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Old 01-23-2018, 05:08 PM
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Katie Black Katie Black is offline
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What is your best childhood memory?

There are pivotal moments in life when you know with certainty that you are going to remember that moment with absolute clarity when you felt overwhelmed by the emotions, feelings, or spirit of the experience.

What is yours?
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Old 01-23-2018, 05:23 PM
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Re: What is your best childhood memory?

One good memory did wash up. My dad looking at my drawings and teaching me technical illustration.

I was about ten. He gave me a little fossil tooth about 1/4" tall on a pin stuck on a block, which I drew over and over in pencil until I had it exact from observation, then carefully inked with borrowed Rapidograph pen. Same process for a tiny jaw a little over an inch long likewise mounted on a block with a couple of pins. Then he wanted a reconstruction of the animal from life.

I asked how, what did it look like? He said "You draw rodents well. It's something like a cross between a gerbil and a kangaroo rat." So I drew one, a fat gerbil-ish rodent with a long tufted tail. Before this I'd drawn my pet white rat hundreds of times and had good fur technique, ways of getting the little paw joints and tiny claws looking right with minimal marks. I did all three drawings for him and inked all of them with his Rapidograph technical pens.

He gave me one. I wish I still had it. That was my first art sale. He used it in a science paper on a Cretaceous mammal and I did it well enough for use in actual science. He understood my interest in art much better than my mother or half my art teachers did. He had no mystique about learning to draw accurately, in his generation anyone interested in science had to learn to draw from observation.

So when you see scientists in documentaries, archaeologists and paleontologists' journals with beautifully rendered field journals full of legible readable notes and gorgeous lifelike drawings... that's actually true and most of those scientists can actually do them. Or used to be able to, for all I know today's scientists just snap phone photos and call it a day. But back then cameras and photography cost money while the time for a grad student to sketch something really didn't.

I think they must still do them because observing like that helps you understand what you're looking at.

Another fun memory from around the same age was grading college students' tests. I was meticulous and cared about fairness, double checking everything against the answer sheet. I had the answer sheet. But still, I wonder how many scientists are out there who'd flip if they knew their grades included tests graded by a ten year old.

I took the test blind out of curiosity, not having had the class. I got a B on it from years of listening to dad's interesting stories about geology and long discussions on it, so that was pretty cool too. At least it was a very bright ten year old familiar with the subject!

It's also funny to think that long-ago paper may still be in circulation if it's not obsolete and that people may still cite it, not realizing the illustrations were done by a kid.

In some ways that's still a lifetime achievement - doing real paleo art for a science purpose, a reconstruction of an animal from the age of dinosaurs. I still like paleo art and putter at it once in a while, still follow it but need more work to reach my own standards in it.
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Last edited by robertsloan2 : 01-23-2018 at 05:30 PM.
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Old 01-23-2018, 07:13 PM
ianuk ianuk is offline
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Re: What is your best childhood memory?

When I was a small boy, there was a hole in the road behind my house. Every night there sat a night watchman, making sure no cars or people fell into the hole. I used to watch him from my window. He would sit in front of an old oil drum occasionally poking the coals with a stick. The drum was filled with coke that glowed bright red and always looked so inviting. One evening I went out to talk to him and I sat near the fire, it was dark and warm and the old man was very nice.

I began going out there many evenings and he would tell me of Columbus, Marco Polo. Of Icarus and Pegasus, of Alexander and Bucephalus, Avicenna (Ibn Sina). Of Da Vinci and Michelangelo. I thought he was very wise, all knowing and kind.

He used to share his lunch with me at times and often brought extra biscuits or cake. He gave me the book Robinson Crusoe near my birthday and told me "It doesn't matter where we come from, it only matters where we go" then one day, he was gone.

I never saw him before or after those wonderful evenings. The last words he told me was, you're different Ian, but a good kind of different. It was the kindest anyone had ever been to me. It showed me that someone thought kindly thoughts about me and said nice things.
I had a stutter then. He was the only person I'd spoken to that never mentioned it, or even seemed to notice I had it.
He was perhaps, the nicest kindest person I ever met. Sometimes later when I would lay before sleep, I would repeat the words in my head "it doesn't matter where we come from, it only matters where we go".
I never even knew his name.
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Old 01-23-2018, 08:32 PM
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Re: What is your best childhood memory?

