school

how a northeastern Pennsylvania high school got its name

how a northeastern Pennsylvania high school got its name

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all the young dudes

It was the second week of our junior year at St. John the Baptist.

Mike, Bill and I were listening to “Fame” in our music lab.

“Lennon co-wrote it,” I boasted,”So it must be good.”

Mike reminded us of “Jet” from McCartney’s “Band On the Run” album.

“I thought the major was a lady, suffragette,” he intoned.

When we weren’t too busy ogling all the lovely girls in school, we were always talking about music.

Eventually, to avoid trouble with Sister Christophine, we sat down and behaved. In our heads, though, we were grooving to Bowie.

Each week we, along with the help of Rochelle Wisoff~Fields, attempt to write a hundred~word story, Friday Fictioneers, inspired by a photograph. This week’s photo prompt was provided by her husband, Jan W. Fields.

aah yes, i remember it well

IMG_0142

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Memory on the Menu.”      Compared to recent memories, I’ve always very much preferred the long ago kind. In an episode of “The Odd Couple”,  Oscar Madison reminds Felix Unger of Dorothy Parker’s claim to have hated writing but loved having written. That’s the way my understanding of life is. I see time as being divided into three parts. The future is pure theory. There is, to  a certain extent, no point in bothering to think about it. The present is one big responsibility. Even the good things have their share of annoyances. The past, though, from this point of view, is the nicest. Each of us is able to see it, as he can see the present, but he’s not obligated to deal with the hard parts. The recent past still has entirely too many memories of all its annoyances. Life during my school days, or during the times when I was working at some long-lost job, was no more interesting then than my current life is. What makes it so interesting for me to reflect upon those previous times is the very fact that I can’t possibly have them back. I can’t possibly control my past. What is done cannot possibly be undone. Anything left undone cannot possibly be done. I can, however, control it in my imagination.  There’s no point in bothering to take such an approach to the immediate past, but it works well with much earlier time frames. There’s quite a significant reason for my having used a picture of a Good Humor ice cream truck instead of a currently commonplace vehicle. Last night I attended the first night of the annual fair at St. Mary of the Isle Church in Long Beach, New York.  That truck was there. For me, Good Humor is a perfect example of the best of nostalgia. It was prominent long ago and has been hardly ever seen during current and recent times. That’s the kind of memory that has always truly piqued my interest.

https://rogershipp.wordpress.com/2015/07/10/memory-on-the-menu/

https://srollinson7.wordpress.com/2015/07/10/memory-on-the-menu-ill-have-a-starter-and-a-pudding-too/

https://warriorfreya.wordpress.com/2015/07/10/prompt-page-0055-memory-on-the-menu/

https://toweararainbow.wordpress.com/2015/07/10/deja-vu-haiku-2/

http://mariegriffith.me/2015/07/10/remember-2/

i stunk at math and science

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Land of Confusion.”

Over the course of my school days I had always been quite a reasonably good student. Math and science were the two very definite exceptions to that rule, however. As a high school freshman at St. John the Baptist in West Islip, I somehow got put into a biology class, in spite of the fact that freshman biology was intended for students who were good in science. Mr. Richard Morabito, my teacher, frequently called my mother and complained to her that I could never keep up with the work. He wondered if maybe I should start wearing eyeglasses again.  When I was a  senior I took Mrs. Joan McGrath’s probability and statistics class. She, like Mr. Morabito, knew that I was a conscientious student but that I just couldn’t handle the subject matter.  One of the very last things she ever said to me officially as a teacher of mine was that it would be a bad mistake for me to study math from then on. The next year, as a freshman at S.U.N.Y. Farmingdale, I was a liberal arts major. During my first semester I was forced to take another statistics course. During my first week there the professor insisted upon my dropping out of the course because he knew I’d never be able to pass it.  Those are only a few representative examples of the horror story that was my life in math and science classrooms. My late cousin Karen, who was a math teacher, once told me that she could never understand how anyone could possibly be a poor math student, considering that it was so logical. Perhaps that’s my entire problem. I must not be capable of handling courses that are too logically consistent. I appear to require  the twists and turns that go with the humanities and social sciences.

