“Memory is the way we keep telling ourselves our stories – and telling other people a somewhat different version of our stories.”

Winter is rearing its ugly head. Today is downright cold. It is 20˚ right now and today’s low will be 8˚. Gracie and I were going to the dump, but I think now I’ll just stay comfy and warm at home. Gracie is asleep on the couch beside me, her usual spot this time of day.

When I was a kid, my mother had a picture with a little boy in a blue bathrobe standing by a soapy tub. There was also a poem in the picture about taking a bath and cleaning up after yourself. That picture hung on the wall across from the toilet. I used to read the poem every time I sat on the throne as my dad used to call it. The bathrobe had a fuzzy texture as did a towel on the boy’s arm. I don’t know what happened to that picture; I’m thinking it was probably thrown out when my parents moved. I saw that same picture, with the fuzz, hanging at a B&B in Ireland, in Youghal. I tried to buy it. They didn’t want to part with it.

I had to memorize all sorts of things for school when I was a kid. The worst was when I was in the eighth grade. I had a crazy nun named Sister Hildegard. She used to eat candy from her desk drawer. It was no secret. We knew she did from her chewing. Once she even spit nuts on my paper when she talked to me. She called us devils and said she would write thanks be to God across the whole blackboard when we graduated. She made us memorize the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. I got through all of the Declaration of Independence and part of the Constitution when I decided I’d had enough. My desk was directly across from Sister Hildegard’s desk with only a small space between us. I put my history book on the floor opened to the Constitution. Every day during history I’d recite a new section, but I cheated by looking at the book on the floor. Soon enough anyone who could get away with it did the same thing. Sister Hildegard would have called me an occasion of sin.

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4 Comments on ““Memory is the way we keep telling ourselves our stories – and telling other people a somewhat different version of our stories.””

  1. Bob Says:

    Memorization is the lowest level of learning. The FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) requires that pilots must memorize their aircraft’s limitations and memory recall items on emergency checklists. All of those things are readily available onboard but the regulators aren’t happy unless the regulated suffer a bit before being rewarded with their flying privileges. Somewhat like Sister Hildegard without the candy. 🙂

    • katry Says:

      Bob,
      Learning by rote has always been debunked. It doesn’t allow for free thinking, but memorization is used as a tool to keep the mind sharp. Kids today have to memorize things like poems just to use their minds.

      They had two people memorize all the winners of Academy Awards just in case something happened.

  2. olof1 Says:

    I don’t think it’s a storm outsider right now but the gusts are getting very close to it. Snow has fallen during the night but it doesn’t look as if it is as much as they had predicted, well the winds can have moved most of it of course.

    That poster must have been one of the most common in the world because we had it here too 🙂 not in my family bathroom but I’ve seen it in many other places. Lots of us had posters of the royal family in our outhouses at our summer houses 🙂 The throne was there so why not a photo of them too 🙂

    Have a great day!

    Christer.

    • katry Says:

      Christer,
      We had terrific winds also. It sounded like a freight train. It even blew all the covers off my outside furniture.

      That’s too funny about that picture. I was surprised to see it in Ireland and there it is all over. I’m laughing over the royal family in outhouses.


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