Five Question Challenge–School Memories

question door.bmpToday begins Family History Month here in the U.S., and we’re kicking it off with our lead article on writing your personal history by best-selling author, D.G. Fulford. This month your challenge is to answer five questions each week from each Weekly Planner topic that we will focus on–or make up five of your own. This week’s topic is school memories. Here are some questions to get you started:

  • What was your favorite subject in school?
  • In what extra-curricular activities did you participate? Sports? Drama? Music? Academics?
  • Did you go on field trips, and if so, what was your most memorable field trip?
  • What teacher influenced you the most?
  • Did you buy a lunch at school, or bring one from home? What kind of lunchbox? What was your favorite lunch?

Feel free to share your memories in the Comments sections of the blog. Your memories may help spark the memories of other readers who had similar experiences. 

For more interesting questions, see

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10 thoughts on “Five Question Challenge–School Memories

  1. Pingback: Five Question Challenge - School Memories « Taneya’s Genealogy Blog

  2. It looks like a few bloggers have taken me up on my challenge this week. Since I posed the challenge, I guess I should do the same, so here goes:

    1.) What was your favorite subject in school?
    That’s a no-brainer. History (or Social Studies as most schools call it). Even then I was showing signs of becoming the family history nut that I grew to be! I also loved reading. I think my favorite book I had to read for school was The Good Earth. I thought it was fascinating to learn about Chinese culture.

    2.) In what extra-curricular activities did you participate? Sports? Drama? Music? Academics?
    I loved to play softball and volleyball (although I was never very proficient in either!), and in high school, I did a short stint as a Mathlete.

    Music? Well let’s just say that the advice from a high school piano teacher was, “You have good finger control, but absolutely no musical inclination. Try typing.” He was so right.

    3.) Did you go on field trips, and if so, what was your most memorable field trip?
    I loved the trips to the Lincoln Park Zoo and Brookfield Zoo, and the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago–except for one exhibit that had (wax?) monks transcribing books. For some reason the monk scared the heck out of me and I’d freak out every time I went by that exhibit. Now, I’d probably be looking over his shoulder to see if he was transcribing a record of one of my ancestors! Nor was I too keen on the coal mine. I was afraid of heights which made going up the steps to the elevator a nightmare, only to be followed by the descent in that scary elevator. Yikes! I’m going to have nightmares tonight just thinking about that ride.

    4.) What teacher influenced you the most?
    Mr. Wold–high school advanced history. I loved his class. We would file into class and he’d have us copy a page of notes he had written on the board. Then he would begin going through them–acting out scenes using his comb, chalk, erasers, and all sorts of things as props–giving us little insights into the real people who made history. He made me want to learn more about all those names and dates and about the people behind events.

    Between his classes and my mother paying me to find ancestral names on microfilms, I didn’t stand a chance!

    5.) Did you buy a lunch at school, or bring one from home? What kind of lunchbox? What was your favorite lunch?
    We always brown-bagged it in grade school and ate at our desks. There was no cafeteria there. I loved bologna and mustard on white bread, and then moved on to a phase where all I would eat was cream cheese sandwiches.

    Then one day my dad taught me how to make clam dip (cream cheese, lemon juice, clams, worcestershire sauce). I fell in love with it. I convinced my mom that it was the same as cream cheese sandwiches, except that it has extra nutrition from the clams, so for a year or so I subsisted on clam dip sandwiches at lunch. Needless to say, I never had to worry about anyone stealing my lunch. (And yes, every so often I still have a clam dip sandwich!)

    So that’s probably more than you ever wanted to know about me. How about you? Share your answers to this week’s challenge in the comments below. Check out some other blogs and see what kind of answers they had for this week’s challenge. Here are a couple blogs I found that took part in the challenge:

    Randy’s Musings

    Taneya’s Genealogy Blog


    If I missed your blog post, feel free to leave a link in the comments as well. Also, if you would like to add to the questions, feel free. This is all about recording those memories!

  3. I just finished reading the family history commentary on the striped washcloths then the blog on school memories. I took my lunch wrapped in paper. This was a long time ago. My lunch was usually an apple or carrot and a lettice sandwich. The sandwich was two pieces of bread, some butter or mayo and lettice. It must have been my favorite because that is the only lunch I remember taking in grade school. We didn’t have a lot of money but I don’t think of us as poor as my dad always had a job. Funny what you will think of!

