As an elementary teacher, I am always facinated by other people's memories of school. What made a good teacher and what do you remember after so many years. I can't wait to hear about Patricia's memories. Patricia will award a $25 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour and to the host with the most comments. Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2012/04/virtual-book-tour-moon-over-alcatraz-by.html
When asked what my favorite school memory is, I wondered whether it’s possible to have “one” favorite memory during so many, many years attending school. The answer is definitely not. Why?
What part of school would I write about? Kindergarten, when I was five years old? Grammar school from grade 1 through grade 12? Or how about my four years of college for my Bachelor’s degree then two years at university for my Master’s?
So I will try to wheedle this down to one memory per school time period and hopefully it will give an overview of what I found memorable during my life as a student.
In kindergarten my mother forced my older sister Kathy to take me all the way to the door of the classroom and wait until I entered. Need I say how very much she hated doing that? I was such a mommy’s girl, I hated being away from my mother at all. I’d cry and cry and my sister said she was so humiliated she wanted to die. Thanks, Kathy, for doing that under duress!
Throughout my grammar school days I was absolutely and unequivocally intrigued with the nuns who taught me for twelve years. I recall we all wondered if they were “normal” people like the rest of us. Can you imagine? They were covered in layers upon layers of thick black fabric, along with the white (I think they call them) wimples that dug into their foreheads and the sides of their faces, keeping their hair hidden. But did they have hair, we wondered? Did they actually go #1 and #2 like the rest of us? And did they eat the same food as we did?
I kid you not, we saw them as direct messengers from God and we placed them so high on a pedestal, it’s no wonder they ultimately feel off somewhere during my high school days.
My junior year abroad at the University of Madrid was an indescribable experience for someone so young. I was in the Courses for Foreigners Program and there were people from
all over the world who attended these classes - the same classes that the Spanish students were in, taught by Spanish teachers who knew not a bit of English. It was total immersion. During that time I lived in the dorms and ate with the other Spanish students as well as those from different countries, and we only spoke Spanish, since that was the language that
tied us together. I made best friends with a Canadian girl whose parents came over at the end of the school year and took us in a car throughout Eastern Europe - something I would never have had the opportunity to experience if it weren’t for them. We went to Bulgaria, Romania, Yugoslavia, and Austria and saw so much of the countryside and churches and buildings and people. It was amazing.
I ended my school days at Oregon State University and hated the rain so much, I was horribly homesick for California. But I made a best friend from Southern California with whom I am still friends, and got my Master’s degree which opened quite a few doors for me in the working world afterward.
Did I have a favorite school experience? I’d have to say that traveling around Europe and learning about cultures made me more open-minded than I already was, having grown up in the San Francisco Bay Area. I learned that the United States isn’t “the world” and that most Americans are horribly ignorant of other cultures and religions. I’m so glad I had my eyes ripped open which made me more understanding of our world’s brothers and sisters.
Moon Over Alcatraz
by Patricia Yager Delagrange
Following the death of their baby during a difficult birth, Brandy and Weston Chambers are grief-stricken and withdraw from each other, both seeking solace outside of their marriage; however, they vow to work through their painful disloyalty. But when the man Brandy slept with moves back to their hometown, three lives are forever changed by his return..
“What are you doing? Where are you going? Please, let’s talk about this.”
“I work my ass off in New York while you’re at home screwing other dudes?”
I pulled the sheet around me, ran over and grabbed his arm. “I wasn’t screwing other dudes.” He ripped his arm out of my grasp. “I was the one who was all screwed up. Then you went to New York and all we ever did was argue on the phone. You don’t tell your secretary you’re married and she treats me like crap on the phone...”
By now, he was fully dressed, shoes and jacket on, wallet grabbed off the bureau. His hand hovered above the door knob. His face looked void of emotion, wiped clean of all expression. “I can’t do this,” he mumbled.
I sobbed, knowing I’d hurt him and betrayed his trust. I felt like a slut. “I’m sorry. I made a mistake. But I love you.”
He stood near the door, shaking his head, tears dripping from his chin.
My legs shook. My stomach cramped. I had to make him understand. “I know I’ve hurt you and that wasn’t my intention, but I wasn’t thinking straight. I’ll regret it forever. You don’t deserve this but I’m asking you to forgive me.”
His eyes swam with tears and his chin quivered. His Adam’s apple twitched up and down as he swallowed. “I had sex with Carol Smith.”
Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, I attended St. Mary’s College, studied my junior year at the University of Madrid, received my B.A. in Spanish at UC Santa Barbara then went on to get my Master’s degree in Education at Oregon State University.
I live with my husband and two teenage children in Alameda, across the bay from San Francisco, along with our two very large chocolate labs, Annabella and her son Jack.
