Third Grade, 1991-1992
McElhiney played a reindeer in a school Christmas play at Wakefield School. He remembers singing Feliz Navidad and other songs in an after-school choir that he was a part of for quite a while. He was pretty good at singing in the group, and his family came to see him sing several times.
Patrick had a private tutor, Sandra Bullock, who was preparing to compete in the 2000 Summer Olympics in Florida for swimming. She was very pretty, although Patrick was too young to do anything about it. She later met up with Patrick when he was in high school, because he called her out of the blue by looking up her parent's phone number in the phone book. He had remembered where she lived, even though he had never been there previously - it was a nice house near Turlock High School where she apparently grew up. Patrick got to meet her parents. She borrowed a friend's red corvette to come and pick him up, which she used to take Patrick with his skateboard out into the town of Turlock to have some fun. He got to see where her friend's metal band from Turlock practiced, in a storage shed. She wasn't driving it very fast - she really cared about the car.
Mrs. Taylor said McElhiney's two strengths were his leadership and sense of humor. Patrick thought Mrs. Taylor was a nice teacher. Patrick also developed a good relationship with his 3rd Grade bus driver, Leslie Beach, who later moved to Tennessee. He got picked up at the apartments near one of the exits from a California State University, Stanislaus parking lot. He used to sit in the seat behind the driver's seat in the bus, and he knew everyone on the bus. He memorized the stops along the way, and the bus ride every day become a routine. On the last day that Leslie Beach drove the bus, she brought water balloons, and the kids had a water fight, even though Patrick insisted that he be left out of it - because he didn't want to get wet.
Patrick also wrote a book in 3rd grade with drawings, although he doesn't remember what the book was about. It won an award from the school. It may have been about aliens in outer space, or something like that. It was well written, and had good pictures. Patrick learned how to sew together the binding on the book using thread and a needle, which the school taught him how to do. It was like a real book, with a cover, and pages there were all bound into the cover with stitching.
McElhiney's science fair project explained various types of Water Pollution. He gave out packets that were printed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in both English and Spanish. He got the idea for the project from his father's work. He may have even showed how Polyacrylamide (PAM) worked to reduce sediment in runoff that is commonly found in runoff water on farms after irrigation. This allows the water to be recycled without the sediment being in the water.
McElhiney was recognized three times (Kyte, 1991), (Kyte, 1992), (Holmes, 1992) for a "High Standard of Academic Excellence" in the Honor Roll during third grade. He was also recognized for "Good Citizenship" twice (Kyte, 1992), (Holmes, 1992). He was the Rotary Club Student of the Month in January, 1992, and he was featured in the newspaper (Turlock School District, 1992). Patrick competed in the Young Author's Faire at Wakefield School, and he was recognized for his skills in "Top Math" (Holmes, 1992). Patrick learned a lot of advanced math in third grade, including geometry and algebra. He took one of his sister's algebra books that she had from high school and figured out how it worked on his own.
Some kids made fun of Patrick, some of which stated that Patrick was gay, although he was not and still is quite straight today. He didn't let what other people said bother him, because he knew who he was to himself. He also didn't think that making fun of someone for being gay, whether they are or aren't, is the right thing to do - even when you're in third grade. Patrick got bullied quite a bit in Third Grade, however he never got into any fights with other students.
Patrick remembers when his Third Grade class went to the outdoor pools near Wakefield Elementary in Turlock, CA - he remembers there was a lot of bright colors there, possibly artwork / graffiti at the site. He remembers changing in the bathroom there, because he was afraid of swimming. He tended to stay in the shallow end of the pool wherever he swam. He also took swimming lessons at Turlock High School during Third Grade, which included him jumping off of a high jump into a deep pool - though he was scared to do it because he couldn't swim very well, even with instructions.
Patrick also participated in a science program that was at a community-run building in downtown Turlock in the after hours, where Patrick learned how to make slime and performed other experiments. Patrick was already knowledgeable about electricity and continuity, among other principles such as applied physics. Patrick remembers that it was near a moving company's building, because their logo was painted on the exterior wall of a building adjacent to the community building, although it wasn't the same moving company as the one that Patrick and his family used to move from Stockton. The company they used was the Mayflower company.