Prompt 7: What is the longest thing you know by heart (for example, a prayer, speech, commercial jingle, etc.)? Why did you learn it?
I attended a very conservative Baptist Christain school from grades kindergarten through third grade. My parents worked full time, and we were living in an area where the public schools didn’t offer before or after school care. This Christain school did. So that’s where I went to school.
At the time the school required all girls to wear dresses or skirts. No pants. In this suburb of Chicago. Where it is freezing cold seven months out of the year. So I wore a skirt or a dress everyday and also learned to recite many a Bible verses. None of which I remember.
But I do remember – and can recite – all the books of the Old Testament – in order.
As part of my third grade education, I was required to learn all of the books of the Old Testament in order and be able to recite and spell them. While those Bible verses never managed to stick around longer than exam day, those books of the Old Testament are firmly lodged in my brain.
I can still recite all the books of the Old Testament in order. And whenever I think of the Old Testament I think about my Baptist school and the skirt or dress rule and how, looking back, I find some of their educational methods a bit…strange…and their disciplinary methods more so (think: paddle closet).
How is it that I can remember all the books of the Old Testament and forget my grocery list and wallet? Do you ever wish you could selectively purge portions of your memory? I do. And I’d start with knowing all the books of the Old Testament. Maybe it has something to do with the astounding number of talking tallys I racked up at that school or how I’d worry some boy would look up my skirt at recess.