http://geekergosum.com/2015/05/13/oh-the-humanities-or-land-of-confusion/

https://promptlings.wordpress.com/2015/05/13/chemistry-of-fate/

https://casssuselessopinions.wordpress.com/2015/05/13/pure-vexation/

http://www.bukkhead.com/blog/2015/05/13/1251/

https://bkaotic.wordpress.com/2015/05/13/land-of-confusion/

https://halfbakedlog.wordpress.com/2015/05/13/the-boob-tube-ruined-algebra/

younger me talks to older me

One day recently I wandered, as usual, into a time warp and met 2004 me for coffee. He was happy to see that I still drink coffee so compulsively. He reminded me of what life was like back then, with all its good and bad news. I told him about what was up ahead of him. He was happy to see that I’m still a lay Carmelite. I tried to explain to him that I still have all the same staunchly conservative ideas now as then, but that by now, they’re more fully developed.  I gave him the impression that turning fifty didn’t seem to carry with it any major milestones, that the passage of time would, in many ways, leave me neither in better nor worse shape.  I explained to him that both my parents died last year and that that left me with quite a few major irrevocable changes in my circumstances. Having lived for much of the past decade in northeastern Pennsylvania gave me some insights into what life in a radically different environment was like.  The internet, of course, was quite a major topic of conversation. My younger persona was quite happy to hear of all the advances that were to transpire during the time between then and now. He got a kick out of all the things people have been doing with sites like Facebook, Twitter, Myspace and all the others. He was so happy to know that I’ve been able to keep in touch with all my oldest friends from school for so long. Most certainly, he was quite disgusted when I told him about everyone’s having a cell phone these days. He reminded me of the days when my cousins and I were on the Knights of Columbus’ bowling league, with the Wantagh council and recommended that I get involved in something like that again.  He also reminded me that since my anxiety, temper and migraines have mostly subsided into virtual obsolescence, I should by now be hepper than ever.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/good-tidings/

http://tombalistreri.wordpress.com/2014/11/15/past-future/

http://rojo1990dotcom.wordpress.com/2014/11/15/hi-roger-meet-roger/

http://psychologistmimi.com/2014/11/15/a-new-york-decade-in-the-making-juggling-the-changing-city-sidewalks/

http://theyyouandme.wordpress.com/2014/11/15/a-coffee-date-with-myself/

http://katcarpita.wordpress.com/2014/11/15/dear-kat-2004/

the philosopher king

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“There are three chairs here, ladies and gentlemen,” stated the philosopher king. “They provide a space for will, intellect and memory, as well as for text, context and subtext; melody, harmony and rhythm.”

My classmates and I were all quite smitten with our philosophy professor, Michael Soupios. Reality truly is, in so many ways, broken down into threes. This particular lecture of his also quite easily highlights the distinction between the symbol and the thing itself. It’s so nice to have a professor who’s willing to explain things in simple interesting language. Not everyone can understand the overly abstract.

monochromia

It might be quite a shock to be forcibly subjected one day, from out of nowhere, to a world devoid of color. Then that stupid cliche about seeing things in black and white would be more than just a brain dead platitude. If I were ever to have to deal with a world like that, in which I should be allowed to have only one thing retain its original colorpastel, I should like to have a really nice pastel colored car. It wouldn’t even make any difference which color it would be. When I lived in Lindenhurst, every year, during the first weekend of October, there was a really big Oktoberfest on Wellwood Avenue. One of the most interesting exhibits for me was always the car show. There was always a group there, each year, that had an exceptionally impressive display of old cars, mostly from the 1950’s and early 1960’s when they had fins. All the cars were in such amazingly impressive pastel colors. I was just thinking, very recently, how sad it is that there are no longer any cars available in those colors. At least I most certainly don’t see any anway. Little kids in the very first years of school have such an exceptionally nice deal with colors too. They get always to be surrounded by such amazingly nice bright colors. Unfortunately older kids and adults don’t get to have those bright colors so frequently. I just got, a few weeks ago, a dress shirt in quite an overwhelmingly bright shade of blue for exactly that very reason. The world needs more bright shades and pastels.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/local-color/

