Okay, here’s my attempt at a new meme:
1. A memory from before you started school:
I can remember living in the housing projects in Seattle with my mom and dad — it was used as overflow married student housing for University of Washington students. Mom worked in the day care center while Dad took classes and worked nights at Boeing. Every day at the day care center, we had naptime in canvas cots, and I remember one day my cot had a hole in it. I went and complained to my mom and she told me to go back to sleep. I did, but the hole kept on growing until eventually it was so big that I fell through!
2. A memory from elementary school:
I remember drawing pictures for Columbus day: I drew pictures of the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria. When I took them home to show my mom, she burst in to laughter. I had put propellers on the boats. I can remember not understanding why that was so funny.
3. A memory from middle school:
In middle school, we used to play “hand tennis” on the tennis courts during lunchtime. It was like regular tennis, but you used your hands instead of rackets, and you got two bounces instead of one.
4. A memory from high school:
In high school, I was in a desegregation program and so went to a predominantly black inner-city school. I was a major nerd, but I thought I was incredibly cool because I went to such a “tough” school. I was on the debate team, and at tournaments we used to play “Jam on it” on our ghetto blaster during breaks. People looked at us like we were freaks, and we loved it!
5. A memory from college:
I went to the University of Chicago, and though again I was a major nerd, I thought I was incredibly cool because my school was on the “tough” South Side of Chicago. Whenever it was below zero, we’d walk 10 blocks to get Harold’s Fried Chicken on 53rd street. We were usually the only white people in the joint. It was great!
6. A memory from your first job:
My first job was as an editorial assistant at Harper & Row publishers. I can still remember getting invited to my first author lunch with my boss. It was a man who had inherited a successful textbook from his mother, and he took the opportunity to get hammered off his mind on the company tab. Eventually we had to stop publishing the book, which years before had been our top seller.