Monthly Memoir: The Distinguished Dropout

Off to my Memoir Writing Meeting

I walked to the New Ulm public library on Monday morning to attend my first Memoir Writing meeting.

I saw my old friend, retired school teacher, Nancy Busse with her friend Jan.

Nancy and Jan

I listened to other people read or talk about their memoirs.

Tom and Benny

Tom is 95. He was born in 1927! Benny is a trumpet player who traveled with many popular dance bands!

Our Librarian/Technician spoke of the Memory Lab where you can preserve all your old photos, Lps, 18mm film and other memories on digital media for free!.

Librarian and Memory Lab Expert LeRoy Harris

If you want you can read my memoir I read to the group, here it is!

“The Distinguished Dropout,” by Amy Zents


When I was 15 years old I was fed up with school. I had desperately tried to be a good student, but to no avail. I was either tardy or absent. I even tried changing schools, going from an eilite collegiate high school to a few other not-so-elite ones. 

Living in downtown Toronto I could not focus.Little did I know I had ADHD, and the stimulation of city-life overwhelmed my brain.At the time I could not understand why I couldn’t focus, and why I felt like such a failure.

After changing high schools to try and find the right fit, I quit school altogether and went to work.I kept changing jobs over and over again. I worked as a chambermaid, or housekeeper in downtown hotels Once while cleaning in the Sheraton, a guy claiming to be a Maple Leafs Hockey coach tried to pick me up stating his credentials.  I just ignored his advances.

In my later teens, I worked in a fancy travel agency. Although I had no experience I was put in the Accounts Payable department located in the prestigious Toronto Star Building. The job was not for someone like me. The pay was excellent, but I made too many errors because math was not my strong suit.

For awhile I ventured into working in retail. I learned how to use a cash register, albeit poorly, and I had a locker. The job was so slow and so boring, I could not bear it, so I quit. 

Later on, I worked at Sears in the mail room, where I delivered mail to the different departments. I felt invisible and degraded there for some reason.One day I saw an old lady lying flat on her back near the shoe department, and I alerted staff.. All they did was call the EMT’s while she lay there unconscious. She died at Sears.That incident upset me a lot, so I quit.

The last job, and the one I held the longest, was in catering and cafeteria food service at the Canada Life Insurance company. We served lawyers at their breakfasts, and banquets and each noon in their private dining room we filled their lunch orders that they checked off with a pencil from a daily menu.

At some point in my job search, I went to Canadian Man Power and took an employment aptitude test. The results showed my ideal job was a cook.Shortly before I got married, Man Power invited to pay for me to take a commercial cooking course. I declined.I was also contacted by the new IKEA store asking me come work for them. 

There seemed to be a lot of employment opportunities for me in spite of my work record. But I chose to leave that all behind.

At the tender age of 19 I got married and left the big city for a small town in Northern Minnesota. After eight long miserable years living in Sauk Center, earning two dollars an hour babysitting, I finally realized that in order to get ahead, I needed to get my GED! 

I learned to drive in a manual transmission car and it took me 3 tries to get my driver’s license at age 25, now I was ready to try to get a high school equivalency diploma.

I took classes at Melrose high school to review old subjects to prepare for my GED.I had to take the GED test in Alexandria, MN. I was so nervous, epecially since I remembered it took me three times to pass my driver’s road test. I hoped I would only need to take the GED test once and for all.

After the test, I waited to receive my notice in the mail, I was proud to find out I had passed! 

Along with the verification that I had succeeded in getting my GED, was a special note. 

It was a gold-embossed card that stated, “Congratulations to Amalia for Excellence in Adult Education.” I learned I had nearly perfect scores in all the areas of the test! I felt so amazed. I was a distinguished dropout!

Memoir resources were handed out
Personal experience is the ingredients of a good menoir

On The Tube: Delicacies Destiny

Feelings of love abound in “Delicacies Destiny.”

Disney Channel streams this enjoyable series of 16 episodes set in the Royal Courts of China.

Food and cooking holds a central role in this show and so does the Delicacy Kitchen Head chef!

Modest Head Chef Ling

Also, slow-motion eating, combined with expressive sounds and moans of pleasure make you vicariously feel as if you are eating what you see on your screen.

Hubby and me will often eat and watch the show. Whether it’s a big steaming bowl of stirfried rice or a delicious tapioca pudding like this I had at lunchtime, Delicacies Destiny is always sure to satisfy your taste for good viewing.

Yummy 😋

Car Watch: Another Car Show

Sweet and sassy chassis

Today we went to a summer festival in Winthrop.

Winthrop Fun Fest

Along with longest parade I’ve ever seen, there was a car show.

There were so many cool cars!

You would be glutted for choice.

There was inspiration for upcoming Car Watch features, but today is just a taste of some fine vehicles.

