Portrait of the Artist as a Kindergartner

When you’re yearning to impress a teacher, drawing outside the lines is just the beginning

| January / February 2008

  • Kindergartner

    illustration by Matt Mignanelli

  • Kindergartner

Our class sings along as Miss O’Hara plays the piano.

You’ll look sweet
Upon the seat
Of a bicycle built for two.

Miss O’Hara spins around on the bench to face the class of kindergartners seated at her feet. No more than 25 years old, she is pretty and sweet, and as she walks by it’s like the scent of flowers through an open window. I gaze up at her, picturing the two of us on a bicycle built for two.

As she begins to lead us through the alphabet, there’s a knock at the door. I can see the flat-topped haircut and horn-rimmed glasses of Mr. Fisher, the first-grade teacher from next door. Miss O’Hara steps into the hall and the two of them speak in hushed tones until Mr. Fisher erupts in a maniacal laugh. Miss O’Hara gives him a playful shove before returning to the front of the class.

Her face slightly flushed, Miss O’Hara sits down and crosses her legs. She begins reciting the alphabet again. As he does almost every day, Franky Fox crawls up close. By the time we reach the middle of the alphabet, he’s grabbed hold of Miss O’Hara’s leg. She’s too nice to shake him off, so she smiles and continues. When we’ve reached “x, y, z,” Franky is contentedly sucking his thumb, still latched to her leg. While I am embarrassed for Franky and his babylike behavior, I must admit I’m a little jealous.

My hand shoots up. “I know all the words to the Minnesota Twins song,” I proudly announce. And before Miss O’Hara can say anything, I launch into a heartfelt rendition of my hometown baseball team’s jingle:

Adolfo Preciado
1/1/2008 12:00:00 AM

This is both sweet and very funny. I think it's great stuff. I wuould like to read it all

Pay Now Save $5!

Utne Summer 2016Want to gain a fresh perspective? Read stories that matter? Feel optimistic about the future? It's all here! Utne Reader offers provocative writing from diverse perspectives, insightful analysis of art and media, down-to-earth news and in-depth coverage of eye-opening issues that affect your life.

Save Even More Money By Paying NOW!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $5 and get 4 issues of Utne Reader for only $40.00 (USA only).

Or Bill Me Later and pay just $45 for 4 issues of Utne Reader!

Facebook Instagram Twitter