Daily Archives: March 21, 2023

Some School Assignments

In a dust-covered box under the guest bed I found a treasure of memorabilia from my past. Several of the items are old assignments that I kept for one reason or the other.

The first is titled How to Type a Term Paper and I must have copied something for typing class because there is no way I wrote this in high school. It was for extra credit and I received red OK on it. I suspect I kept it in case I ever needed to type a term paper in college, then I would know exactly how to type it. Thank goodness the world’s students now have word processing programs.

The second was an assignment for my 9th grade English class and consisted of two paragraphs about the same house. One was written positively about the house and the other negatively. I think it might have been for our propaganda unit. I thought I’d blogged about that unit before, but I cannot find it through a search.

I do remember the teacher, who I liked except for this one thing, often had students grade each other’s papers. I didn’t know Mike well, but he always seemed to be a kind boy.

Mike Giardino [the student who graded the paper who sadly died recently]

                     B+ Because it is a good paper

English 3-4                                                      Dona Patrick
Period 4                                                         Oct. 12, 1972

Paragraph one -- for the house: 
     This house is a great buy! If you like older houses this is the one for you. In this twenty-year-old, two-story house there are six beautiful rooms -- including one large master bedroom, two other bedrooms, and a huge living room with a fireplace and wall-to-wall carpeting. It also has a double-car garage. Outside the house on the large, 150x200 ft., lot there is a terraced lawn, four tall fir trees in front and three lems* in back. This priceless gem is within five blocks of the shopping center; two blocks from the bus stop; right across from the grade school; and less than a mile from a picnic area and public playground. A doctor lives right next door. The heaters were put in very recently. The price is only $12,500.

*elms I guess [written in pencil]

Paragraph two -- against the house:
     If you buy this twenty-year-old run-down house you will live to regret it -- unless you enjoy fixing roofs and rusty, leaky gutters. You'd have loads of fun yelling at grade school children, telling them to not to cut across the lawn, break through the hedge, trample your flowers, and/or slide or roll down the terrace if you enjoy that sort of thing. There are four giant fir trees in the front that block the sun light from the house. They are a blessing though in a way because they also block the front of the house from public view while you are fixing the chimney and fireplace. You'll love your neighbors with eight children, two cats, and not to mention a dog who has marked your back lawn as part of his never-ending territory. The cost -- $12,500, new carpeting, all the changes will cost you a small fortune.

This last paper (for today) was from my psychology class in college. I vividly remember writing the paper and doing the research and experiment. It was some of the worst days of my life so far. I was painfully shy and this paper required us to talk to random strangers and recruit them to do an experiment. My partner was the opposite. He was a DJ on our local radio station and a few years older than I. He was outgoing and did not understand my fear of interacting with strangers.

The paper was titled Stimulus Sampling in a Discrimination Learning Situation. I earned a B on the oral report, An A- on the paper and an A- for the mid-term. I guess each of us wrote our own paper.

Playbill from A Chorus Line, Drury Theatre, London 1979

I student taught in London the spring term of 1979. I can’t say that I learned much about teaching during those few months, but I sure had a blast in London.

One night a bunch of us, mostly — perhaps all — American students, went to Theatre Royal Drury Lane to see the musical A Chorus Line. I loved the musical (and still have the LP I bought after getting back to the States). Music from that show brings back such vivid memories of sights and sounds and even smells of my time in London. On the way back from the show we danced, linked arms and kicking, chorus-line-style through the streets of London, down the steps of the Underground, and back to Southlands College.

Good memories. I don’t need to keep this. Is there a market for vintage playbills?

Note from Carol and Chuck

I wrote about Chuckles before — the white Teddy (polar?) bear that I was given my last night working at the Manor Pancake house in Elgin. Here’s what I said:

I know exactly where this last item came from. In 1978 I was working as a server at the Manor Pancake House in Elgin to pay for my upcoming +3-month long stay in England to student teach in London. I’d worked there long enough to have “regulars” and this item came from my favorite “regulars,” Carol and her workmate Chuck. They worked at Beef Villa and we got to know each other through visits to one another’s places of employment. I don’t know that we ever actually hung out together except at work.

Anyway, on my last evening at work before my trip to England was a very snowy one. I didn’t expect to see too many people I knew at the restaurant, but pretty much all of my “regulars” came in to say goodbye to me. I was really touched. Carol and Chuck even brought me a present. A stuffed polar bear. I named him Chuckles — sort of a combination of Chuck and Carol. All these years later, the three of us have reconnected (on Facebook of course). Chuckles is a keeper.

A few found things, Clutch Cargo Lips, November 5, 2017

Today, in a makeshift scrapbook full of old memorabilia, I came across the note they wrote on a restaurant napkin the night they gave me Chuckles. All these years later it still makes me smile. (No, I’m not crying — it’s my allergies…)

Dear Dona,

I can’t tell you how much we’ll miss you. You’re just a great person, and we looked forward to talk to you every night. We wish you the best of everything for whatever you do and for the future.

Hope everything goes your way with Jeremy.

Just be happy,

P.S. Stop in and see us if you get a chance.
P.P.S. Be good
P.P.P.S. Have a jolly good time in merry ole England
P.P.P.P.S. Take care of Chuckles