T(r)icks of the Mind

Wow, senior year is going to be great! Today was the first day of school, and I love my classes. I really like English and history, but the chemistry teacher is awfully cute.

I think I’m going to like German III the best, though. I would love to be able to visit Germany to practice all I’ve learned in the past three years, but this wouldn’t be a good time, not with the war just ending and all. Maybe I could do a semester abroad when I’m in college. I can’t believe it! I’m almost a college student. Well, I will be in a year, at least.

Imagine! 1945, and me- I mean, I- a girl- getting ready to go to college! That sure didn’t happen in my mom’s generation.

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Who was I trying to kid, thinking I could go to college? I mean, I knew we didn’t have much money. I should have been more realistic. When Mom and Dad told me this morning- only a week after my senior year had started, - I triend not to act devastated. They just didn’t have the heart to tell me sooner; I know that. I told them it was ok.

I just left my guidance counselor’s office. He was very sympathetic and said that with my “excellent academic record” I’d have no trouble getting a secretarial job. Maybe I can be a secretary in Germany... for a chemist or something. I’ve always been at the top of my English class. I guess that shoud look good on my resume at least they’ll know I can spell. Typing might be a problem, though. Maybe I can take a summer typing course.

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Graduation. I always thought I’d be so excited. Now I just want to ge it over with. What good is graduating with straight A's? At least the guidance counselor helped me get a scholarship to business school. I wish I had thought about scholarships sooner. Maybe I could’ve gotten one to a state college or something, except they don’t give too many scholarships to girls. I guess I could have done nursing school somehow, but I’m too sqmeamish. Oh well. Time to start walking up there to get my diploma.

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This place isn’t so bad. I’d rather be taking Advanced German and Literature 101, but at least I feel like I’m learing something new. I’ve become pretty good at typing, I must say.Mr. Ryan, the instructor, said I’d scored the higest on the last three tests. Business Writing is a bit tricky, though; it’s not at all like the creative writing course I took in high school. I have to remember to keep any opinions and figurative language to myself.

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The year went by much more quickly than I thought it would. I had no trouble getting a job, either. I guess taking business school seriously was a wise decision; I graduated at the top of my class. My parents were so proud. I’d rather have studied to be a teacher, but if I have to be a secretary, I guess Universal Fashion is a good place to work. At least I get to read the articles, although it’s tough not to correct all the errors. That’s not my job.

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I just bumped into Will Mather, who sat next to me in German II. I always thought he was such a nice guy. We used to have fun making up silly sentences with some of the German vocab. words. He’s in his junior year at the University. He said he’d like me to see his fraternity some time. He’ll probably never call.

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Oh my gosh, we had such a great time! It seems that Will and I have so much more in common than just knowing German. He’s studying architectural design; he actually showed me some of the stuff he’s done for his classes. It turns out that he likes to ice skate as much as I do, too, and he’s also a movie buff. We’re going to see a double feature at the Cinema this weekend.

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I’m engaged! I can’t believe it. I am so lucky. Not only is Will smart and good-looking; he’s also a real gentlemen. I’m so happy, I want to shout it to the world. A winter wedding willbe perfect. Will should be settled into his new job at Madison and Loeb Architectural Firm by then. I have so much to do!

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This apartment is so cute, but I’m not sure if it will hold three of us. Yes, I’m expecting! We’ve been discussing names . The leaders so far are Katherine Elizabeth if it’s a girl and Martin Joseph if it’s a boy. (The only problem with that one is it makes me think of that snooty Marty Mancino in my 10th grade history class.) With both of us working, we’ve been able to save a bit these last three years.... and with Will’s promotion to Project Manager, we might be able to afford a little house. My last day of work is next Friday. Of course, ervyone says that’s when the real “work” begins. I can’t wait!

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Twenty years! I can’t believe we’ve lived in this house for twenty years. It seems ike just yesterday that we moved into the cute little rancher we had until Jamie was born. It was finewhen it was just us and Kathy, but when Jamie (and, of course, Snoodles the dog) arrived,we had to “upsize.” I love it here, especially the big yard. Let’s see.... what can I plant this year?

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When Will first asked me to fly with him to France for a second honeymoon after his meeting at his firm’s Paris office, I was reluctant. I mean, I’m okay on all those domestic flights we take, but Europe? Then I thought about it, and here we are! It’s amazing. It has all been so amazing.... well, most of it. Just think! Fifty years with the same guy. And we’re still speaking! If anyone had told me....

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The attractive, middle-aged woman entered the Middleton Nursing Home with a feeling of helplessness mixed with a shred of hope.


”Oh, hi, Mrs. Dodson. Your mom’s been pretty calm today.”

Kathy Dodson moved towards the woman who looked like the future version of herself. “Hi, Mom,” she said with her voice raised just a bit . “It’s me, Kathy. “ When there was no response, she continued. “It’s really a beautiful day. Cold but crisp and sunny....reminds me of the day we went to that Christmas tree farm and the pet goat chased Dad around the field.” He mother continued to stare out the window.

The nurse shook her head. “She’s been like this all day. At least she’s not agitated.”

“I guess,” Kathy replied. “It’s just so sad....I’m not even sure she knows who I am anymore. You have to wonder what she’s thinking. If she’s able to think at all ....”

At that moment, the older women turned slightly, shook her head, and smiled. “But it’s Paris, Matt. Paris! Of course it’s magic!”


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Comments 4 comments

gmwilliams profile image

gmwilliams 5 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

Great piece! However, how sad and poignant that many smart women in those days were not encouraged to attend college and pursue their dreams. Thank God, for women's liberation which enabled us smart women to pursue our wildest dreams and NEVER to settle!


PatriciaTL profile image

PatriciaTL 5 years ago from Lehigh Valley Author

Amen to that! Have you read Gal Collins's book, WHEN EVERYTHING CHANGED? It really gives a thorough look at the changing roles of women.


MehreenM profile image

MehreenM 5 years ago from Pakistan

It was a kaleidoscope...a beautiful and vivid one! Poignant patterns of memories and sweet impressions of emotions arranged in a fond series. JUST BRILLIANT!


PatriciaTL profile image

PatriciaTL 5 years ago from Lehigh Valley Author

Thank-you so much for your kind comments, MehreenM. This one was inspired by someone very close to me.

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