Friday, February 26, 2010

Class of 1990 Week 26

Monday when I left for school it was raining. The rain froze as it hit the car, and since the car wasn’t warm yet, by the time I drove the half mile down our road toward county road three I had to stop to scrape my window. I almost fell when I got out of the car, the road was so slick. It was a very slow ride to school. It was a crazy weather day. When I got out of school it was snowing and blowing and visibility was terrible. By 5:00 it was clear and the sun was shining.

Tuesday after school Mom and I went to Cavalier so the country nurse could give me a tetanus shot so we could finish my health form and send it off to Concordia Wisconsin.

Wednesday was Ash Wednesday. I had a hard time getting dressed because my arm was so sore from the shot. It was another picture day. We retook the volleyball picture so we would have the right stats in the picture. We didn’t get much done in senior math as Mrs. Hollis kept going off on tangents. People kept asking me if I was going to prom. I’d reply, “Only if someone asks me, and nobody will, so I guess I won’t be.” They would then point out that I went by myself Jr. Year. It’s one thing to go to a prom that you’ve spent hours the prior week prepping and decorating for but how socially pathetic do you have to be to go alone twice. Twenty people came to church that night. Only seven stayed for the youth group coffee after. The big news of Wednesday was that I got a scholarship from Concordia University Wisconsin. The Presidential Scholarship would cover about a third of my expenses and was renewable provided I managed to keep my GPA over a 3 point each semester.

Thursday Mr. Hanson took some time out of business law to inform us that Kevin would be the valedictorian and three of us would be co-salutatorians, Terry, Peter, and me. That meant that half the class would be making speeches for graduation. In Math I gave Mrs. Hollis a hard time for missing playing organ at the Lenten service the night before. I also made it to Shop during study hall so I could work on my bookcase. After school I helped set up for the Science Fair. My arm was still hurting so I just taped numbers on the tables. After that I went to a Year Book meeting. After that was a workshop for the school play. I got out of doing charades. I did everything else but I’ve always hated charades.

Friday was the school science fair. Thanks to Mr. Watson (the previous science teacher) once Science was an elective you were no longer required to do a project. He also eliminated the science fair for the 1st to 4th grade, reasoning, correctly that the parents worked harder on them than the students did. There was an experiment where you soaked a hardboiled egg in vinegar for like a month and then it would bounce—if I remember right, Peter, Jason, & Peggy had all done that project in various years. Juniors and seniors taking the science elective spent the day helping out. We also paired up to act as judges for the fifth and sixth grade projects. I was paired with Jr. Corey. We judged 6th grade projects. Basically, I asked all the questions and made all the decisions and Corey wrote them down. Jr. Paul and Kevin were also judging 6th graders. As I wrote it then:

After the 6th graders left for lunch we tallied our scores, then Kevin said, “Let's pretend were judging Tooter.” So we went, but he wouldn’t answer our questions, but Rachel jumped up very eager to talk about her project. Then we went back to Tooter and grilled him. Man it was funny. Next we did J.J. It was a riot. His project didn’t make sense at all.

The students we pretened to judge were freshmen. All the jr. high and high school students projects were judged by people Miss Kassian invited from UND. Without fail the real judges all had backgrounds in biology which made for a deep disadvantage if your project was in another field.

With the end of the Science fair my little reference business was over. I made three bucks. I gathered all the books on the topics, copied any articles we had and gave them a page with all the title and page number citations in the school's reference books that pertained to their topic I could have made $4 but I turned down one client. I still use the one I turned down as a teaching example in my work. When I asked her what her project was on she said, “Rocks.”

“What about rocks?”

“You know, like different kinds of rocks and stuff.”

“Is it about properties or how they are formed or where you find them?”

“It’s just all about rocks.”

"I need something more specific to work with, there are too many resources to gather about rocks.”We went in circles like this for a few minutes and then I told her that she could come and find me when she narrowed her topic. She never did.

Mom and Dad had gone to Plumas, MB, to visit the church that had issued the call to my dad. They didn’t get home until 9:30. Mom and I stayed up until 12:30 talking about what moving there would entail. The parsonage was small: one bathroom, two bedrooms, and only three closets in the entire house and no place at all for Dad’s books. Mom wasn’t sure how she would handle it. A lot of stuff would have to go.

