Back in the “Old Days” when I had a problem with what I was trying to say on paper, an eraser was the best and sometimes only solution, but nowadays it takes little more than a quick tap …
Back in the “Old Days” when I had a problem with what I was trying to say on paper, an eraser was the best and sometimes only solution, but nowadays it takes little more than a quick tap on a computer key to get it right.
Recently, I came across my old 1-8 grade school spelling book, 1935 edition…an archaic, proper, and oh-so-detailed ‘tome’ that in today’s world I doubt would even be considered useable. What a shame--and on that note I hasten to issue a long over-due “thank you” to all the long-suffering teachers of years ago who were that very special “key” I tapped.
Sometimes, today, I also wish there was a key I could tap that would write a “ditsy good” column, to be claimed by me, and to be really good! Amen!
Okay…that is not going to happen, so here is one more example of my kind of “Now and Then” writing, dragged right out of my memory base. It might not be of the same caliber as your memory examples but maybe it will jangle one similar from yours. Okay?
Going back to the subject of spelling and definitions and everything else that goes along with that exercise, I will explain why my old spelling book is so special to me.
We used to have spelling bees locally and nationwide. My grade school teacher (whom we’ll not name to save her from any resulting fallout not in her best interest) mistakenly assumed I was her “best speller” and entered me in the annual countywide spelling bee contest. I must keep in mind we all make mistakes at times.
I was assured by her, repeatedly, that I was “really good” at spelling and was sure to make a good impression on the judges. Even I was convinced it was a valid “goal-setting challenge” for our school.
Switch up now to the contest day: Johnson County, Iowa, the chosen place and date now long forgotten (thankfully), but the developing results still all too vividly remembered.
I was moving right along, spelling one after another of the long, complicated words an eighth grader like me was supposed to know. “No problem” (like we say these days,) and then one judge threw me a spitball: a what (?), a slider, a word with a vague reputation. She repeated it and followed with the definition.
I threw a furtive glance towards my teacher, who I observed suddenly sliding down in her chair, and I knew I was on my own. The judge said the word again: “Anxious,” and waited. Hesitantly I started out, properly sounding it out, syllable by syllable, but ended up substituting a “z” for the evasive but required “x”.
Right then and there I could have easily demonstrated the definition, but not the letter component, and all the hopes of our school’s spelling prowess went down the tube. Whose fault was it? I claimed my teacher never drilled that seldom-used word into my mind. I later found it listed several places in my speller: “Anxiety.”
The kicker is that all my life that word has continued to plague me. Who says life is fair? I demand a recall.
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