http://tuckedintoacorner.wordpress.com/2014/10/26/colour-schemes/

http://tombalistreri.wordpress.com/2014/10/26/the-only-color/

http://ryanswriting.com/2014/10/tarnished-brass-of-a-civil-war-bugle/

http://ambitiousdrifter.com/2014/10/26/surprise-splash/

http://movingtowardsthelight.com/2014/10/26/aqua-blue/

tempus fugit. memento mori

I suppose that I have known, since a very early age, of the inevitably of my eventual death.  When I was first born I was  very sick, with a life-threatening problem, and after effects that lingered all throughout my childhood, so I was constantly reminded of the risk of my early death. The earliest death that really stands out in my mind, in a concrete way, is my Uncle Gino’s when I was a twelve year old kid. As far as I know, there wasn’t any feeling of total awe at my having realized that I would, sooner, or later, be required, by definition, to die. Having always gone to Catholic schools, I was always reminded of it, but it must have inevitably struck me as just some entirely abstract factual reality.  Unlike many people I simply don’t have a profoundly cathartic story to tell about how some ultimate moment of truth profoundly changed my life and perception of that specific aspectfour-last-things1 of reality. Sooner or later, each of us shall be in either Heaven (usually by way of Purgatory), or Hell. That’s the ultimate inevitable eschatological reality of the four last things. Death carries with it at least two main fears for each of us: the fear of all the physical and emotional torment that goes with the end of his life, and the fear of eternal damnation for those who go to hell. I really have to wise up and to start dealing with it in a more first hand manner very soon.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/finite-creatures/

http://abozdar.wordpress.com/2014/10/20/patience/

http://youaintspecial.wordpress.com/2014/10/20/prove-it/

http://fibercompulsion.com/2014/10/20/infinite/

http://shameport.wordpress.com/2014/09/14/spinning-dust/

http://agirllikemee.wordpress.com/2014/10/20/on-a-sunny-summer-afternoon/

sister rose eugene s.c.

I can’t remember anything of any significance regarding my very earliest interaction with someone else, but my first meeting with Sister Rose Eugene, my first grade teacher at St. Gabriel’s Elementary School in East Elmhurst, has always struck me as quite distinctive. When I first started school, the Sisters of Charity of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton were in charge of the kids in the younger grades. Back then each Sister still wore an old  fashioned traditional

black habit, ankle-length, with a gigantic black bonnet,  and and enormous Rosary for a belt. When I first met Sister Rose Eugene, immediately before I was to start the first grade, she must have scared me out of at least fifteen years worth of growth. To this very day I can still remember my not having been able to come up with an answer when she asked me my name. She was still only a young adult so she may not have been professed for a very long time. I assume she was only trying to be friendly with her new young charge. From her point of view it may already have been quite a reasonably familiar experience. That’s all I can remember of what appeared to have been a relatively brief episode. I assume she handled it quite tactfully.  I have no memory of her having been stern.  She was friendly and humored me.  As a teacher and a professed Religious, she must have been very well educated in child psychology. My first year of school went  well and I was so happy there.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/reverse-shot/

http://abozdar.wordpress.com/2014/10/17/beauty-of-unwanted-birth/

http://tombalistreri.wordpress.com/2014/10/17/stranger-danger/

http://abozdar.wordpress.com/2014/10/16/echo/

http://new2writing.wordpress.com/2014/10/17/daily-post-memory-games/

http://grieflessons.wordpress.com/2014/10/17/mommy-talk/

something to talk about

I don’t know if there’s an ideal number of people for a conversation, debate or any other form of interpersonal communication. For me the deciding factor in a perfect conversation is the subject matter. Only a very short time ago I was involved in an exceptionally interesting conversation with my sister and three friends of hers, that involved topics ranging from literature to history. We ended up referring to people like Jane Austen, and presidential assassins Booth, Guiteau, Czolgosz and Oswald. That’s the kind of conversation that conversationcan really keep my undivided attention, whether it’s only in a small group, or in a classroom with more than three dozen people. Perhaps it wouldn’t be a very good idea to have an overwhelmingly large group because it would be too difficult to keep track of all that’s going on and to give everyone present a fair chance to participate. As long as all present are interested in the topic or topics of conversation, the number can vary.  Of course I quite often enjoy a good interior monologue too. The cast of characters who populate my imagination can keep me company especially well.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/counting-voices/

http://crashcoursedummy.wordpress.com/2014/10/11/voices/

http://pepperconnection.com/2014/10/11/verbal-jousting-needs-how-many/

http://bhalsop.wordpress.com/2014/10/11/daily-prompt-counting-voices/

http://cartervail.wordpress.com/2014/10/11/voices-daily-prompt/

http://angloswiss-chronicles.com/2014/10/11/daily-prompt-counting-voices-silence-is-golden/