Saturday I slept in until 11 am. I then spent the day taking my room apart. Mom was encouraging me to get rid of some junk. That night she went to a homemaker’s dinner and I made pancakes for Dad and Myself. We watched Star Trek the Next Generation and then Columbo together.

Sunday I taught Sunday school. In the afternoon the LYF went curling in Cavalier and because I was one of only two members who had ever curled before they made me a skip. I didn’t like that because if you are not sweeping it’s very easy to get cold on the ice. I was proud of myself for not falling down at all.That night the Simpsons was on and Bart was writing my all time favorite sentence on the board, “I will not waste chalk.”


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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Class of 1990 Week 25

In school I got three clients for my reference business. That night was parent's night and I was charged with making the commemorative sign for the parents section. I drew the letters and others painted them. After school I drove to Cavalier to pick up the flowers, then home. I got dressed in a mother approved outfit; I was the only one in my class who wore a skirt. I thought my folks were the best dressed of the parents. Kevin wore a suit.

After my work on the sign was seen Betty Walski, the school secretary, asked me to make some signs for the office since "I have such a nice printing style." Thanks to the Calligraphy course I took by correspondence the year before, I went from having the worst handwriting in the school to being asked to make signs. I still had bad handwriting which confused people. But the thing to realize is that calligraphy is drawing each letter like it is its own work of art. Handwriting was something I tend to do too fast as I try to keep up with the flow of words coming out of my brain.

On Thursday of that week we were left alone for a while in Business Law and the class discussion turned to tattoos. Peggy wanted to get one and was telling us about all the cool things that the tattoo artists in Grand Forks could do. I sarcastically commented, "Thrill, you can look young forever. Just have the guy tattoo zits on your face." Peter and Kevin laughed and then Peter added looking at his arm, "What about freckles?"

Friday was a big all-school pep rally. The cheerleaders planned to do a "family feud" game and in preparation passed around some surveys earlier in the week. Mr. Stuberg (Sixth grade teacher, driver's education, coach for Jr. high football and high school basketball) was up for the first questions. Jr. Stephanie was the host and the first question was "Who is the biggest flirt in the school? " Mr. Stuberg hit the bell first and shouted pointing at the host, "YOU!" It was the top answer and his team decided to try to get the rest of the answers. As he walked back to his side, Peter, who was on the other team, yelled a suggestion, "Pick Ruth!" There was a huge burst of laughter and I don't think anyone laughed harder than me. After several minutes of being doubled over Mr. Torgeson felt compelled to come over and ask me if I was OK.

At home I finally finished the LYF newsletter; I finally got a rough draft done for my Institute of Children's Literature class. Mom decided to pitch our run of Reader's Digest that went back to 1974. She let me flip through them first and I ripped out all the "word power" quizzes and some of the cartoons and jokes. I also started to do needle point.

Saturday I spent the day in Grand Forks at a Zone Great Commission Convocation. In one of the sessions we looked at the theological content of hymns and we discussed Lutheran Problems with the hymn "In the garden." It was the first time I had ever heard of that hymn. It is one of the ironies in my life that I have only sung it four times and each time it was sung it was done as an introduction to an explanation on why it has no place in the Lutheran Liturgy. If you're going to rip it up, why have me sing it first?

Friday, February 12, 2010

Class of 1990 Week 24

Class of 1990 Week 24

Things we did in class that week

Present Day Problems with Mr. Torgeson: We did a project that required us to call a bank and ask questions about setting up accounts and getting loans. I dreaded making phone calls and put off the assignment as long a possible. I ended up calling the bank the morning the assignment was due and was fortunate that the guy was in early to answer my questions

Business Law with Mr. Hanson: We finished and were tested on the taxes portion of the class.

Senior math with Mrs. Hollis: We ate pie to celebrate her birthday.

English with Mrs. Kappel: We watched a movie version of Macbeth. My class had a habit of cracking knuckles, not just knuckles, snapping and cracking almost any body part, be it wrists, neck, back basically any joint that could make a pop. We were quite good at it. I don’t think it was our senior year, but on one watching the movie after reading the book or play occasion Mrs. Kappel was grading papers at the table in the back of the room since she had seen them so many times before. Someone in the class had held their arm in the same place for too long and when the person straightened, it made a loud pop. That set the rest of us off and for the next five minutes everyone was cracking their knuckles. It sounded like popcorn and Mrs. Kappel who was mostly ignoring us finally pulled her head up to ask what was going on. We just laughed.

