The 5-Second Trick For An American Childhood Annie Dillard Essay

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During the summer of 2005 I had the opportunity to participate in the Pee Dee Summer Institute sponsored by the South Carolina Archives. The purpose of this institute was to familiarize educators of the importance of South Carolina history in the Pee Dee area.

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I'm not sure whether my hatred of doing dishes spilled over onto the multiplication tables or vice versa, but I'm still not particularly fond of either.

Although there were times when I would have gladly traded my proficiency in reading and writing for a little skill at something that really mattered to my contemporaries such as running races or catching fly balls, I had few problems in the small country schools I attended until the end of sixth grade.

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Like so many other families, we lived constantly under that sword of Damocles called the "pink slip." My sisters and I, as well as many of our friends, knew about the slip of pink paper which might at any time be included in our father's pay envelope, and we knew that the result would be the disgrace of "relief lines" and perhaps actual hunger.

So we lived in the country where he had room for a garden and as many animals as possible.


Listen to a narrated version of this essay:


He wallows down where the mud is deep,
And shuts his eyes and goes to sleep.

My memories of my first five years of school are pleasant ones.

I seemed to have been born reading.

At Yale, and no doubt at other places, the message is reinforced in embarrassingly literal terms. The physical form of the university—its quads and residential colleges, with their Gothic stone façades and wrought-iron portals—is constituted by the locked gate set into the encircling wall. Everyone carries around an ID card that determines which gates they can enter. The gate, in other words, is a kind of governing metaphor—because the social form of the university, as is true of every elite school, is constituted the same way. Elite colleges are walled domains guarded by locked gates, with admission granted only to the elect. The aptitude with which students absorb this lesson is demonstrated by the avidity with which they erect still more gates within those gates, special realms of ever-greater exclusivity—at Yale, the famous secret societies, or as they should probably be called, the open-secret societies, since true secrecy would defeat their purpose. There’s no point in excluding people unless they know they’ve been excluded.

First of all, she read to us--a lot.

I have been able to use the knowledge of artifact discovery to make this a rewarding and exciting experience for my children. We have taken sweet grass baskets, and various pieces of pottery brought in by students, to do an artifact search and decide where it came from and why it was used. The children are now more excited about artifacts and the word is not just something needed to know for the PACT, but it is something they can use when discovering new and exciting information.

Chrissie said: I adored this book from start to finish.

I could memorize a poem in a flash, but the result of multiplying seven times eight eluded me for months, until my mother printed this slippery bit of information on a card and pinned it to the wall in front of the kitchen sink where I was forced to stare at it every evening while doing the dishes.