Mo's Manic Monday - Can

Posted: Monday, March 10, 2008 by Travis Cody in

Welcome to another Manic Monday with Morgen. Don't forget to cruise by MM HQ at It's A Blog Eat Blog World. Today's word is Can.

My post today doesn't actually use the word Can. It's more about my determination as a boy to do something that I thought was important.

Remember the ABC song?

Pre-school used to be called nursery school. I only went to nursery school for a short time. My folks had sitters for me who were retired elementary school teachers. But they were also disabled, one in a wheel chair and the other using a walker. So ultimately they couldn't keep up with a 3-4 year old boy and I joined other kids in nursery school for about 6 months before I stared Kindergarten.

The first time I got in trouble at nursery school was because I refused to sing the ABC song. I had heard this song before on Sesame Street, but it had never really interested me. My mom read to me and so did my sitters. I was always fascinated by the stories, but even more by all the shapes on the pages. Clearly those shapes were making the stories and I always thought that was amazing!

The nursery school I went to was at the elementary school. My mom started working at the school library, so it made sense for me to go there. I was so happy because the walls of the little classroom were covered with those shapes I saw in my books! And the teacher gave me pieces of paper with those shapes on them, and then she told me to trace the shapes.

I wanted to be able to make the shapes by myself, without tracing them. I thought that's why I wasn't with my sitters anymore. I thought it was time to learn the shapes.

Now back to the ABC song...such a simple, catchy little melody that taught kids the order of the letters of the Alphabet.

Alphabet. That was the first power word I learned. And when I learned that the word Alphabet was what those shapes were called...well! No silly little song was good enough for such an important thing!

I wouldn't sing it. And I would interrupt the song to ask about the Alphabet. I wanted the teacher to stop and explain the shapes for each of the sounds the other kids were happily singing.

You see, the shapes matched to the sounds made the letters! I just had to learn the letters and what they meant. So I practiced by myself until I could speak the letters of the Alphabet in the proper order, not sing them.

I wouldn't say the Alphabet until I could do it straight through without a mistake. I would recite the letters quietly by myself, until one day I could say it all the way through, over and over, without a mistake. Then I said it for my parents. And then I said it for my teacher.

Once I could say the letters, I didn't want the letter tracing paper anymore. I wanted blank paper so I could make all the letters myself. And then I wanted to make the words I saw in my books.

It was time for me to go to Kindergarten.


  1. A rebel in preschool. Wow, Trav, you really have always pushed the boundaries, huh? *grin*

  1. yup, what ds said! little devil you! ha ha ha hey, when i was young we started right in 1st grade, no kindergarten for us, and no nursery school either, nope, right to elementary school. see that was the olden times! ha ha ha

    smiles, bee

  1. Mariposa says:

    Hahaha! Love defiant people...

    Happy MM!

  1. This sort of reminds me about the part when Scout went to school knowing how to read, but the teacher couldn't handle it in TKMB.

    Rebels are cool, btw :)

  1. My youngest will get to start kindergarten this coming Fall.

    I'm very excited about it. He's the last one of the bunch.


  1. Janna says:

    I love this!
    Sounds like you and I had similar priorities in our pre-school years.
    I never even went to nursery school or preschool. I spent the days alone at my grandmother's house, while my parents both worked at their jobs.
    And I learned to read before kindergarten, because it was really important to me!
    Like you, I wanted to learn to master those strange shapes on the page.

  1. Very cool. When I was but a wee tot I learned the alphabet backwards. I still know it that way, too...Odd, what sticks with a person!

  1. Cheerio says:

    Naughty naughty you.

  1. TopChamp says:

    you were one determined strong-minded boy!

    I don't remember anything from nursery school. It must be nce to have memories like this.

  1. Jamie says:

    We do seem to share that need to read. I didn't go to "kindergarten" or "nursery school", just straight into the first grade because of that ability. Great Monday post.

  1. I will go one extra step from Miss Bee, there was 11 grades when I started school, and I still remember fighting with my friend Willard over a little Red Headed girl, nice post Trev.

  1. Kimmie says:

    Well you little TOOT! Goodness, you were thinking figuring things out way before you were suppose to be!!! LOL! Great MM Post Trav!