That week on Friday we had our test for Macbeth and Mrs. Kappel was not there. Normally we would have the standard sub come in, Mr. Russum, who was not good at maintaining class discipline (understatement of the year). Mrs. Kappel had found her own sub that day. I don’t remember the sub’s names, but she was a nun though, as Peggy put it she wasn’t “dressed in her nun suit.” The guys in my class were all Roman Catholic. They had never behaved as well as they did that day.

Physics with Miss Kassian: We worked with the ripple tank that week. Sadly we did not finish our assignment on Friday with enough time to have paper boat races.

Girls Phy-ed with Mrs. Barker: With volleyball finally over we enjoyed having the entire gym to use for floor hockey.

Choir with Mr. Hillius: Most of the time was spent forming groups for the coming spring music contests. Juniors Kathy, Terri, & Stephanie joined me in forming a quartet for singing “He’s Gone Away.” I had made it into all the groups and was thinking that perhaps I could get out of the one doing “Life Keeps Moving.” That year the guys had a really good chance at some male ensembles. We even had one freshman guy working on a solo. It may have been the only vocal solo being done that year.

At home that week:

Wednesday was St. Valentines’ Day. Mom and dad gave me a box of chocolates. I watched and recorded The Princess Bride. I had seen it for the first time the previous summer in the Wisconsin Dells when Mom and Dad and I went on a trip to check out Concordia University Wisconsin. It was fast becoming my favorite movie.

That weekend Mom and I found and listened to some old reel to reel recorded letters from when Mom and Dad were in Japan. There was a very cute one of my cousin Colleen singing “I’ve got me a baby bumble bee.”

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Class of 1990 Week 23

In business law we spent another day watching IRS provided “boy meets girl and they talk about taxes” films. The one about the “Land of Celery” was the only deviation from the boy meets girl format.

That night we had our first Volley Ball playoff game against Drayton. We beat them in five.

We had two lyceums that day. The first was the one done by the Mixed Blood Theater Co., who presented a program about Jackie Robinson as part of Black History Month. The second was a zoo keeper. He told some great stories and had some animals with him. He even shared his moose call, “Here moosy!” Phyed was the last day of weight lifting.

For weeks Peter had been bugging me about not attending any basketball games. He kept telling me I should go because one of these times he was going to slam dunk the ball and I wouldn’t want to miss it. So with that encouragement, I attended my first boys' basketball game that night. Peter, Jaci and Peggy told me they were glad to see me at the game. Others were less than friendly and almost seemed offended by my being there. “What are you doing here?” I’d honestly tell them, “Peter told me I had to come to the game tonight.” Half time Peggy paid me two bucks to work the letter winners’ popcorn stand.

I started my own business. I put a sign up on the bulletin board in the library offering to find all the resources our small library held for your science fair project for only $1.00. My weekly allowance in those days amounted to only about $1.00 a week and babysitting jobs were not that frequent. My Christmas money was spent or in the bank for college and my birthday was more than a month off. I figured if I only made a dollar or two it would still let me have the occasional pop for a year book meeting.

Mr. Torgeson, upon seeing my sign, found me in the hall and loudly called me a “greedy capitalist pig.” The whole week was drunk driving awareness week. That day we had a state highway patrolman come in and talk to us. In volleyball we lost our last playoff match to Park River in three games. I had fun joking around with the student managers from Park River.

As part of drunk driving awareness week our school had a Ghost Out. The statistic was that every 17 minutes in American a person is killed by a drunk driver. To symbolize this every 17 minutes the name of someone from the 7th -12th grade was pulled out of a hat and their name was announced. That person then went to the office and their face was covered in white make-up and for the rest of the day he or she would sit in the back of the class rooms and not talk to anyone. 30% of the Jr.High and High school was “dead” by 3:00pm. I lived. Three in my class died. The last name was Kevin, who was on the team that organized the event. We had an assembly at the end of the day to discuss what we learned and he mentioned how odd it was to pull his own name out of the hat.

At home Sarah arrived for the weekend. Later Bob showed up. Before school Rebecca had called and I got to talk to her for a few minutes.

I was very lazy that weekend. Wrote a poem in my journal about how lazy I was. It is not worth sharing. Sunday I taught Sunday School, went to church, and that afternoon was an LYF meeting. Mom made a birthday cake for Bob. Dad had not decided about the call yet.


lhg edited and approved