Flashback Friday: Extracurriculars

Mocha With Linda hosts a weekly meme called Flashback Friday. She’ll post a question every Thursday, and then Friday we can link our answers up on her site. You can visit her site for more Flashbacks.

The question for this week is:

What type of extra-curricular school activities did you participate in during your school days? Clubs? Spelling bees or other contests? Cheerleader or drill team? Sports? Journalism? Choir or theater? Were there any memorable events related to those? Did you receive any awards? Were football games a big deal at your school? Did you usually attend – and was it with a group or as a date? What was Homecoming like?

My first thought was that I didn’t participate in many extra-curricular activities, but after thinking about it, I realized I did have a few.

In my childhood, it was unheard of for kids to have so many things going on with music lessons and sports all the time, etc. It’s hard as a parent to know where the balance should be between giving them opportunities to grow, develop, and learn and not running everybody ragged. I think there needs to be some carefree downtime for just playing in a child’s life, for lying in the grass looking up at the clouds and imagining what the shapes are.

But back to the question:

Money was scarce when I was growing up, and that may have had a lot to do with the lack of extra-curricular activities. I do remember someone coming to our school in an assembly to talk about violin lessons, and I so wanted to take them, but I just assumed we wouldn’t have the money for such, so I didn’t even bring it up to my parents. That’s been one of the regrets of my life. I took one semester of piano in college and enjoyed it, but concluded I just didn’t have time for it — it took me five years to complete a four-year course as it was. I thought about taking some kind of music lessons as an adult, because there are times I’d just love to express myself in that way, but the amount of time it would take to get to that level, to be able to play well without getting frustrated, is more than I want to spend right now — I have other, higher interests. So I just listen to great music. 🙂

I was not athletically inclined at all, and P. E. was always my valley of humiliation, so I never took part in any outside sports, though that may have actually helped me if I had. But, except for Little League baseball and swimming lessons, I don’t remember ever even hearing about extracurricular sports for kids at all.

I was in a couple of spelling bees in elementary school and won for my class and got up to the level where the winners from each grade participated in a spelling bee in front of the whole school, but I bombed out both times. One year I lost on the word “chocolate,” of all things. Maybe that is why I am so obsessed with it now. 🙂

The biggest thing in my elementary years was Girl Scouts. My mother’s father was very big into the Boy Scouts organization — I don’t remember at what level of leadership, but I do remember attending some kind of big jubilee or something like that that they had several years. So his participation may have influenced my parents towards Scouts. I don’t remember much about it except my first camping experiences and making a poncho with pom-pom fringe for the sewing badge — one of our leaders invited a bunch of us over to use her sewing machine, and we all watched Gilligan’s Island, I think, while taking turns with the sewing machine. I remember really enjoying Scouts as a whole.

The elementary school I attended let kids do book reports outside of class requirements and gave out awards at the end of the year assembly for them — I can’t remember if the awards were for those who did the most, or if increments of ten won certain ribbons or certificates (i.e., you read 10, you got one award, a different one of you read 20, etc.). But I do remember getting some kind of award for that several years in a row.

I mentioned in an earlier Flashback that my family did not attend church regularly, but I do remember being in one church play. I was in a group of girls who were supposed to represent women mourning — I don’t remember which Bible story we were reenacting. But I do remember a group of us with what you think of as the Biblical….scarves, or whatever you call them, over our heads, and then we were holding up more fabric over our faces, like veils, but not covering our eyes, so we could see. We were supposed to walk in like that and making sounds like moaning or loud crying. But I couldn’t stop laughing. It was a good thing we had something to cover up our faces! Other people might have seen me with a red face and thought I was doing a good job, but my mom knew I was laughing just by looking at me as I passed by.

The Baptist Church of a friend of mine had some kind of program for girls — I don’t remember much about it except that the different levels you reached were marked by different members of royalty, with the highest being princess. I remember feeling sad that our attendance was so sporadic that I’d never make those top levels, but otherwise I enjoyed it.

I attended a pretty big high school for 9th and 10th grades, and I don’t remember participating in much there. But I went to a small Christian school in 11th and 12th grades, and there got involved with yearbook, student council, and I don’t remember what all else. I was in choir, but everyone was — it was a class and not really an “extra.” But I liked it. I tried out for cheerleader once (insert hysterically laughing smiley). I attended the occasional football game at the big school, but my best friend was in the band, so I didn’t really have anyone to go with. I don’t remember what sports the small high school had. I don’t think we had a Homecoming there.

In college I was in some kind of “Future Teacher’s” club, a club for the Home Ec Association, and a fledgling writing club that was just starting up my last year. My university always did a couple of Shakespearean plays during the year, and I sometimes wished I had tried out as an extra in one of those, but there just never seemed to be time. As I mentioned, it took me five years to get through just with classes and work — I don’t know how some people were able to do everything they did!

6 thoughts on “Flashback Friday: Extracurriculars

  1. I sometimes wish I’d taken piano lessons as a child. My mom wanted me to, but I refused at the time. My husband took lessons, which makes me wish I had even more…Like you, I just listen to good music!

  2. I had ZERO extracurricular activities. In junior high and high school I babysat every day after school though — so I always had money! But I don’t have any MEMORIES! Not of sports or music or arts of any kind anyway. I did attend after school basketball games in Jr. High… No church stuff either. Only CCD classes.

  3. I have a lot of the same feelings as you about music. Everyone in my family took piano lessons as children–except me. I was interested in other things (and I didn’t want to be copying my older sister.) Now I wish I’d taken advantage of those lessons when they were offered. When I have access to a piano, I’m working my way through some children’s books and teaching myself–but it’s slow going and I rarely have time or access to really practice.

I love hearing from you. I've had to turn on comment moderation. Comments will appear here after I see and approve them.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.