    I am going to give this Manic Monday thing a try today. I wrote something up and I would like to share it. It will be fun to look forward to doing this every Monday. It is such a blah day. Nothing like challenging the mind to take the blah's away! :-)


  1. Kimmie says:

    sorry...that should have read...

    thinking and figuring


  1. I was almost held back in kindergarten because I was unable to color within the lines. What an overrated ability.

  1. I got N's in Kimdergarten for TALKING during rest time. Im still a jabber jaw!

    You sure "CAN" whip up a good Manic Monday! Great post.. come on by and visit the blog party, and grab a "CAN" of whatever grabs ya!


  1. Bond says:

    And the shapes you now put onto paper...or type onto your screen prove that you learned your lesson very very well...

  1. Turnbaby says:

    I love it!! I didn't go to kindergarten either. But I was reading before then. I remember being about 4 and sitting in my grandfather's lap making him tell me what the shapes were and sounding out words.

  1. Sanni says:

    *g* I expected nothing else *GGG*

    Happy MM!

  1. We had neither nursery schools nor kindergartents in Arkansas when I was growing up.

  1. Mo says:

    Your stories from your life are so cool.

  1. jennifer says:

    What I want to know is this; Did your trait of being a perfectionist stay with you? Are you still this determined to get things PERFECT?

    I am an anti-perfectionist. Not against perfection, but the complete opposite being perfect. My preschool trait that stayed was TALKING. Yada Yada Yada I do like to talk. I really liked your story! Jennifer

  1. Akelamalu says:

    You knew your own mind didn't you? :)

  1. Trav, you were one determined little guy....

  1. I love it Travis. What a nice use of the word can. I love it. You were my kind of kid. Have a great MM. :)

  1. cathy says:

    All I remember about my first school is being slapped for writing with my left hand and some little shit stealing my biscuits.

    Well done trav, we've both come a long way since then.

    I teach kids the alphabet and I hate that song. I get them doing a rap version where they can pick their own music and throw comments and words in as they go along. All the parents think I'm nuts.

  1. Julie says:

    Awww too sweet. I love learning more and more about what makes you..ummm well....YOU! **hugs**

    When I got here it said 26 comments were already posted. I thought that was neat...26 letters in the alphabet!

  1. Steven says:

    Love this! I hope teachers read this...we need to encourage individuality and self starters!

  1. Travis says:

    Songbird: Well, I had to do it my way didn't i? LOL!

    Bee: I think my nursery school was just glorified day care.

    Mariposa: I qualify as defiant...sometimes.

    Terra: I guess it can be tough when you have kids at different speeds of learning.

    Ian: Well, I guess you're about to start the final laps then eh?

    Janna: The shapes were so fascinating, weren't they??

    Lana: I knew it backwards once, but not so much anymore.

    Cheerio: Yeppers!

    TC: Lots of the stories are based on things I've heard over and over through the years. But this one I remember distinctly.

  1. Travis says:

    Jamie: I have fond memories of elementary school. I went to a pretty progressive school that let students learn at their own pace.

    Sarge: Ya mean we added a grade since your time???

    Kimmie: I think you'll enjoy the MM format. It's a different word every week and the community has a lot of fun with it.

    Nancy: That is a silly thing.

    Monkeys: Well, you just weren't ready to rest when all the other kids were!

    V: Now if I could just wrap my mind around the story that goes with the shapes!

    Turn: Once I had the shapes, I learned by sounding out the letters too.

    Sanni: Smooch!

    Charles: I guess some states didn't.

    Mo: Thanks!

  1. Travis says:

    Jennifer: I am still a perfectionist. The details are important to me and I strive to get things just so.

    Akelamalu: Yup. I sure did.

    Lois: I was serious about those shapes!

    Lana: I'll check it out.

    Sandee: I was determined.

    Cathy: I guess using music does make it easier for kids to get the letters in the right order, but that just wasn't for me.

    Julie: That is neat! 26 for 26.

    Steven: Definitely!

  1. Roger says:

    Your a bad lad Trav!

  1. I just ate brownies and I am hyper as heck. Therefore I saw the word "can" and now I am on a Moulin Rouge Can Can kick. Thanks can help pay for my hip replacement :P

  1. Marilyn says:

    I remember learning to read and how important it was to me... but I was way too scared of getting in trouble to ever refuse to do things the way they wanted me to. I wish I'd been a rebel too.

  1. Anndi says:

    How cute were you.... hehehe