  4. HOw great that I can post a memory you have jogged to mind. We lived in a 2 story home in 1951. No curtains upstairs and water pump outside and outhouse a long ways from the house..So we had potty’s for us of night. Special chairs with the bottom out for the pot, with a lid.
    We had gas lights from the oil well that was across the road from us. that was outlawed as dangerous later. Just seen a potbellied stove in Wisconsin that reminded me of our old heat system back then. And a old washer ringer that we had out on the back porch. Mom had to kick start that motor before electric ones were made. Not sure the fuel that was in them but well remember them. Before that we would go into town and they had an open laundrymat. two big doors where they washed clothes and the streets would flow with the soapy water that was let out to rinse the clothes. Why even mom would have to haul them wet back home to hang out on the clotheslines that were held up off the ground by boards with a nail in the top to make sure the lines didn’t slip off and let the clothes get on the ground. The Big teakettles were far larger than any I have seen in Cracker barrel ceilings where they have tried to put all sorts of antiques up. I tried to photo some of them but not sure how that will turn out. Rolling pins a favorite of mine as I always loved helping roll out dough. Mom would tell me if I didn’t get it round my life would turn out bad. Had no clue if that was true but I made sure my pie shells were round so it fit the pan nicely. We wore out many a board for cutting noodles on. WE drew up rain water in buckets from a cistern to do our washing in. Our drinking water came from a Well tho. Our storage area for our canned goods was a long building with shelves from top to about a 4 ft space from the bottom as that was where the crocks were kept. We moved in this farm house and it had all sorts of left behind items. One was one of the viewmasters, as we know them today, where it had two like photos we could see through a lense and that was mounted in wood with a wooden handle. I have yet to see one of them in Cracker Barrel restaurants or anywhere.
    Mom used to tell of a scooter she had as a child which was passed down to the 8 others born after her. It only had 4 wheels and a place to set. The front wheels did turn. Found one of them in the museum in Mt Carmel, IL so finally got to see what she had as a child. THis is choppy but so many things come to mind now that you spurred the thinking.

  5. Thanks for such a great challenge – this has really helped bring back some memories!

    I attended schools in the Liberty Central School district in Liberty, New York.

    What was your favorite subject in school?

    Probably what was originally called History and was called Social Studies when I attended. I have no idea what they call it now. Probably some PC term.

    In what extra-curricular activities did you participate? Sports? Drama? Music? Academics?

    I really didn’t belong to any clubs in high school – I was pursuing an Academic course of study and very involved with Advanced Placement courses for Spanish and honors courses for English, Social Studies, Physics, and Calculus. See, I am functional as well as decorative.

    Did you go on field trips, and if so, what was your most memorable field trip?

    The best field trip was in my senior year and it was part of the honors Spanish course. We went to see the Pablo Picasso exhibit at the Modern Museum of Art in New York. This was one of the first blockbuster art shows after the King Tut exhibit in the mid 70’s. MOMA was the location for Picasso’s painting Guernica which is now located in Madrid at the Reina Sofia Museum.

    What teacher influenced you the most?

    Miss Marguerite Mauer. She was the Spanish teach for me in all of high school and she was much loved by everyone. She had been at LCS since the earth was warm and was the first teacher to bring Spanish as a high school subject to Sullivan County, New York. She was funny, full of bad jokes and puns (“Como esta usted, Senora De La Vaca? Muuuuuuuuuuuuy bien!”) and really was the impetus for me to stick with Spanish as one of my majors in college.

    Did you buy a lunch at school, or bring one from home? What kind of lunchbox? What was your favorite lunch?

    I couldn’t afford to buy lunch at school – that was for either the rich kids or it was free for the poor kids. Somehow I fell right in the middle and it was the brown bag crowd for me. I really didn’t have a favorite lunch but right now I am wondering how in hell I could eat all those boloney sandwiches with mayonnaise that sat in my locker all morning and not get sick! Nowadays most mother’s are hovering over their kids with some anti-bacterial wipe or something.

  6. To Thomas,
    You are so right! Mom’s now a days would freak out if they had to give their kids the same things that we brought for lunch. I liked brown bagging it and I loved baloney and cheeze sandwiches, an apple or some other fruit, crackers and peanut butter was my usual lunch. I never thought of the fact that the baloney and cheeze had to sit in my locker all day! We survived!

  7. This great. I love remembering back over my life. Iwent to small country schools until I was in 6th grade. Than I rode a bus into town. My brother just older than me was in the grade with me. that was the year year he went to school. He droped out to help make a living for our family. But at 18 he was taken into the Service and spent the next 6 years in ww2. There was four of us kids that walked about a mile to the school. everyone was in the same room, all grades. We took our lunches in a lard bucket. Mostly it was biskets left over from breakfast with bacon or sausages in them. also a bottle of milk, and some of Mamma’s good Tea Cakes she always had for us.
    In the winter we had shoes, but early fall and spring we were barefooted. We lived through the depression. my brothers came home from the war, my mother lived to 98 years old. At 84 I am sitting at my computer writing. What a great USA we live in, Emma Audell Cox Odom

  8. Pingback: A Five Questions Challenge – School Memories « Jessica’s Genejournal

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