Mt. Rainier and Lenticular Clouds - Dec. 2008 copyright: JMM

April 2, 2007

Taking a stroll down memory lane

I've started working on a new craft project which is rapidly taking on a life of it's own as my craft table and floor around it are now strewn with bits of paper and scrapbooking doo dads. Last year I found a cool journal that has a plain wood cover and a cut-out window, so you can decorate it yourself. I finally painted the cover dark blue and decoupaged a couple of things onto it, and I found a postcard of a Tiffany stained glass beach scene that I put in the window because it reminded me of Cape Cod.

I am decorating the journal pages themselves with old pictures of me from when I was a baby, and I am going as far as the 6th grade (1975-1976). It's coming out pretty good so far, although time consuming because I am mounting all the photos on coloured paper and also decorating all the pages with ribbons and stuff. I'm up to 1973. And there's so much stuff in there that the journal won't close at all.

In order to add some key elements to this project, I needed to get a bunch of stuff out of a box we've had in storage since we moved up here in 1999, and which was probably in storage back in California as well. It was in the garage attic and Brian very sweetly offered to go up and get it for me (for those of you who haven't seen the spiders we have up here, they are ginormous).

Incapable of having an original idea of my own when I was a kid, I tended to copy stuff I saw on TV, in movies or read in books. After my mom and grandmother took me to see "Paper Moon" in 1973, I bugged my Uncle Yimmy for a cigar box, like Addie's. My mom saw where this was headed and told me in no uncertain terms that she'd tan my hide if she EVER caught me smoking like Addie and that Tatum O'Neal wasn't really smoking. About that same time, I read a book called "The Truth About Mary Rose" and one of the characters had a shoebox of childhood trinkets. So I got a shoebox and started to fill it with my own little trinkets. The stuff I needed for my journal project was in those shoeboxes.

However, before I unearthed the shoeboxes from the bottom of storage box, I found my Sex Pistols shirt and my Boomtown Rats 1981 tour shirt. I held them up and I just cannot believe I ever fit into them. They are so tiny!! Delving deeper into the storage box, I came across a folder of my elementary school records, including those standardized test results we all had to take (with a #2 pencil of course), and my SAT scores. I'd forgotten that I'd picked them up at my old high school in the late 1980's after getting a letter saying that they were going to be destroyed unless I wanted them. I shoved the records into a folder after a cursory glance and never actually studied them, because I was starting to pack to move to California.

Those records in and of themselves were quite a hoot. My kindergarten report card states that "Joanne has a hard time sharing and is domineering with her friends." hahahaha Gee, I wonder why? As an only child, I didn't have to share with anyone, and I ALWAYS got my way when I played with my stuffed animals! I didn't exactly live in a neighborhood that had children my own age, and I only saw Sharon and Diane on holidays and vacations. Other elementary school records state that I was "talkative" and "social" in class, and that I "hurried through my work". Too funny. I haven't changed one iota....although I'd like to think that I'm not domineering w/ my friends anymore and that I have learned to share a bit better.

As for being too social in class (and I'm sure Liz remembers this) in 10th grade Geometry, the teacher moved me 3 times because of talking and passing notes. Unfortunately every time she moved me, she sat me next to someone with whom I was also friends, so I never stopped talking. Plus when Mrs. DeLacy's back was turned, Liz would throw a folded note across the room at me, I'd respond, and throw it back. By the end of the year Mrs. DeLacy gave up and let me return to sitting with Liz. No wonder I had a D average. Actually, Liz and I got in trouble all the time for passing notes in 8th grade Civics Class and 11th grade Algebra 2. Junior high and high school were just one big social event for me and the work was secondary. If I had a nickle for every time I heard, "Joanne is very bright but does not work up to her full potential" I'd be as rich as Bill Gates. I just preferred talking on the phone and listening to records to doing homework and studying.

I think the thing that surprised me the most was the results of the standardized tests. According to the one taken in 6th grade, I had language, spelling and reading skills on an 11th grade level, and was in the 99th percentile nationally. My IQ in 6th grade was 115. I was feeling quite full of myself when I read that.... till I read my math scores. Abysmal. In 6th grade, my math skills were only on a 5th grade level. I fell into the 30th percentile nationally. That will explain why my IQ never rose above 115, because I just cannot do math at all.