What a very nice story!
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Old 01-23-2018, 10:30 PM
Michaelshane Michaelshane is online now
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Re: What is your best childhood memory?

Ian,I love that story.
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Old 01-24-2018, 11:53 AM
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Re: What is your best childhood memory?

Rob and Ian, both great stories.

The only thing I can really think of that was an amazing childhood memory for me was when my parents bought me a new bike....

I never got anything new and to see this shiny blue bike parked outside just for me was like a miracle from God!
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Old 01-24-2018, 12:32 PM
ianuk ianuk is offline
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Re: What is your best childhood memory?

Thanks, Bill, Michael and Katie. You're very kind.
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Old 01-25-2018, 02:31 AM
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Re: What is your best childhood memory?

That is a wonderful story Ian.

My best memory from childhood goes back to, when I was about 4 or 5 and I remember being small enough to sit on top of my father's chest if he lay down on the living room floor and pretend he was a train and I was the driver, or he was a horse and I was the rider. Just really good memories from a long time ago.

When I had my own kids he would play with them in a similar way, although by then he was no longer limber enough to get down on the floor.
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Old 01-26-2018, 07:01 PM
Kevin M Kevin M is offline
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Re: What is your best childhood memory?

Crossing the river Blackwater in a pony and trap.
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Old 01-26-2018, 08:31 PM
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Re: What is your best childhood memory?

My best childhood memory is getting the hell out of childhood.
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Old 01-27-2018, 03:07 PM
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Re: What is your best childhood memory?

7 - 10 year old freedom - the unabashed freedom of being able to scarf down some cereal in the morning, bound out of the house to find the latest neighborhood adventure and not worry about anything beyond that - some kids mom would feed lunch/cookies to whomever happened to show up hungry - any houses exterior tap would water the masses - traffic was light and slow; trees, creeks, frogs and fields were plentiful - freedom was mine until the street lights starting coming on and i always made it home fully alive, filthy and grinning.

la
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Old 01-27-2018, 06:32 PM
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Re: What is your best childhood memory?

Quote:
Originally Posted by La_
7 - 10 year old freedom - the unabashed freedom of being able to scarf down some cereal in the morning, bound out of the house to find the latest neighborhood adventure and not worry about anything beyond that - some kids mom would feed lunch/cookies to whomever happened to show up hungry - any houses exterior tap would water the masses - traffic was light and slow; trees, creeks, frogs and fields were plentiful - freedom was mine until the street lights starting coming on and i always made it home fully alive, filthy and grinning.

la

I had this too, even growing up in the heart of Toronto. No fear.

This is something kids have lost in many places.
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Old 01-27-2018, 10:20 PM
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Re: What is your best childhood memory?

With that I agree for sure. The stuff me and my pals did when we were kids would give a lot of today's parents apoplexy. It's amazing that any of us survived climbing dangerous trees, bouncing on dangerous trampolines, swinging on dangerous swings, wending our way through dangerous jungle gyms, shooting each other with dangerous cap guns, and flattening pennies under the wheels of dangerous trains. Don't even get me started on all the dangerous things we did as adolescents.
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Old 01-28-2018, 04:18 AM
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Re: What is your best childhood memory?

'adventure scars', i wonder how many kids have that clip of a scar on an eyeball socket, cheekbone, chin or forehead.
and yeah, i'll plead the fifth on adolescents, but it too was tons of fun adventures worth surviving.

la
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Old 01-28-2018, 09:52 AM
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Re: What is your best childhood memory?

Elbows in my case, having gone over the handlebars of my bike and landed on them at the bottom of a steep hill, naturally at the fastest speed I could muster. I very rarely see kids on bikes around here.

The school buses here stop at every driveway, even if the driveways are only separated by a hundred feet. Apparently it's too dangerous to drop the kids off a quarter mile from home, as the bus did when I was a kid.
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