Sunday, May 20, 2007

I've been tagged...

Joansie tagged me to write seven random things about myself. So here they are:
1. I was bi-lingual. I was born in Germany and lived there until age 22 with two years in England, at age 19 and age 21. The word "was" is highlighted because speaking fluent German is no longer possible for me. I've been in the United States for 45 years next month, and have had little opportunity to speak the language. However, I can still read any German lace pattern. Besides English, I also had 4 years of French of which I have retained zero (I thoroughly disliked the French teacher) and two years of Latin of which I also have retained little. The Latin teacher smoked a pipe that came down to his knees, was way past retirement age, and this class of bratty, precocious, smart girls made his teaching experience quite unpleasant. Besides he wore coke bottle glasses, and when the principal introduced him, he was instantaneously labeled "May bug." He was called out of retirement because no other Latin teacher could be found since they were either prisoners of war or dead. We also made the math teacher's teaching a not too pleasant experience. He spoke with an eastern German accent since he was a refuge from East Germany. He also attempted to teach us Biology. He brought a cow's eyeball to class and my row poked the eyeball, so all the gelatinous material oozed out. Of course, I was the only innocent one in the row (cough, cough, cough).

2. I was born prematurely and weighed 3-1/2 lbs. but was too obstinate not to make it even without life support. I would have had an older sister named Helene, but she either died during childbirth or immediately after she was born. She, too, was premature.

3. I became a United States citizen in 1966 without having taken citizenship classes. I informed the Judge who interviewed me that I had a husband, two children and a full-time job and that going to classes was at the bottom of my to-do-list, but that I read the daily newspaper from front to back except for the sports section since it didn't carry real "football", i.e. soccer. He giggled and asked me the names of the first President of the United States, the name of the President during the Civil War and the name of the current (1966) President. I passed and got my U.S. Citizenship. Is there a theme of being oppositional emerging?

4. For late bloomers, I started college at age 42 and received my M.A. degree in Counseling Psychology in 1989. I worked for 13 years for the Michigan Department of Corrections as a Correctional Psychologist in a 'close custody" or "behind the fence" setting, i.e. lifers, individuals with severe behavioral problems, murderers, robbers, sex-offenders, assaultive offenders and anything else you can think of. I loved my job, but had to take early retirement in 2001 due to being attacked by one of the "darlings." In my first life I was an Executive Secretary. My third career was going to be long distance truck driver, but I can't parallel park and nearly drove the motor home into the river, so I gave up on attempting that career.

5. I love desert, but not necessarily chocolate. My favorite "fat machine" food while working was "Zingers."

6. I love cross word puzzles, newspapers, and books. My favorite German writer is Heinrich Boell who helped me deal with war and post-war experiences that I was too little to process properly. I like Dorothy Sayers' Lord Peter Wimsey, Rita Mae Brown's Sneaky Pie Brown, and Lilian Braun's "The Cat Who..." as well as C.S. Lewis , Reinhold Niebuhr and Dietrich Bonhoeffer as well as all the knitting mysteries which are presently being published.

7. And last but not least, and not necessarily in order, I loved camping, real camping with a tent and a backpack. But, alas, the arthritis has set in and sleeping on the ground is not as appealing as it once was. I'm thinking that I might still be able to crawl off a blow-up mattress so don't be surprised if I take it up again.

8. I had a serious car accident in 1995. The doctors' prognosis was that I would need bone transplants and most likely would not walk again, but they didn't know about my oppositional personality. I fooled them all, except for the resulting arthritis.

So Joansie I've been a good girl and answered the challenge and added an eighth item.

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