The first day of 1st grade was a defining moment for me and the memory of it remains unusually vivid for something that happened so long ago.
Our teacher was Ms. Cox, a sour faced woman with painful looking acne that burdened us with the state of her mental health. We were told that if we were "bad" she would be forced to take her "mean pills." I'm assuming that she was either depressive or anxiety-ridden. But we got the point. We were so scared of inducing some wild rant (and there were many) that many of us peed in our pants because we didn't want to make the awkward and lonely trek to her desk to ask for a bathroom pass.
One day we were making paper mache masks for a tribal celebration during recess and because I was not looking up at her and listening to her instructions (I've always been more of an auditory learner than visual), she told me get to the front of her class and instruct, since I knew everything anyway. So I walked to the front of class and sniffed, burst into tears, nearly choked on my snot, and then ran to the restroom.
I was such a wimp.
But on that first day of school, I became acutely aware of something I'd never considered before: I was a Jennifer and not a Jenny.