My horse lives in the Oakland hills in a stall with a million
Don't forget that Patricia will award a $25 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour and to the host with the most comments. Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2012/04/virtual-book-tour-moon-over-alcatraz-by.html
6/17/2012 09:24:20 pm
It is fascinating to hear about other people's school experiences. They are the years that help to shape us & give us some direction.
6/18/2012 03:33:58 am
Thank you for stopping by, Mary. Yes, there's a reason they call those years "the formative" ones because who I am today, my values and such, were formed during that time.
6/18/2012 12:11:22 am
Thank you for hosting today!
6/18/2012 02:19:24 am
I loved reading about your school experiences. I was the youngest of 3 girls, and the other two into all my classes. I was always referred to as "Pat's sister," or "Nancy's sister." I was really glad when I went to a school they had never attended.
6/18/2012 03:36:29 am
I never had that experience, Mom Jane, although I had five sisters. There was a four-year gap between my older sister and me and six years between the oldest sister and me, then the sister below me was 10 years younger! I spent a good deal of my teenage years babysitting.
6/18/2012 05:13:57 am
Patti, I love your school experiences. And love the story about going all around Europe. Wimple is correct too. :)
6/18/2012 10:57:45 am
Hi Vicki and thanks for participating in my tour. I thought it was a wimple. I'd still like to know how you know that, though.
Karen H in NC
6/18/2012 06:03:02 am
I was also the youngest of 3 kids and the only girl. My brothers were 7 and 5 years older than me. Some of my teachers remembered my brothers (it was a small school), but fortunately, I was a better student than the boys! HA...at least I wasn't expected to 'live down' to them! Take that Wayne & Bob!
6/18/2012 11:00:41 am
LOVED the story, Karen. My older sister taught me how to drive her yellow Chevy with the stick shift on the column of the steering wheel! I didn't do that well. I remember lurching down the street, giving everyone whiplash!
6/18/2012 06:29:20 am
Driver's Ed was *not* my favorite school memory, by a long shot! I enjoyed hanging out in the college bookstore best...
6/18/2012 11:02:14 am
Hi Trix! I recall taking driver's education at the high school before getting my driver's license. Don't remember what I learned though. All I cared about was that it was summer and I wanted to play!
6/18/2012 06:30:50 am
How wonderful that you got to study abroad. I never did that and I'm not sure if I would have appreciated it in high school. I also went to Catholic School--6th grade through high school. Not all of our nuns still wore the habit, although the older, traditional nuns did. I vividly recall our high school librarian, Sister Agnes. She was very tall--nearly 6 ft.--and wore a habit. She was also an AVON lady. Imagine her market--a school full of high school girls. Every month the Circulation Desk in the Library was a virtual SEA of AVON bags. I am certain that she must have been the most successful AVON lady in our large, metropolitan city--if not the state! The money supported the Library, the school, and the convent, I'm sure. Fast forward to today...I am a librarian and have been for 20 years. I still marvel at what an entrepreneurial librarian she was. She was way ahead of her time!
6/18/2012 11:04:36 am
Hi Catherine! I cannot believe they allowed Sister Agnes to sell Avon products. That is really quite "ahead of her time", that's for sure. Our nuns would never have done such a thing. Way too "progressive".
Thanks for sharing your favorite memories. I loved going to school until high school senior year, which I managed to miss quite a bit of thanks to being in the hospital for a week and through my um, many, um, excused absences. ;-) The VP told me the maximum number of days a student could miss before requiring a doctor's excuse, which merely served to set the upper bounds, if you know what I mean. Still graduated with high grades, so no harm done. Thanks for sharing!
6/21/2012 05:22:45 am
Hi Betty! Okay, not to be, ahem, boasting, because actually this just serves to show you what a "nerd" I was, I received the award at graduation from high school for never missing a day! What a dork!
6/19/2012 03:38:06 am
Patti, I loved each of your school memories. As you moved from age and school to the next I revisited some of my own. I have not traveled much, but what I tell everyone is that if you live in NYC you don't have to travel the world ... the world comes to you. I was blessed to be in so many multi-cultural and language enriched places ... to know and meet people on jobs, in school, in our home from so many countries and having so many different religious and political beliefs. I most enjoyed your comments about the nun ... who we called Penguins and yes, we had all the same questions about them :) and of course, your year in Europe. How delightful :)
6/21/2012 05:26:02 am
Oh, Florence, I really get what you're talking about now that I've followed your blogs about New York and how very wonderful that you had such a multicultural experience. I'm glad I had the privilege of growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area because the Caucasians are the minority therefore we have the fortune of knowing many different races and colors and religions in the people with interact with, go to school with, play with, etc... I am so lucky.
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