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Knit one, purl one, puff one

Posted by Lois Lowry
Lois Lowry
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on Thursday, 01 December 2011 in Uncategorized

Recently I had a note from the daughter of an old friend. Her mother had been my college roommate and a bridesmaid at my wedding a zillion years ago but we had not been in touch for a long time. Her daughter wrote to tell me of her death. Sadly, I have reached the age where I get this kind of note too often.

At any rate, her daughter said that her father...who had also been a college classmate of mine...recalled that I never took notes in class.  My hands, instead, were busy with knitting.

Arrrggghh. Busted. He was accurate. I was a good student and seemed to get all the information I needed from reading and listening rather than note-taking. And it is true that in those days, most of the females in any given classroom were busy with knitting. Why? To please our boyfriends....if indeed they were pleased with all those homemade argyle socks.

Yup, that's what we were all making, with our dangling bobbins, while the professor lectured, and now and then someone would drop a metal needle on the floor with a distinctive clinking sound.

And, since this is True Confession time, I will reveal that we were also doing something else in class...smoking.  They actually distributed free packets of cigarettes in the dorms, so we all became addicted (my doctor, incidentally, who attended the same college---Brown University---but much later, was astonished to hear about the great cigarette giveaway of the 1950's). In the classrooms, many of the desk-tops (you know, those kind of chairs with an attached desk top) had a small tin ashtray for our convenience.  Often the professor also smoked while he lectured. (Back in 1979, when I wrote ANASTASIA KRUPNIK, her father, a Harvard English professor, smoked his pipe in the classroom)

 

 

The other thing we all did---in addition to knitting and smoking---was play bridge. Not in class, though.

Somehow we must also have studied---I was always on the dean's list---but I don't remember when, really.

I still knit. (No argyles, though). I don't smoke. I think I'd still enjoy bridge but I haven't played for ages.

But I was astonished to hear that someone remembered that about me (She didn't take notes. She knit)----it was fifty six years ago.

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Katia Li
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Katia Li Thursday, 01 December 2011

Hi, i'm currently in 8th grade and i just finished "The Giver," and as an 8th grader, i am required to write an essay on the book. I was hoping you would advise me as I start to write the extended body paragraph. I am writing my essay on the theme of control using symbolism. In my essay, I need three symbols to support me; I have chosen the speakers, pill/genes, and the traditions. Since you are the author and expert when it comes to "The Giver," I would like to ask you for help. How do the speakers, pills/genetics, and traditions control the community? I have the basic idea down, but I wish to get deeper and more meaningful into the analysis of my evidence to prove my thesis. Thank you for listening to me and please advise me. :D

Lois Lowry
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Lois Lowry Friday, 02 December 2011

Katia: This is the kind of email you should send by clicking on "Email Me" on the right hand side of my website home page. It should not be a comment to the blog.
But I will warn you also, that I don't :( give the kind of answer you are looking for. Your assignment wants YOU to do the thinking. You won't learn anything if I do the thinking for you. Sorry!

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