Last weekend my 6th grade grandson was working on writing a paper on the Manhattan Project. There was apparently some sturm und drang in the house.
That reminded me of the time I wrote my first research paper ever in sixth grade. It was on Norway. Why Norway? you ask. Because SONJA HEINIE was from Norway and she was THE BEST ICE SKATER IN THE WORLD!!! I must have seen her skating in the Olympics on our small black-and-white television and been entranced.
This of course was before the internet was even thought of, so I had to write off to various places...travel agencies? Norway itself? I don't remember but I had all I needed to write the definitive paper on the subject. And so I did.
Now came the hard part---typing it up. I eventually became a fairly fast and accurate typist, but I doubt that I was fast and accurate in sixth grade, but on I typed. Mistakes? Erase if i could, re-type the page if I couldn't. The paper had to have correct footnotes and a bibliography. I could type the text ok, but what if I typed one line too many and now needed yet another footnote ON THAT PAGE and there was no room for the extra footnote? Gah...
I called out for help. I don't remember getting all that anxious and frazzled about this task because....SONJA HEINIE!!! but I do remember my mother getting all anxious and frazzled. She had no fun, that I can tell you.
I'm sure the paper was pretty boring---how big is Norway? What's the population? What crops do they produce? What form of government do they have? What famous people are from Norway? SONJA HEINIE!!!
Did I get a good grade? I don't remember, but for my mother's sake, I sure hope that I did.
And for my daughter and son-in-law's sake, I hope that my grandson gets a good grade on his paper.