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Word Count: 875
What is the first thing you think about when you think of elementary school rites ofpassage For me it is and always will be sex education Only for me it was not such a timeof wonder it was more like a time of trying to keep my stomach from turning inside out Iremember it like it was yesterday even though it was more like seven years ago It was late April headed into the summer of my fifth grade year My teacher wasMr Atkinson a funny little man with a good background in American history andconveniently a fifth-grade sense of humor Our class was located in a small portablewhich was the trademark of overcrowded public schools in the area Without airconditioning in the spring it was like a furnace in there and that did nothing to help mysituation District policy in regards to sex education led to this learning phenomenon eachspring when the male teachers would take aside the fifth grade boys and the femaleteachers would do the same with the girls I remember being rounded up like cattle andherded into the portable which was doubly crowded as it bore the brunt of the fifth grademale population in the school There was excitement fear wonder apprehension and ahundred other emotions swirling around the group of kids and all of them were obviousto anyone watching As we entered the small building a mass of fidgety kids pinching through a smalldoorway in the corner of the room it was like no other time I had been in there The roomseemed different somehow Not worse anyway but there was a definite change betweenthen and the last time I had been in there Thinking back on it now it was most likely theenergy of all that curiosity because when the speech began a depth of knowledgepreviously unknown to us was suddenly and wonderfully available Previously that whichwe did know was as much fiction as reality We scrambled for chairs
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