Saturday, November 30, 2019

The Butterfly Hours Memoir Project: TEST

For 2019 I'm running a year-long series on my blog in which I share my responses to the writing assignment prompts found in THE BUTTERLY HOURS by Patty Dann.

I welcome you to join me, if you like! I've divided the prompts by month, and the plan is to respond to 3 (or so) a week. For some of these I may write poems, for others prose. The important thing is to mine my memory. Who knows where this exploration will lead?

For links to the prompts I've written on so far this year, please click on The Butterfly Hours tab above.

This month's prompts are straws, studio, stuffed animal, summer job, tattoos, telephone, tennis court, test, theater.


I was generally good at school – good at memorization and test-taking. But once in 3rd Grade we were required to memorize and recite in front of the class the names of the 50 states. Most (all?) of my classmates memorized the list alphabetically. But I, for whatever reason, learned my geographically starting with Florida (where we lived at the time) and then moving up and across the country from there. I was careful to remember Alaska and Hawaii, but still I somehow missed a state or two in the midwest. I was disappointed in my performance, and also embarrassed. It wasn't until afterward that my teacher pointed out my (different) memorization style might have played a part. She didn't say my method was wrong, just that it was perhaps more difficult. I' look back on the experience with some fondness, simply because it shows me being ME – imperfect and a little bit different. These days we have words for all different types of learners, but back then I just knew learning by a list was not for me! (I still love maps.) 

1 comment:

  1. Oh, I love maps too! I remember when my kids were memorizing the state capitals and I helped them with all kinds of silly mnemonic devices. Like "They cut your heart out" in Hartford, Connecticut, and "Meet Farmer Pierre" in Pierre, South Dakota. One of Blake's friends was appalled at our method, but we loved it.


Your thoughts?