It's A Nomad's Life for Me!
Where Will I Be Today?
Nomad: a member of a group of people who have no fixed home and move according to the seasons from place to place in search of food, water and grazing land.
That's me-except for the grazing land part.
I have lived in Iowa, Missouri, Alabama three times, New Jersey two times, Minnesota, Florida three times, North Carolina, Texas, Arizona, and now Georgia.
My father's job kept us moving because he was a senior systems analyst and whenever there was a new system put in anywhere, we picked up stakes and moved. We did this every two to three years depending upon how long it took the "bugs" to be worked out. This was back when computers still took up the space of a small museum. Nowadays, the problem can usually be solved by the end of the month.
I really enjoyed this lifestyle because of all of the interesting things we learned and all the different type of people we met and soon called our friends.
I learned that, as a small child, even your accent can be a joy or a pain. I remember once I was in school in Alabama when I was in 3rd grade. We had a spelling bee contest and my word had the letter W in it. I had lived in MO before moving to Alabama and they have a Midwestern accent, enunciating the letter W to sound like double U. Not so in AL. It was pronounced "doublu". I spelled the word which ironically was "word" "Double u,o,r,d". My teacher had me repeat the spelling and I said the same thing again. She dismissed me and told me it was wrong amongst the snickers of the class. Well, not to accept defeat when I know I'm right, I got out my reader and looked at the word and I had spelled it correctly. I took the reader up to the teacher and told her that I was right, pointing out and saying each letter. She did apologize and told me that, in the South, W is pronounced "doublu". So now I am learning that it makes a difference with dialect.
Another lesson I learned was that there are different cultures in different parts of the country. We moved from AL to NJ at the middle of my 7th grade. We are taught in the South, that if you are addressing an adult, you are to reply with either Sir or Ma'am at the end. I was sitting in class one day and the teacher asked me a question and I replied with "no Ma'am" . She became irate and thought I was mocking her because no one in my class did that. I explained to her that, in the South, it was a sign of respect, not disrespect.
Then we moved back to AL and when I started school in the middle of my 10th grade class, I learned about racism. We were brought up, not to look upon anyone different just because they weren't the same color as us. The mini series "Roots" was becoming popular and tensions were starting. I happened to be friends with a young black man. That's all we were-friends. He and I happened to be walking down the stairs together one day in school. His friends asked him "What are you doing with that honky?" and my friends asked me, "What are you doing with that(racial slur)?" We just looked at each other and replied that we were friends. Both whites and blacks were against us. I didn't and I still don't understand why there have to be differences between people just because they are different.
At this school, my homeroom was in the library. I walked in on my first day, which happened to be in the middle of the semester. Everyone had already made friends with each other and it was obvious that I was the "new kid". Our school only had 375 students-total. My graduating class only had 72 people so you could definitely spot the "newbies". I noticed that there were 5 tables. The first two and the last two were filled with students. The middle table was empty so I went and sat there. I looked around and determined that the blacks were sitting on the last two tables, and the first two were white. No one came to me for a while until one girl came over and introduced herself to me and asked if I wanted to come sit with them. I was grateful this and so I joined them. I also learned that there were cliques-one table was where the "geeks" sat and the other was where the "stoners" sat. The girl that invited me was part of the "stoners" group. I never did partake of that lifestyle but they were my buddies. So now I've learned that there are also cliques.
I had begged my father not to transfer me anymore when I hit high school and he kept that promise-to me. Unfortunately, we moved to FL the summer after I graduated high school. My sister, unfortunately, had to begin and complete her senior year in this new school. However, it was a blessing. She attended a Christian school and since she had no older sister to follow her reputation, she blossomed. There were only 13 students in her graduating class. My sister ended up being the valedictorian, class president, head cheerleader, and pretty decent basketball player.
To be continued...