Tag Archives: old writing series

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.

This is How I Am

This was probably created in late May or early June 1963. Possibly September. I am somewhat shocked at the writing and spelling — I was at least 6 years and 9 months old. I think kids these days are more advanced — or I was behind at nearly 7. My drawing ability never improved much.

This is How I Am!
My Mommy My Family My Daddy My baby bother My bother
My house is at 240 Heine St
Where I go to School. I go to School at this pleas.

Old Writing: Part 31::My first diary

I received a one-year diary from my parents for Christmas in 1968. I wrote in it a few times.

Inside the cover I wrote:

The property of
Dona Patrick
240 Heine St.
Elgin, Illinois
and nobody better read this or ELSE!

Wednesday January 1, 1969

Dear Diary,

Last night I was playing Yahtzee ((I loved this game — still do)) with Ginny and Mommie ((that’s how I spelled it in the diary)) and Kevin and I won 2 out of 3.

I saw the parades this morning and they weren’t very interesting. ((are they ever?))

Bob and Marge were over early and Kevin, Marge and I played Yahtzee and Kerplunk. We had pork chops and I did the dishes in 15 minutes give or take a couple minutes. I just got done watching Hawaii Five-O and it was about a man who was big who strangled a girl. ((so television has been violent for a long time))

Thursday January 2, 1969

Dear Diary,

Uncle Ray came over to finish the paneling but he didn’t feel too good so he went home. He said Ronnie had the flu and Cindy just got over it and Aunt Alvera was fighting it.

Mom and Dad painted the living room ceiling today. I got a letter from Mrs. Anderson ((my sixth grade teacher)) today she said she liked the sachets and she signed it “Much love, Mrs. A. My mom just read it to Kevin.

Friday January 3, 1969

Dear Diary,

Colleen and Dawn came over and I was still in my pjs. They wanted me to come over and play so I went and is their room a mess! ((I don’t remember hanging out with Colleen and Dawn that much after early grade school so this surprises me))

Well, anyway, I ate lunch there and a boy named Mark Goalson said Jeff ((Jeff was my obsession for a few years)) picked up his noodle soup bowl out of it and his Dad pushed his nose in it so we call him noodle nose! I am going to sleep overnight at Colleen’s tonight. I’ll tell about it tomorrow.

Saturday January 4, 1969

Dear Diary,

I had fun last night even though Colleen always talked about Jeff! We watched The Incredible Mr. Limpet who turned into a fish! ((I don’t remember that I saw that film for the first time with Colleen)) When we finally got to sleep it was 12:50. We woke up at 8:15 and had to rush-rush.

We got our shirts today and they are red and black! ((bowling shirt))

Well, Debbie and Julie are over and they want me to play with them.

My scores were 61-54-80. ((bowling scores — pretty bad))

Sunday January 5, 1969

Dear Diary,

I went to bed at 3:00 last night and got up at 12:00 and thought “school tomorrow, ick!” I sat around all day and got weak from not eating. I don’t really have anything to talk about so I’ll end.

Monday January 6, 1969

Dear Diary,

School again! Guess what, Eugenia broke her arm. She said she broke it the day we got out of school. She broke it at the wrist.

Tuesday January 7, 1969

Dear Diary,

Nothing happened today except I took my old violin to Mr. Christensen.

Wednesday January 8, 1969

Dear Diary,

I can’t remember what happened today.

Thursday January 9, 1969

Dear Diary,

Tomorrow’s the day when my mom goes to the school conference. (see, I’m scared)

Friday January 10, 1969

Dear Diary,

Mom went to school today for my conference. She said they didn’t say very much except that I am a very good student.

Saturday January 11, 1969

Dear Diary,

We’re going over to Pam and Jeff’s tonight. When were went Pam jumped up and down. We made Rings and Things and Strange Change Time Machine. ((I don’t remember either of those toys. Pam and Jeff always had cooler things than I did))

Sunday January 12 1968

Dear Diary,

Nothing interesting happened today.

And that’s it. I only lasted 12 days.

But wait…There’s more!

I didn’t read further —

February 14, 1969

Dear Diary,

I got the neatest V. Card from Jeff. I think he likes me!

Thurs. June 18 1970

Dear Diary,

I just had a horrible experience, Kevin went in my room and got a note that I wrote this morning and I really didn’t want anyone to read so he gave it to Daddy and he did not want to read it and he gave it to me. I gave Kevin a dirty look so he started crying. I went in there (his room) and talked with him a little and low and behold he stopped crying. That made me feel so good. Mom is making me a green swimsuit.

Wed. July 16, 1969

Dear Diary,

What next? The moon now, Mars next? Saw the flight of Apollo 11.

Penny and I had a seance today and we brought back Hitler and Lenin. We think. Didn’t see D.S [Dark Shadows] today. Saw Michael Burke. Didn’t read Dracula today.

Tuesday November 10, 1970

Dear Diary,

I have neglected you very much. But I can’t seem to find time to write. I really love to write in you bit. well, you know.

Guess who pushed me out of his way yesterday? It was John Thompson, the “David kid”. I really hope we don’t move. If we do I will miss Cindy (most of all), Alejandra, Ann, Kim, Susan, etc. I really love this house. I never noticed it before but I think it loves me too. No kidding, I am not koo-koo. (no comments from the peanut gallery).

November 11 and 12 are torn out of the diary.