Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Mom Meme

I've been tagged to take part in a meme by Jan, Milo and Alfie's wonderful mom. I love reading about Milo and Alfie's great adventures (and they are beautiful kitties) and Jan's answers to this meme are so interesting that when she tagged to me to join this meme, i couldn't resist.

The rules are simple: Either 1) post 7 facts about yourself AND photos OR 2) post 10 facts about yourself with no photos, OR 3) post a childhood picture of yourself.

First, the picture:

This was my freshman year in college 1) at Oberlin College. (Can you see the teddy bear on the bed? He's the same one i posted about in November!

2) This was my first cat. Her name was Franki. Actually, i think it was "Franki Farren Puppy" or something like that...she wasn't really my cat...she supposedly was my roommate Patty's cat, but i "somehow" became her main person. She was one of the kittens born outside in the cold Ohio winter to a college cat who was probably abandoned once her owners discovered she was pregnant. We weren't supposed to have cats in the dorm but i'm so glad that we took Franki in. She was a great kitten! At the end of the school year, i wasn't allowed to bring her home and Patty wasn't allowed to bring her home, so my boyfriend (at left in picture) took her home. He wasn't allowed to keep her past the summer, she went to live with his cousins on Cape Cod and i think (fervently hope) that she had a very happy life as a companion to their black Lab who totally adored her from the first day.

3) On the bed is an afghan that i crocheted during one of my classes (education testing and measurement, i think). I learned how to crochet from a book. Then i had one of the girls in my dorm teach my how to knit because i wanted a ski cap with ribbing, and couldn't figure out how to do it from a book *g*. It turns out the style she taught me was "Russian," so i've always had to adapt directions to get the right gauge.

4) I was an archaeology major and went on a dig in New Jersey the summer before i started college (we camped out in tents all summer on the banks of the Delaware River; we excavated one of the first known Native American house sites in New Jersey) and in North Carolina the summer before my senior year in college (we lived in some cabins near the old dairy farm on the grounds of the John C Campbell Folk School; in cooperation with the Eastern Cherokee tribe, we excavated a contact period Cherokee village).

5) I discovered a newborn calf while taking a walk looking for wild blackberries on one of my days off on the dig. Its mother had left it safely curled up in the tall grass, just like does do with their fawns. A few days later, i helped a calf get born...the cow was having trouble pushing out the calf so the farmer attached chains to the calf's feet. As the cow pushed, we gently pulled...and soon *pop* out came the calf.

6) My advisor at Oberlin suggested that i really should consider majoring in social-cultural anthropology instead, because i didn't have the hard science background archaeologists need to succeed these days. He left Oberlin for another school and there were no anthropologists left there. I really wanted to drop out of college...Oberlin was starting to feel way too small (it's in the middle of Ohio farm country and in the interests of fostering community, no one was allowed to have a car on campus, so there was no way to leave other than getting on my bicycle and pedalling to nowhere a few miles out of town), the Vietnam war was on, and i questioned what possible good i could do for the world. My parents were extremely unhappy that i wanted to drop out of school, so we reached a compromise...i transferred to another college.

7) I transferred to the University of Pennsylvania, a school about 7 times larger than Oberlin, in the middle of urban Philadelphia. Of course i missed Oberlin-type people! But academically it was a very good decision.

whew...that's enough about me and my ancient past! I hesitate to tag anyone in case you're too busy...but would love to have my regular commenters (and any visitors, too) do this meme, too!


  1. I have been tagged ans plan to post tomorrow. I have been looking for child hood pictures cause I don't like putting too much personal data up.

  2. Thanks so much for posting ~ that was a fascinating read. I guess it's human nature to be curious about the moms behind the cats.

  3. I really enjoyed learning more about you - and that is a great photo! Are you still an anthropologist? I only took one anthro class in college but I loved it - I know some soil scientists who do archeology work but I have never done it.

    Incidentally, we once went for a ride in the country when we lived in Cleveland and I was so surprised that Oberlin, which I'd always heard about, was out in the middle of nowhere. I'm sure it was even more isolated back then.

  4. How exciting! Did you stay with archaeology, switch to anthropology or something else?

  5. Wow - that was interesting! I love to learn more about kitty Moms!

  6. P.S. Thanks very much for your kind words about Franklin! FYI, Beth did say that heartworm could cause the coughing, but after the chest X-ray, she didn't see anything that would indicate that. However, she's aware of the possibility. But she also said there hasn't been a case of feline heartworm diagnosed in our area yet (and she has looked, because of course all the vets here have been asked to report it.)

    Also, I keep forgetting to tell you that I have a $3 .pdf coupon for WBCL if you want it. My e-mail is katmish [at]

    Thanks again!

  7. Katie and Whitey's mom, i did switch from archaeology to social-cultural anthropology, went to grad school in anthropology and got all but my dissertation done for my Ph.D., and after many twists of fate over 10 years(minimum wage at a bookstore; secretarial school; remaking my secretarial job into an editor position; being loaned to the Postal Service and ending up getting a job as technical writer and editor there), i worked in the historian's office of the Postal Service for 14 years. Now i'm back to technical writing and editing!

  8. That was very interesting! Mom is just about getting ready to finish her studies and is a little bit afraid of what the future holds. What can happen with us by her side, we say... ; ) It must have been such an important decision to switch careers and college, very brave!
    Purrs, Siena & Chilli

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  10. I deleted the post because I absent-mindedly referred to someone by their first and last name, which I didn't mean to do. I'm reposting with just her first name:

    And wouldn't this be a small world: one of my high school buddies (I grew up on Cape Cod) went to school at Oberlin. She was hs class of 73, so it looks possible you were there around the same time (Lord, I remember both of those posters on the wall). Her name was Louise and she was a music major--lots of music majors there at Oberlin. She wound up transferring to Smith, I think, and eventually married my high school boyfriend. And what of the BF in that picture of yours? Thanks for the look back in time.

  11. Hi Glenna. Yes, there were lots of music majors at Oberlin! Several of my suite mates were musicians, and the BF was a musician as well as a math major. He dropped out of Oberlin, went to Berklee School of Jazz, disappeared, reappeared, lived with me my first year of grad school, disappeared again after marrying someone else! I don't think i knew Louise...i graduated from h.s. in '70 so i was a few years ahead of her.

    But it is a very small world...was there for my 30th reunion and met a quilting friend from upstate NY...she saw my car (with distinctive quilter license plate) and knew i was there before we ran into each other. Turns out her husband was in the same year as me!

  12. Siena and Chilli, you are absolutely right...with you at your Mom's side, she has nothing to worry about! I kind of stumbled out into the world, never finished my dissertation, didn't get to go into teaching...and have now been gainfully employed by the post office for 20 years! It all works out...