Thursday, March 3, 2016

Throwback Thursday: My Own Story

While I focus on genealogy and stories of the past, I feel I must also tell my own story so future generations have stories to discover and share. I'll be using the popular Throwback Thursday model to do so. 

2004 was an incredibly busy year 12 years ago. I had no idea who I would be or where I would be in 2016. I was an undergrad the spring of 2004, living off campus in an apartment with my cousin, her now husband and another friend of ours that we’re no longer in touch with. We had 4 pet rats, 2 male and 2 females. They were a lot of fun.

My cousin and I were working at a sports bar just down the street from our apartment. We worked long hard hours and it only encouraged me never to want to work shift work again. I am very satisfied with the 9 – 5 world after going to class from 8 – 2 and work from 4 – 3 most nights. There was free steak night. Sounds fun, right? Wrong. It was the most awful night of the week to work. After the fall of 2003 working it, I ensured I had a class right during the middle of it for the spring of 2004. It was a good deal for the customer, FREE steak, potatoes and salad with the purchase of any beverage. You could buy the $1.95 soda, bottled water or the $0.50 9oz. draft beer. Then of course, every customer needed A1 or 57 sauce, extra ranch dressing, etc. and so forth. Most would have 2 beers and a grand total of $1.07 bill. Several servers kept getting 15 – 20 cent tips… (The steak dinner was normally $12.99).  

I still have a list of my classes. I took the most brutal German Literature class in my life as a special topics course. There were 3 of us in the class, so we met in the professors office and discussed the works of Georg Büchner. There is no hiding when you didn’t read everything between classes or if you couldn’t quite understand the German. I think I did double the work just to ensure I didn’t look like an idiot each week. I managed a C+ in the class and that was perfectly wonderful for me.

While I was studying Büchner in depth, I was also in a History of Japan course. The professor was an interesting sort. He would come in to the room and start talking. As he spoke, he would write notes on the board that didn’t quite relate to what he was saying. I’m still not sure how he did it. I’m not sure how I managed to keep up with notes between what he said and what he wrote. It was well before I had a laptop that could record the class for me and I didn’t have one of the dictation recorders. I don’t recall much of the course content now other than I wrote a paper using the book Bicycle Citizens.  It had to do with traditional roles for women in early modern Japan.

My favorite class in spring 2004 was a special topics course (the one I ensured was at the same time as steak dinner nights) entitled Democracy and Democratization. It centered on current trends and news in democracy around the world. I was the only female student of about 10 and we debated every week the merits of news articles, policies throughout the world, emerging democracies, etc. It was finally a real world perspective after taking so many theoretical courses that only touched on modern day implications of the great philosophers.

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