When I was in first grade during the school year 1969-1970, we would play “Boys chase the Girls,” during recess. From what I remember, the object of the game was for the girls to run around the playground and not get caught or tagged by a boy. The playground was filled with me and other screaming little girls running around as little boys chased after us. As I ran around the playground participating in this game, I noticed that many of my classmates were falling down on the ground. For some odd reason, I was not falling down like they were, so I decided to make myself fall. Silly me didn’t look down before making myself fall, and lo and behold I fell down on a piece of glass (probably a broken glass bottle), which pierced through my left knee.
Blood gushed everywhere and my accident undoubtedly brought a halt to the boy/girl chase. I remember looking down at my left knee and I could see the bone in my knee.
The fifth grade teacher, whose name was Mr. Small, lifted me (a little first grader) from the playground and carried me to the nurse’s office. I don’t remember any other teachers coming out or what initial type of first aid was administered to control the bleeding.
After my mother was called to the school, I was taken to the emergency room of a local hospital where the gash in my knee was stitched up. Today, almost 40 years later, I still have a scar on my left knee as a reminder of this first grade accident and the painful lesson I learned about why you should not always follow the crowd.