Think of school as your first job.
You had to be there several hours a day for five days a week, your teacher was a boss that you worked very hard to please and your paycheck came in the form of grades. Job No. 1 was learning and, for most of us in the United States, that job lasted at least 12 years.
It was a critical time in our lives, as we grew from mostly illiterate, raw talents into the mature individuals that set sail on our own personal life journeys many years later. Strong bonds and memories were formed through the formal educational process. Today we’ll document those which had the greatest impact on our lives.
Again we’ll use the power of lists to help you dig out those memories. Write as much detail as you can about each one and add it to your timeline:
• List all the schools you attended, including the years attended.
• List the teachers who had the greatest impact on you. This list includes your favorites, but it may include some you don’t remember so fondly. If they made a difference in your life, list them here.
• Was there anything memorable about any of the buildings? Do some classrooms, lunchrooms, gymnasiums, principal offices have special meaning to you?
• Who were some of your best friends in school? What was special about your relationship? What did you learn from each other? Whatever happened to them?
• What were some of the most memorable events at your school? Did you have carnivals, fun days, ice cream socials, etc.?
• Do you remember your first day at school? Your last day?
• How did you get to school? Did you walk, ride a bus or use some other mode of transportation?
• Did you have to wear a uniform to school? If so, describe it. If not, what did you wear on a typical day?
• What were your favorite classes? Did any of them lead you onto a career path that you followed into an actual for-money job?
• As you changed schools, reflect on the adjustments you had to make. Focus on the good and bad aspects of changing schools.
• Describe how school changed you. Do you think you were basically the same person when you left high school as when you entered elementary school, or were there some changes?
Tuesday: We’ll examine the values that are important to you.
This is Lesson No. 10 of a mini-course on how to write a personal history. The course will continue throughout May, which is Personal History Month. To get future lessons delivered to you, you may subscribe to our RSS feed or get e-mail delivery to your inbox. It’s easy. Details can be found in the column to the left of this post.
Flickr photo courtesy of calonda.