Tuesday, March 20, 2007

In A Nutshell

In a Nutshell

A place set aside to answer 201 autobiographical questions
from a mother for her daughter. This may take awhile...join us if you like.

43. I really enjoyed this junior high or high school grade:

Choices! Choices! I thoroughly enjoyed every grade, school was a wonderful experience for me, and so it is really not possible for me to choose my favorite. But, I can tell you a little about each.

I did junior high in Roswell, at North Junior High. I had chorus there, which is more remarkable than you know. I can't carry a tune and it never would have occurred to me to take chorus, since my prior experience with singing in school had been to be instructed to lip sync for performances. But the teacher at this school was good. She paid attention to what I did and she moved me around and she discovered that although I can't carry a tune, if you put me next to someone who can, no matter how light a voice that person has, I can and do follow her -- and my voice is so strong that the rest of the section can follow me. I got to sing in public. And, my voice was helpful!

We moved to California the week after 8th grade graduation, and discovered that the school year in California ended later than in New Mexico, so I got to do three junior high post-graduate weeks. I don't remember the name of the school, but there I met two girls who turned me on to Eric Frank Russell, one of my favorite science fiction writers.

I did my first two years of high school at Hillsdale HS, in San Mateo, California. That's where I met Kate, who is still in my life and always a delight. And I remember one day, when I was on crutches for a sprained ankle and had decided that I would be pretty that day and so wasn't wearing my glasses. I was hobbling along and saw a friend of mine approaching and smiled and he said, "That looks difficult, can I help you?" I think he was offering to carry my books (in the days before backpacks, doing crutches and school books was difficult) and I responded blithely, "Well, handsome, you could carry me" and then got close enough to actually see his face and realized that I didn't know this boy. Sort of the highlight of feeling stupid. Never went without my glasses again.

My final two years of high school was at Thomas Downey HS in Modesto, California. That is the home of the Elves, Gnomes, Leprechauns, and Little Men's Chowder and Marching Society. It's where I met Julie's father. From Downey, I still have Jane and Robert and Michael as dear friends. It was at Downey that I had Mr. Marconi, who taught me much wisdom.

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