Blog, throwback thursday

Throwback Thursday #67 and #68 – My Responses

Lauren surprised me by posting last night. That is a huge accomplishment considering all she is going through. So, here I am – late as always – to post both last week’s responses in addition to Lauren’s suggestion for the week.

Last week’s prompt (#67) was Class Assignments so I will start there.

1. What do you remember as the most interesting required reading assignment you had? What class was it for?

For some reason “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” stands out most to me. I think perhaps the moral of the story was lost on me as a teenager, but the imagery and the essence of the words Coleridge used have never left me.

2. Were you required to write a book report or were you required to give an oral presentation? What do you remember about it?

I do not remember writing a lot of book reports, but I am sure we did.  Do remember analyzing “Of Mice and Men”. I also remember that book as an exposure to a type of person I had not yet met in life.   I do remember giving an oral presentation trying to sell a one way ticket to the moon. Two students presented their pitch on the same subject. I lost that one.

3. What did you consider the worst book or article you were required to read? What made it the worst?

It was not required reading, but when I tried to read “The Hobbit” I hated it. The names of the characters made it hard for me to enjoy. I still have not read those books!

4. Were you ever required to debate other classmates? If so, what class was it for? Do you remember any of the subjects and your ‘side’ of the debate?

We had debates in Speech class. The subject was capital punishment and I was on the opposed side of the debate. One of the pro students was a very popular girl who happened to be the cousin of a boy I was dating (he attended a different school). I was not in her clique so this did not sit well with her. I remember it as being a lively and passionate debate but I do not remember which side won.

5. Were you ever required to do a science project or enter school science fair? What was your project? Did you do it alone or did your parents help you? If you were graded, how did you do?

I did a horrible solar system project. My older sister had been all the rage in our family when she created a model of an atom smasher a few years earlier. My attempt was abysmal in comparison.

6. Did you have a Home Economics class or a Wood/Metal Shop class? What types of things did you make?

I did take home-ec. I remember cooking and meal planning, sewing ( I made a tote bag with a French seam!), but my favorite of all our projects was to design and draw a floor plan for our dream house. I loved learning about why plumbing and electrical are run and how to affects the placement of rooms.

7. Did you frequent the library? Was it for class work or for pleasure? What book that you read for pleasure had the most impact on you?

I loved the library, but honestly I did not read much for pleasure in high school. Between band, art, and eventually my mother’s illness, reading took a back seat.

8. What was your most creative class? Band? Chorus? Art? Drama? Writing? What standout creative project do you remember most?

I played flute in concert band and was a member of the color guard for marching band. I loved traveling all summer with the band. In art class, I loved everything we did. My most memorable was hand painting an original film on white strips of film – not negative film. I am not sure what it was or what its intended purpose was, but the final film was awesome! We each had a certain number of frames to create a portion of the film.

9.  Were you Required to write a term paper or an end of year report in any of your classes? Did you remember what you wrote about?

We had to write a final term paper in high school English. My title was “The Non-existence of Time”. My English teacher challenged me and suggested I would never find enough reference material. Boy, was she wrong. Einstein and I became very close during that period of my life.

10. Bonus Question: Did your teachers ever offer extra credit assignments ? Did you do them to help improve your grade?

I do not recall ever getting a chance for extra credit.

This week’s prompt (#68) is Snapshots of your Life.

I have images in my mind. Clear pictures of my life that were never captured but images that will be with me forever. I see them from the vantage point of me as the observer, but I would love to have a photo so I could see me as a participant of those memories.

1. Before I was old enough to swim, my paternal grandfather would take me to ‘the baptizing hole’ to allow me to splash around in the water. I had a green bathing suit. He made me wear tennis shoes so I would not hurt my feet on the rocks. I could see the bigger older kids up stream at the “mill pond”. I never realized until this moment he was almost 80 years old. Wow. I loved him so much.

2. The Christmas Eve in Ohio when my mom was so sick. The Carolers from church came to my mom’s bedroom window and sang Christmas carols. That night I laid in bed with her and held her as she cried. A terribly difficult moment but one I would not change for the world.

3. I have no photos of just me and either of my parents. I would love one – the moment or the activity would not matter.

4. I remember holding both of my children right after they were born, but there are no photos. That moment is one of a strange mix of feelings – at least it was for me. Elation, exhaustion, relief, anticipation, fear, gratitude, pride, and happiness mixed with a touch of sadness, wishing my mother was there.

