|My 5th grade class photo! That's me in the front with the pink sweater and stone washed jeans, tightly rolled at the bottom... I remember thinking that fish necktie was SO cool...|
|My Yearbook! 5th grade was the only year I got a yearbook in elementary school.|
Dear Mr. Samsky,
My name is Gretchen, and I'm not sure if you'll remember me, but I was in your 5th grade class at Woodland in 1989-1990. My last name then was Brandt.
|Me in 5th grade|
I remember you telling us at the end of our school year that there was just one thing that you wanted us all to do. When we graduated from high school, we were look you up in the phone book (you assured us you would be the only "Stu Samsky" listed in Eagan), call you up, and tell you, "I did it, Mr. Samsky."
It's been 24 years now, but I remember more about the 5th grade than I do about any other elementary school grade!
|Mr Samsky in the schoolyard - taken outside with my first real camera! Remember when cameras required a commitment from your parents to buy film and develop it? Thanks, Mom and Dad! ;-)|
I remember that you recognized my talent for art, and weren't satisfied with how often we had art classes for me in 5th grade. So, you arranged for me to have extra time with another teacher (or counselor?) who helped me to come up with my own special creative projects to work on.
I created my first claymation "movie," based on a book I chose from our library called "Hiccup." I built little hippopotamuses out of clay, filmed each frame, and the whole class watched my little "production." I apologize for how painfully slow it was...I think the woman working with me didn't realize that we did not need several second shots of each frame. ;-)
I remember you taught us the word "Tchotchke."
I remember that I dressed as a California Raisin that year for Halloween, and the 5th grade put on a Halloween "wax museum" where the school got to walk through and view all of us in our costumes, posing as statues. The other kids had to partner with at least one other person to create their back drops. But nobody else's costume really made sense with a California Raisin, and I wanted to paint my own back drop my way. So, you bent the rules a little bit and allowed me to work on my own....thank you! (Trust me, I had more than my fill of group projects throughout the rest of my school and professional career, so this did not hurt me!) ;-)
|My official bus patrol card, stapled in the back of my yearbook...this is serious business!|
I remember how proud I was to be an official, card-carrying "bus patrol," and how seriously I took my duties!
|Me sporting my Girl Scout vest, with my fellow bus patrols in the yearbook...|
|Well heck, maybe you do remember me still...after all you did put it in writing that you would! Ha! ;-)|
I wanted you to know that I didn't forget that you wanted us to call you up after graduating high school...I think I was just still to shy and chicken to call you up at the time. But, I wanted to let you know that I DID do it!
|Lakeville High school graduation, 1997|
|Me and my high school sweetheart with our two little munchkins!|
Anyway, I just wanted to tell you, albeit 24 years LATE, that I did in fact graduate! :-) And the 5th grade in Mr Samsky's class brings me more happy memories than any other grade that I can remember. Thank you!! What you do makes a difference! :-)
Gretchen "Brandt" Fleener
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