Monday, August 3, 2009

Kindergarten Hat

All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten

by Robert Fulghum
Most of what I really need To know about how to live
And what to do and how to be
I learned in kindergarten.
Wisdom was not at the top
Of the graduate school mountain,
But there in the sand pile at Sunday school.
These are the things I learned:
Share everything.
Play fair.
Don't hit people.
Put things back where you found them.
Clean up your own mess.
Don't take things that aren't yours.
Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody.
Wash your hands before you eat.
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
Live a balanced life -Learn some and think some
And draw and paint and sing and dance
And play and work everyday some.
Take a nap every afternoon.
When you go out into the world,Watch out for traffic,
Hold hands and stick together.
Be aware of wonder.

Although it was 1960 it seems like yesterday when my mother took this picture of me in my authentic Shirley Temple dress. Just home from kindergarten I so proud to share my latest creation. My brother Mark and I took turns posing in front of the electric switch that was immediately left of our front door in our home on Robinhood Rd.

Did I tell you I am an Artist?

My passion to create with art supplies began with Mrs. Klingensmith, the teacher for over thirty years, at Fred L. Akien Kindergarten in Greentree. Only four and a half years old, kindergarten was the first time I had to leave my mother at home while I went out into the world alone. It was scary to leave my mom, after all, she was ill. I never knew if she would be in hospital or be dead when I returned home. Mark was home with her, he could take care of her while I was gone. Out the door, I walked, climbing into a cigarette smoke filled car driven by my mothers friend from church. Mark was young, so this other mother without any younger children, put a coat over her nightgown, lit her morning cigarette and drank coffee as she drove the morning carpool consisting of her daughter, me and one other little girl whose mother didn't drive. My mother would arrive later to drive us home around noon.

Kindergarten was a safe, happy place to me. Similar to Michael Jackson, I really got into milk and cookies snack followed by the nap time on my mat. I met new kids in kindergarten some of whom I can still remember their names when I look at our class picture. There was one special boy in our class. I remember thinking he was really smart, nice to me and very pleasant to my eyes. This could be documented as my first crush. Sorry, I tend to digress... "Art" time in Kindergarten was magical. At home we had crayons, color pencils, coloring books and watercolor paints. My mother was one of those organized people who thought it important to keep within the lines of coloring book images, never tear a page from the book and complete each page from front to back to keep things in order.

Things were different in kindergarten where Art was a time to let loose. There was a huge roll of paper that allowed me to draw pictures as tall as myself, tape both clear and the brown kind, staplers, small scissors, thick crayons that felt comfortable to hold in my hand, tissue paper, colorful glitters, thick glue that smelled good enough to eat
and my ultimate favorite FINGER PAINTS.
In the picture from this day I made what I now title my Kindergarten Hat.
More is more was my spirit of the day; this majestic hat was made of a large sheet of that wonderful thick, brown paper. Tissue paper, aluminum foil, and long lengths of ribbon combine to make my festive chapeau. It is my life long duty to jealously guard the enthusiasm, shear joy and delight I discovered creating during art time in Kindergarten.

Today may be a good day for my favorite kindergarten snack;

Toll House Cookies
Estimated Times:Preparation - 15 min Cooking - 9 min Cooling Time - 15 min cooling
Yields - 60 Ingredients: 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon salt 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened 3/4 cup granulated sugar 3/4 cup packed brown sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 large eggs 2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels 1 cup chopped nuts

Directions:PREHEAT oven to 375° F.COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
PAN COOKIE VARIATION: Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan. Prepare dough as above. Spread into prepared pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan on wire rack. Makes 4 dozen bars.

SLICE AND BAKE COOKIE VARIATION: PREPARE dough as above. Divide in half; wrap in waxed paper. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm. Shape each half into 15-inch log; wrap in wax paper. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.* Preheat oven to 375° F. Cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices; place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Makes about 5 dozen cookies. * May be stored in refrigerator for up to 1 week or in freezer for up to 8 weeks.
FOR HIGH ALTITUDE BAKING (5,200 feet): Increase flour to 2 1/2 cups. Add 2 teaspoons water with flour and reduce both granulated sugar and brown sugar to 2/3 cup each. Bake drop cookies for 8 to 10 minutes and pan cookie for 17 to 19 minutes.

I imagine Michael Jackson's children miss their daddy like crazy. Money can't buy everything. Spend time with the ones you love today.

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