Memories of Childhood’s Toys and the Changing Times

Before I go into sharing my memories, I must put things into perspective. And that’s because I grew up in the 1990’s in Tunisia which can be extremely different if, let’s say, 1990’s in the US.

In the 1990’s, Computers were rare in Tunisia. Internet obviously hasn’t graced us yet (only in the late 1990’s). You can only almost see computers in municipalities, post offices and government buildings. On top of that, I live in a small town with little to no access to technologies. So the point is even if I belong to the generation that witnessed the analog-digital transition period as known to the developed countries, I in fact experienced an almost 100% digital-free period.    Continue reading

3rd Grade Notebook

This post is for the Weekly Discover Challenge: Transcript. By the time I finished writing I knew this post was meant for myself.

The idea really interested me but also reminded me of my uninteresting life!

Just a note though, I sure hope that people are still using pen and paper and will always do so and we’ll always need to transcribe what we write. I admit I’m a heavy-user of gadgets but when it comes to writing poetry, among other things, I enjoy my pen and notebooks. This might sound a bit strange but I have a habit of scribbling whatever when I’m feeling down. It actually makes me feel better. If I try that on a tablet, it wouldn’t work. I need to feel the pen making its way through the ridges and texture of the paper. That very slight resistance I get while writing is very important to me as opposed to the silent and smooth finger-swipes and taps.

Moving on…

I don’t have meaningful subjects that might be interesting to you readers but what I can do is share old personal belongings coupled with personal rantings. get ready!

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This is a school calendar with my picture on it from 1994, faithfully scanned and uploaded (I would have liked to erase that “7Nov.” aside the country map as it represents Tunisia’s pre-revolution tyrant regime especially since yesterday was the Tunisian Revolution’s 6th anniversay but it is not the point of the post so whatever.) My school used to make these for each of its students every year.

I still have one of my third grade notebooks which I scanned earlier today. It was my father who kept it along with my sisters’.

For me, seeing it again and remembering my early years wasn’t as warmly nostalgic as one would think. As a student, I wasn’t exceptional, not even a good student. I was average. I wasn’t dumb; I was (and still am) smart. When I put my mind to it, I measured up to the top students. However, at the time I was mostly irresponsible and foolish. All I cared about was finish school as soon as possible so I could play around. (some would say that qualifies as being dumb.)

Looking at the notebook, I now regret many things like not being more open to and engaged in sciences as opposed to giving my absolute all to literature and humanities. It’s not that I would change my choice although I am fairly certain that my life would have been different if I also fed my left brain. (however, I’ll always love the language of words more than the language of numbers!).

As a person, I regret that I was a bit lost. I went on to middle school and still without a hint of a purpose, still foolish. Hell, even now it still feels that way sometimes. the difference is: now I’m aware and I can act but back then I was foolishly unaware. So eventually, that carried on to a series of failures in high school. Now you’re probably thinking this guy’s a loser! Well I turned out fine after high school. got an English license from college then right to the unemployment pool! And with that, I mark the end of the negatively-charged reminiscing rambling. I apologize for it but this is a personal blog so…

Here comes the first page of the “class notebook” (literal translation from arabic). It’s a notebook we only use in school. It should be neat, no drafts and  scribbles.

swscan00064-copy If I remember correctly, that’s my big sister’s handwriting. Mine, being the chicken scratch that it is, will be on the rest of the notebook along with the teacher’s grades in the margins.

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First, we write the date. second, we state the subject, in this case: math. then finally, the task.

The (un)written rule in our schools is the student writes with a blue pen, the teacher grades the student with red then the student writes the correction with green. Of course, back then, we only had 4 accessible pen colors: the previously mentioned 3 +black. Only the students that afford to buy imported pens or students that have relatives who live overseas in europe have more variety of colors such as pink, light blue, and purple as well as cool pens! And we, the student plebs, keep borrowing from them to make our notebooks look as colorful as theirs. Obviously, I didn’t in this notebook but I do remember that I did in other ones.

The grading system starts with Zero being the lowest and ends at 10 being the highest score. You can see in only these two pages that I hit most of the milestones already!

I picked another page to match today’s date: January, 15th.

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So on 1996, January 15th falls on a Monday. good to know! Too bad I didn’t do good in geography though.

So that was it for this post. the next transcript one might not be inspired by tangible things but from memory. Well, it depends on how post-worthy it is.