#TBTMemory 67: Class Assignments

Maggie’s our host today. She first tells us that Lauren is doing well after her surgery, but that she’ll need a lot of downtime before she returns. We send her our best wishes for a speedy recovery.

Now to our task at hand: Classroom Assignments.

What do you remember as the most interesting required reading assignment you had? What class was it for? Probably Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau for junior year English. Anything that we have an obligation to break the law is a good one. I will freely admit that it was one of the few times I actually did the required reading for a class.

Were you required to write a book report or were you required to give an oral presentation? What do you remember about it? On Civil Disobedience? No, but I did plenty of book reports, and I took Speech in high school.

What did you consider the worst book or article you were required to read? What made it the worst? It was all pretty bad, but the worst might have been the book I read for a history class at Northwestern that was written by the professor. He was boring and so was his book. And, just on principle, anything by Karl Marx.

I much preferred his cousin Groucho. Although I understand Karl was better in Gilbert & Sullivan operettas.

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? I was on the debate team in my freshman year of high school. That year, the big debate was over whether the US should have a Federal level agency to protect the environment. (By then, thre already was one, so the issue was moot.) My partner and I were on the "negative" side, even though I think we were actually "positive" about it. No matter, we ended up arguing with each other more than with the other team, so we didn’t win many debates. I do remember getting up after hearing our opponents’ plan and saying "that has to be the stupidest plan I’ve ever heard." By that time, I was hoping I’d get thrown off the team, but I didn’t. I finally ended up quitting on my own. I wish I had the guts to do what Ron White did (and, remember, this is RON WHITE, so you know it’s not safe for work and unsuitable for younger and more sensitive viewers).

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? Thank God, no.

Did you have a Home Economics class or a Wood/Metal Shop class? What types of things did you make? They offered them, but I never took one. I should have, they looked like fun.

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? I only went when I needed to. The public library in Chicago was quite a hike from where we lived. There was no library close by except for the school library, and I only went there when I had to. (Or when there was a hot girl in there. Come on, I was what, 16?) As for my favorite book, probably The Stranger by Albert Camus.

I think Hermione qualifies.

What was your most creative class? Band? Chorus? Art? Drama? Writing? What standout creative project do you remember most? My freshman year English teacher was a bit of a free spirit, and he encouraged the same in us. Our first assignment was to write about what we thought he did on his summer vacation.

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? To get out of eighth grade, I had to write a term paper. I wrote about ESP and how we could tell if we had it. I was heavy into the Mighty Kreskin at the time.

Bonus Question: Did your teachers ever offer extra credit assignments ? Did you do them to help improve your grade? Yes, they did, and no, I didn’t. As I’ve explained, I was a smart kid but a lousy student.

Time to blow this Popsicle stand!

14 thoughts on “#TBTMemory 67: Class Assignments

  1. I never did debate in high school..wanted to keep a low profile. I never took art even though I wanted to but I didn’t want.anyone to know what I liked in case of mote bullying. I was told I was really good in creative writing. I supremely suck in science and only passed because our teacher gave everyone 6 extra bonus marks so D- was my best. I do remember making a Roman on a chariot led by horses. My mom helped me a bit but I made it! I painted the horses but made the chariot out of cardboard and painted it. The man, I mDe out of wire with a bead head that I painted and even created the helmet using tinfoil. I was so proud of it but the teacher accused me of having my mom Make it and he gave me low marks. He told me I could never have done that on my own.
    God I’m glad I’m out of that school.


  2. Were you ever required to debate other classmates? Okay I’m going to chime in on this question because what happened is weird. I ended up debating my 11th grade history teacher about what was the next war after WWII. He said it was Korea but I pointed out that was a police action. I watched MAS*H and I knew things, therefore it was Vietnam. The guy got really angry with me for being correct, I thought he was going to punch me. It was a moment…


    1. We had a debate about the elaration of Independence and the complaints against George III that devolved into a lot of name-calling and finger-giving, but we won’t get into that. It prepared me for such debates on Twitter, though…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hiw did everyone get out of science fairs? I loved the YouTube clip. Made me laugh. I would have loved your English Teacher. I loved and still love a free spirit!


    1. Mr. Druska, my English teacher, was an illustrator with Loyola University Press, and he worked with Fabulous Auntie Jill, who was a production editor, on a couple of books. I used to have copies, which have vanished over the years…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Awesome and hilarious! Bravo on Civil Disobedience. My HS term paper was how Communism is its own religion. {I wasn’t particularly religious then but, like the Woke madness, I could see religious orthodoxy in it.} Junior High debate was on UFOs and since I was placed on the skeptical side, I didn’t do well. I couldn’t put my heart into something I didn’t believe. ;-)


    1. I notice that happens a lot, where people who eschew religion will pick something else as their object of worship. Could be money, could be the environment, could be Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen…

      Liked by 1 person

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