Sporty

Enjoy the ride!

Make way for the Chevrolet truck!

News the Day Before It Happens!

Too bad they don’t say who won the horse races!!

Since all the financial cutbacks and firings in the newspaper world, our little town has not been immune to its repercussions.

For a few years now the Sunday paper is delivered on Saturday.

They could call it the Saturday paper, but you get twice the cartoons.

Memoir Writing Group

I can’t believe I survived college!

I am writing a little memoir of my college years.

Here is the Oxford dictionary definition of the word, “memoir.”

https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/us/definition/english/memoir

Or Monday I am going to the public library to attend a public memoir writing group.

I enjoy writing.

I really enjoyed college.

Too much!

I worked at the campus radio station for 15 years as a broadcaster as well.

And yes, like Albert Einstein I am a polymath too.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polymath

Unlike Einstein I did not discover the Theory of Relativity.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_of_relativity

My only phenomena was surviving two car accidents in two months that totaled both cars!

When I graduated I had over 500 credits from my University spanning 14 years.

I took a double major in Music and in English, along with a number of other credits in subjects ranging from anatomy, science fiction, film studies, to sailing, theater arts, chemistry, horsemanship and many, many more classes.

I took morning, noon and night classes.

I attended classes Autumn, Winter, Spring, and Summer.

My thirst for knowledge was driven by the fact I dropped out of high school at age 15.

I was a non-traditional student who began college at age 29. When I graduated I was in my forties!

I felt I needed to catch up intellectually.

I liked being a perpetual student.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perpetual_student

I will let you know how the memoir writing group goes next week. ✍

Thursday Book Review: Lose the Clutter, Lose the weight

Peter Walsh know his stuff!

Ok. So I am a pack-rat.

Where do I find the wisdom to change?

Peter Walsh!

I’ve admired his no-nonsense reasoning since the first time I saw him on TV.

But his book, “Lose the Clutter, Lose the weight,” is a good remedy for many who have too much

Here is a gem for you to consider.

Clutter comes from:

1. Bringing too much stuff into your home. 🏡 (Aquisiton)

2. Not getting rid of enough of it. (Difficulty discarding it.)

3. Allowing clutter to spread throughout your home to where it doesn’t belong. (Clutter’s core.)

So if you have ADHD like me, or just generalized anxiety disorder about your pig-sty, this book is a gem!

Of course you won’t get it all done  in 6 weeks.

But, the first step is understanding  what clutter is.

The first way to get started is to get educated, not overwhelmed.

Peace and love on Ringo’s birthday.

82 today. Glad he kicked the smokes and he’s a vegetarian too!

We can all do our best to make changes for a better life!

Wednesday Diet Wisdom: Gym life

Afternoon strength

Three times a week hubby and I work on strength training.

When the sun comes up

However, every morning when the sun comes up we go to the pool at the Recreation center!

Jim after our big swim

So after joining the gym we have gotten into the habit of exercise.

Whenever it is time to eat we focus on high fiber and high protein.

Of course being vegetarians it takes extra effort to eat protein and we find it in many good foods including lots of vegetables, soy products, nuts, nut butters and eggs.

Having a garden helps.

Herbs and veggies make life lush
Tasty homemade pizza full of protein and fibre I cooked for noon lunch yesterday 😋

This morning after I rose at 5:30 I took things that were in the freezer. I cooked them in my steamer.

My big house cleaning project yesterday was to clean the fridge and freezer.

My freezer has room to breathe now!

Anyway once we get home we like to play outdoor ping pong. That’s our thing we do as a couple. No holds barred! We each play to win!!!

Ping pong rivals!

Time to eat now

Hot veggies and soy brats

Every day instead of asking what do I want for dinner? Ask what do I want from dinner?

Stay active, grow slender and be strong.

Like they say, if I can do it you can do it!

Cheers to your good health!

P.S. All diet advice by me is my opinion and does not reflect on any professional advice. Lose weight at your own risk.

Snow White Moment

So this just happened to me.

My Snow White Moment

A bird alighted on my hand.

My friend Kelly wrote on my Facebook post, “Hello Snow White!”

First the fledgling followed me.

https://youtube.com/shorts/d-JPFOawbms?feature=share

Then it bombed my head!

Afterwards, this happened.

Pretty amazing, isn’t it?

Fairytale fun in the summer sun!

On the Tube: Home Economics 1954

Stockings and skirts were the norm in the 1950’s

So things have changed for homemakers in the 21st century.

Women rarely do many of the chores and tasks of yore.

The home economics classes of the past promoted some great ideas for those who wanted to live a classy life, but many of those ideas have disappeared from our consciousness.

I watched this hilarious YouTube about some modern-day women who took a 1954 home economics test.

https://youtu.be/OE6E1sWhgZ8

Wash your stockings ladies!