5. Early in the morning, standing on the roof of the building where I worked in Anchorage, Alaska watching the Northern Lights. It was breathtaking, awe inspiring and a sight I may never see again.


19 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday #67 and #68 – My Responses”

  1. Maggie your wonderful snapshots of your life brought tears to my eyes. I believe most of our treasured snapshots are in our mind’s eye.

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  2. What an interesting post! I can’t answer everything you numbered but: (7) I haunted the public library just because I wanted to. The school librarian was not a friendly person so I tried to avoid her. But when the class went to the school library, I spent it doing geographical research on England because I had just read Devil Water by Anya Seton.

    (9) When my oldest daughter was born, I was not prepared to have her tossed on my stomach. I remember an soft object being plopped on my tummy and me pushing it back in fright. Poor wee Kerin. When my daughter Sandy was born, the doctor was not in the room to make that small cut and my innards were ripped. Definitely not her fault but I was uncomfortable for many years.

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      1. I might as well not have had any with Sandy…I was given ether. It might as well been nothing. With Renny, my third, I had none and she popped out like a cork after a short labor.

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  3. Your answers are always interesting and fun to read, Maggie. For some reason, “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” is one of the worst assignments I did NOT mind Everyone in my class moaned about that, but I remember enjoying it. I don’t remember it well enough to remember why. Like you, I tried reading The Hobbit but couldn’t finish it, and I never started the other books. I hope yo have a wonderful weekend.

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    1. Dan, I thought I must have been the only person who disliked The Hobbit. I am so glad I am not alone! I can still quote portions of Coleridge’s poem, so I know it had an impact on me, Good literature and strong writing endures.

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  4. It is so good to see you posting again, Maggie. I hope you had a good time off.
    As far as books are concerned, to paraphrase Will Rodgers, I never met a book I didn’t like. Libraries were a home away from home to me.
    We had a library in the one-room school house, couple hundred books. I read every one, at least once. The teacher, we had when I was in the 5th grade, awarded me a bright yellow tee shirt for reading all those books.
    I don’t remember getting a reading assignment I didn’t like.
    As far as reading Shakespeare and Faulkner, I started out reading them very slowly because I didn’t understand them. Then when I got the hang of reading and understanding them, I read them even slower, savoring their wisdom and style.
    PS: It is good to have you back.

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, Don. I always felt you must have been an avid reader. There is something in the way a person speaks and writes that gives us hints about who they are. We had the Bookmobile come around in the summer. I always loved going in there and checking out books! Such good memories!

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      1. I miss my library visit since I have become so incapacitated.
        I couldn’t think of a finer job than driving bookmobile. Well, maybe driving an ice cream mobile.

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  5. I love the snapshots of your life! One of my therapist many years ago called them the picture album in our memory, those crisp little images that are so much a part of what we remember of ourselves.
    Love the northern lights; I’ve seen them twice, but never when they say it will be a good time!

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    1. I was fortunate to see the Northern Lights frequently when I lived in Alaska. And yes, those snippets of our memories are precious keepsakes.

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  6. Here are my five ‘snapshots’, Maggie.
    1) My first day at school in 1957, aged 5. I didn’t want to go in, and my mum gave my hand to the teacher and said I would be alright. I was crying, and so was my mum.
    2) Passing my driving testat the age of 17, in 1969. I had my own small car, and drove it straight into Central London one hour after passing my test. I had never felt so free.
    3) The day I left my house after my first marriage broke down in 1985. I drove away in a van full of my possessions. I faced an uncertain future, and felt completely lost.
    4) Standing in the Colossseum, in Rome, 2002. I was overwhelmed by the sense of history.
    5) The night my mother died, in 2012. I had been at her bedside for hours, and went home completely exhausted at 10pm. A nurse rang me at 1:30 am to tell me she had just died. And I felt wretched that I hadn’t stayed longer.
    Best wishes, Pete.

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    1. I enjoyed reading your snapshots, Pete. I remember when my mother-in-law was in hospice. The nurse said patients often seem to wait until their loved ones are out of the room to pass. I was with her but neither of her children were there and it pained them both.

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