Maggie, at From Cave Walls, and Lauren, at LSS Attitude of Gratitude, alternate hosting Throwback Thursday. The idea of the prompt is for them to give us a topic and for us to write a post in which we share our own memories or experiences about the given topic. This week, Maggie asked us ten questions about class assignments.
I’ll do the best I can, but I titled this post “School Haze” because it’s been so long since I was a young student in school that my memories of specific things such as those asked are hazy at best. Anyway, here are Maggie’s questions:
1. What do you remember as the most interesting required reading assignment you had? What class was it for?
While I have only the vaguest recollection of them, I remember reading epic poems, like Beowulf, Tristan and Isolde, and Evangeline, in English lit class and really getting into them.
2. Were you required to write a book report or were you required to give an oral presentation? What do you remember about it?
We were often assigned to write book reports and to get up in front of the class to give oral presentations of our book reports. I actually enjoyed both writing the book reports and giving the oral presentations.
3. What did you consider the worst book or article you were required to read? What made it the worst?
I can’t recall a specific book that we were assigned to read that I’d say was the worst, but if I started reading a book and, for whatever reason, hated it, I’d rely on Cliff Notes or Monarch Notes to get me through it.
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?
Yes, I had a few teachers that really got off on pitting student against each other in debates. One teacher in particular would pick two teams of three students each and give us a controversial topic to consider. She’d assign one team to debate in support of the topic and one to debate in opposition. I remember one debate about slavery in America and I was assigned to the team to debate the topic from the perspective of southern property owners. It was really hard, almost painful, to be pro-slavery and to argue about the economical and societal benefits of slavery. I don’t remember which side won the debate, but I do remember which side won the war.
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?
Yes, we were pretty much required to participate in the school’s science fairs each year. I did work on some projects — stupid, simple ones like making a “working” baking soda volcano model in a cardboard display with illustrated drawings and information about why volcanoes erupt. I had a few other projects that were more sophisticated, but I’ll be damned if I can recall what they were. Needless to say, I never won any science fair prizes, other that my highly regarded Certificates of Participation.
6. Did you have a Home Economics class or a Wood/Metal Shop class? What types of things did you make?
I went to shop class and worked on projects like making rocking chairs, tables, a cutting board, and other pretty much worthless items. But I did learn how to use a bunch of tools, both hand tools and machine tools. And that has served me well over my lifetime.
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?
Yes, yes, and I don’t remember.
8. What was your most creative class? Band? Chorus? Art? Drama? Writing? What standout creative project do you remember most?
I suppose art class. I used to think of myself as being very artistic, and even earned the nickname “Doodles” because of my very elaborate doodles that filled the pages of my spiral notebooks. But once I got into art class, I learned that my true artistic creativity was limited to doodling. My attempts at serious art, whether painting or sculpting, were dubious at best.
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?
Yes, I had some classes — mostly in high school — where we were asked to write term papers. I think they were social studies type classes, but I honestly can’t recall specific topics.
10. Bonus Question: Did your teachers ever offer extra credit assignments ? Did you do them to help improve your grade?
I remember a few teachers offering extra credit assignments or projects. The only time I ever participated was with Miss North, my 10th grade biology teacher. She was a gorgeous redhead and I had a hella crush on her. So I volunteered for special projects, but more to be able to spend after school time with her than to improve my grade.