A: Amherst Middle School I was in fifth grade when we moved to Amherst, NH, where my parents still live. That's Amherst pronounced am'urst, and named for Jeffery Amherst, First Baron Amherst, an officer in the British army. We never learned about him in school because people associate him with the first written account of germ warfare in North America. Although he may not have come up with the idea of giving small pox infected blankets to the Indians, he did put it down on paper. There are many things I remember from Amherst Middle School:
- Contracting for a grade--we'd tell the teacher what we planned to do, I seem to recall the project had something to do with "Ten Who Dared," and what grade we wanted for it. I was too shy to ask for an A so I asked for (and got) an A-
- Being one of the few people who didn't get to choose a "French name" for French class--it already was
- Mr. Arvanitis, our algebra teacher who was in the Guiness Book of World Records for number of thumb push-ups
- When Alan Cunningham, a perceived troublemaker, told Mr. Pena he felt sick and Mr. Pena wouldn't let him go to the bathroom. Alan ended up vomiting into his own hands. These things stay with you
- The first "boy-girl" party I went to and hearing the Talking Heads for the first time
- My first girl-boy party with kissing at Nancy O'Neil's house
- The week-long "outward bound" type camps we went to
- Mrs. Miley, who taught awesome science classes--it's where I learned critical thinking. Once she was angry we used the word "made/make" too much, so we had to come up with synonyms. I could hardly think of any, but I was the only girl to get 105% on her science final
- Playing "mercy" with Joey Garaffa, on whom huge crush...and while on the subject of crushes, Jack Kelleher's eyes. That was the first time the fact a boy was not so bright really came into play--Jack "asked me out" three times over my life in Amherst, and for some reason, I always said no. Poor Jack.
- Chuck Pothier burning the croutons in home ec. We had told him to watch them. He watched the ones on top of the stove
If that's not ordinary life, I'm not sure what is.
I have promised a pumpkin post...it's coming tonight.