[This is part of the series: A List of Things I Remember About Living In Saudi Arabia.]
I remember my school.
I remember Taif Academy.
Good grief there are a thousand stories I could tell about sitting in one class or the other.
I read Summer of The Monkeys for the first time, aced an oral science report about spiders, and played The Oregon Trail while I should have been learning to type.
In the third grade, I remember doing Mad Minute multiplication problems with the doors open so the breeze could blow through. We took an Arabic class, and they even tried to teach us square dancing at one point.
Later, we did geometry in the front part of the computer building that was on the end of the row.
In science class, just past our row of outdoor lockers, we dissected chickens, made water powered cars to see whose could go the farthest, and competed on tests to see who could get the highest score above 100.
English class tried to introduce us to books we had never considered and encouraged us to write. We practiced our writing by scratching our thoughts into journals and were told to write in smaller print at every turn. Sometimes the teacher read stories aloud to us.
Geography encouraged us to do reports to learn about other countries, but at Taif Academy you couldn’t pick a country to do a report on without someone saying they were born, had lived in, or vacationed there.
I remember walking to the theater so we could do PE indoors sometimes.
And sometimes for PE, we even swam in the pool.
On occasion, instead of paying attention in history class, a few of us would catch flies and stun them by throwing them against the wall, where they would fall to the floor until regaining consciousness, usually a few seconds later.
Sure, sometimes they never got up.
See, the trick to it is to swat and close your hand about an inch or two above a resting fly.
They see your hand coming and start to fly away.
When they do, you catch them in the air, a millisecond after takeoff.
The school supported Kindergarten through the 9th grade.
After the 9th grade, you went to boarding school – but we moved back to the states just before I started the 8th grade – and I never got to do that.
I can still feel sorry for myself for not getting to go.
You might even feel sorry for me too, if you think about it.