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broodings from the burrow

August 8, 2011

weekly geeks: back to school edition
posted by soe 12:27 am

Weekly GeeksThis week’s Weekly Geek‘s assignment:

It’s still the first week of August, but many of you, like me, may be already in the back to school mode. For us, it’s only two weeks away! So I thought I’d do a back to school edition of Weekly Geeks and ask you these questions:

  • What’s your favorite bookish school memory?
  • There was a year or so (I suppose it might just have been a summer; I’m a little foggy on that detail) when I was in early elementary school when our town library was closed in order to move from its old building to a brand-new, freshly built one. In order to encourage students to come get library cards, one of the librarians came to my elementary school for a couple of weeks in a row and read the start of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe to us.

  • Did your teacher read aloud to you? Do you remember what book it was?
  • I have vague recollections of sitting on the rug in kindergarten and being read to, but have no books associated with the memory. I also don’t recall being read to in first grade, although I’m sure we were. In second grade, however, we used to jam both classes together and have to share chairs when we’d go into Mrs. Young’s classroom to listen to her read Amelia Bedelia books to us. I’m sure my fondness for those who take things a little too literally began then.

  • Do you remember what books you checked out at the school library?
  • In elementary school, I was particularly enamored with Snow White and Rose Red, a fairy tale I’d been unacquainted with until I encountered near the Beatrix Potter books on the windowsill near where we’d line up to go back to class. I know I checked it out several times, probably the only book in the library to merit such an honor.

    I also read every Nancy Drew book on the shelf and all the Little House books, although some of that series was definitely borrowed from the public library.

    There was also a series of biographies of famous people that focused heavily on their childhood days, and I definitely read every single one about women (including Julia Ward Howe, Annie Oakley, and Clara Barton), and some of the ones about men (FDR and Thomas Edison seem likely subjects).

    In middle school, I remember Gone with the Wind (probably the first time I ever had to renew a book because I wasn’t done reading it yet), Pilgrim’s Progress, and A Nun’s Story. Also, the magazines Cat Fancy and Seventeen, but that’s a different story.

    In high school, our library was dismal and I don’t remember taking anything out of it that wasn’t absolutely necessary.

    In college, we had a children’s book section, and I read the Harper Hall trilogy associated with Anne McCaffrey’s Pern series. Also, the Bridge to Terabithia.

  • What was one of the first book reports you did for school?
  • Hmmm… I don’t remember. I was and remain a reluctant report writer, so clearly I’ve blocked them from memory.

    I do remember in fifth grade misunderstanding the line between fiction and biography and reading Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself as an autobiography. Clearly this was just a foresight on my part into the future of memoirs, when publishing houses would come to have an equal lack of insight.

  • Do you have a favorite book or author that you first heard about from a teacher or school project?
  • My junior year English teacher loved Tolkein and made us read the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

  • Do you have a not-so-pleasant bookish memory from your school days?
  • Not unless you count being assigned Moby Dick. That was probably the only book I was ever assigned in school I didn’t read. At least until I got to college…

    However, I do have a pleasant memory of third grade where our reading group (maybe all the groups; I don’t remember) was doing a mythology section. To celebrate the end of that section, we had a party where Mrs. Caretta had us dress up as gods and goddesses.

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