And speaking of abysmal, I cannot believe I got into college with the SAT scores I had. I'm embarrassed to even say what they are! Combined math and english, a whopping 770, even though my senior year I was on the honor roll for the entire year and was inducted into the National Honor Society. In my defense, I think it is unrealistic to expect a teenager to perform well on a test that starts at 8:00 on a Saturday morning. And I never was good at multiple choice anyway....give me an essay test any day.

The final test result in the folder was from a test they gave us in the 9th or 10th grade, that measured what your interests were and then scored you on what career choice for which you might be suited. Typically, anything having to do with math, medicine, engineering, teaching or customer service was scored very low for me. And what was scored highest? Artist and the Legal Profession!!!!! I cracked up, because that one was right on.

I'll post a few pictures of my journal pages when the project is complete.


  1. It must be wonderful to wander through your past like that. It's diffucult to keep your things together when you move house, so you really did well to hold on to your collection while you crossed the continent.

  2. oooo, i can't wait to see some pictures when you post them! that's so much fun to look through that old stuff:: and i had that same problem with talking and passing notes. we had this one teacher that me and my 2 other trouble getting into friends were especially hard on. we went to a Christian school, and for punishment we would have to write out of the book of proverbs in the Bible. whatever day it was is whatever chapter of proverbs you wrote out. we always new we'd get into trouble the next day, so we would sit and write it out ahead of time while watching tv the night before(!!hee hee!!)--imagine the look on his face after assigning us the proverbs and then having us hand them in as we were leaving the class...

  3. Fezzi!!! That's BRILLIANT! hahahaha

    Val - my mother purged my stuff the second she thought I outgrew it (toys, books, games, craft supplies) so the only stuff retained from my childhood ended up in those shoeboxes.

  4. Anonymous4:23 PM

    FYI: She is still bossy and domineering and still tries to get her own way.

  5. AM NOT AM NOT AM NOT! Shaddap anonymous ya big gerky.

  6. Lizzzard8:48 PM

    Jojo, Take heart your report card would say that you are an individaul with a clear sense of self, as well as the potential for leadership. (It might also say that some social settings are challenging for you, but that we are workingon it...) Ahh the joys of kindergarten.

    I think we challenged poor Mr. Hoxie and Mrs. Delacey beyond the realm of reason on several occassions. I am still good at throwing notes- only now I do it during faculty meetings!

    Didn't your test also say you should be a hairdresser?

    The SAT is only given because it is the best measure of freshmen success- but even the bigwigs from the company (which I had the pleasure (Hemm) of dealing with this summer for a pilot project) will tell you that it is not a very good one- ....
    Hey, I'd be medicated for attention deficit for sure these days:) LIz

  7. Liz - I cannot believe you remembered the "beautician" part of those test results....I was gonna put it in my post but I didn't.....thanks for doing it for me! lol I'll give you this - you had a good arm and aim when throwing those notes to me.

  8. I'm not brave enough to go back and look at my old report cards!!

  9. Anonymous9:33 AM


    that journal is gonna be awesome when it is finished. i can hardly wait to see it. very amusing about you being moved around in class. i can relate.

  10. Lucky for you that you can look back and laugh. I was too sad and too serious as a teenager, so I hate to think of the past. Lucky for me I'm in charge of (some of) my future!

  11. Claire - my memory book only goes to 6th grade. I had fun in junior high and high school for the most part, but I had my fair share of sadness and adolescent angst as well.

  12. Anonymous10:37 PM

    Hi JoJo, It's Bobby's Girl here. We can't talk on Molly anymore so I guess I'll have to branch out. I've often read your blog but have never posted before. That's really neat that you have all that old stuff. I was quiet and shy all through school so I'm sure my records aren't as interestin as yours. By the way, I enjoyed Silencer tonight. He is still gorgeous!

  13. Bobby's Girl! So great to hear from you and that you found me! I don't know what happened on the Molly page, but you can find me, Val, and Julie over here, and on Val's blog as well!!!