors and gossip about a certain teacher. This year, kids said to take any teacher except Mrs. Rivera, the oral project teacher. Of course in elementary, we did not have a choice of which teacher to choose. Boy, I was shocked when I glanced at the window that had my schedule. Mrs. Rivera would be my teacher. No problems, all I need to do is stand in front of the class and speak. Of course, I always hated talking in front of the class. I did orals in second and third grade; but it couldn’t be that bad. Nothing could go wrong.
That’s what I thought. The season changed with cold rains and blistering chills to blooming flowers and emerging birds. It was spring, and the school year would be over soon. This is when I finally knew why everyone hated her class. Mrs. Rivera gave us the dreaded and most painful oral, The Play. It consisted of singing, dancing, acting, and prancing across the gym. Could it get any worse? Of course it could. On a piece of paper, stuck to a wall with eight pushpins and long-lasting duct tape, it stated, “Invite people you know to The Play.”
A couple days after the announcement, a white envelope came in the the name Mrs. Rivera pasted on the return address. Why wasn’t I surprised to find out this was an invitation to The Play for my parents? There were no more excuses. I had no choice but to join the play.
We first started by taking roles in different dramas. I rushed through a crowd of kids and hunted for a small lined part. I would be a dashing soldier, protecting the country of Rome from evil dragons while doing my best to keep the Gods happy. Next, we all took bells and canes for the singing, prancing, and dancing part of the play. I received a tiny scratched bell with a little red piece of yarn. It was the ugliest bell, but I became use to these consequences and I did not have any problem in going forward with progress.
After getting our red-striped canes and other materials, we rehearsed our parts. Well… most did. Personally, I hated the whole thing, especially the singing roles. When the kids weren’t in tune, she blamed it on me and forced me to sing more. When we had to jingle the bells for a beat, my bell would just make an ugly thump sound. Even with all these problems, everyone seemed ready for The Play.
It just started to get dark and people piled onto the benches. Today was the day all our preparation came into action. Cameras covered the scene with parents making sure they did not miss anything. I was doing well. The Roman drama went perfectly and we excited the crowd with our acting skills. The singing and dancing were just as great. We sung with utmost excellence and made it to our spots with no wrong steps.
That was the last major oral project we did in fourth grade. It was a pretty awful school year, but I gained a lot of knowledge from it. I learned how to speak in front of an audience in a firm and clear voice. I gained more confidence and I did not worry about orals as much. I guess fourth grade was not that bad, after acknowledging all the accomplishments I made that year. However, I sure would not want to go through the dire fourth grade again.