In 2005 I was a third grader at Skagit Adventist School, now Academy, in Burlington, Washington. My class was the largest class in the school, 19 kids, something we were all very proud of. Mrs. Gaver, described by some of my former classmates as “out there,” taught third grade that year. She was brilliant. She made third grade a year of learning through fun.
To stretch our imaginations Mrs. Gaver handed out composition notebooks and had us write. Kids wrote stories about their friends, their pets, their families, and anything else they could imagine. Two boys ended up creating entire alien worlds in their notebooks, complete with detailed illustrations, descriptions, and languages.
Eventually, though, story-writing morphed into a tool of manipulation. Being included in many stories was a sign of popularity; fewer mentions in other kids' stories indicated less popularity. The coolest kids were included in the most stories. We wanted to be included in everyone’s stories because it meant we were liked--part of the cool crowd. I have a distinct memory of a fight involving two of my friends. One threatened to exclude the other from his story unless she stopped doing something that annoyed him. She caved and stopped whatever she was doing.
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