As a parent I find myself doing things which have an echo from my childhood. The things my parents did, decisions they took etc.
Just over the past few days I’ve had a few instances come up which have made me hark back to my (extreme) youth, am still youthful by someone’s yardstick so I won’t say when I was a child.
I don’t remember which grade I was in but it was possibly the same as TO, 6th grade, when we had to study the Roman civilisation and back then computers were mainly used to reference the library catalogues instead of having a whole digital library’s words at our fingertips. At least for the grade school students.
I remember not having enough information to choose from while writing my paper and the books at the library in my school were all checked out by my classmates.
The Encyclopaedia that my father had loving bought for our home had a LOT of information but it was still a bit too much, all crammed into one place for me to pick and choose the right bit that I needed for my paper.
With my father (and by me, many a times) to think is to act. He saw I was getting stuck and he didn’t remember enough about the Roman Empire form his own school days to be able to help so he did the next best thing- he ran down to the neighbourhood Barnes and Nobles and got me a paperback which are nicely illustrated for kids and it had so much useful information culled out just for kids.
I got to know about aqueducts, Roman city states and the simple language of the book helped me pick and choose the right kind of information for the assignment. And getting access to the right information at the right time helps in forming long term memories with useable information even now.
Fastforward another 30+ (ahem ahem) years and the information is still largely available in my mental database…the city states, the Roman roads which led to the coinage of “all roads lead to Rome” and of course the Roman orgies! Beautifully detailed and portrayed by Albert Uderzo and Rene Goscinny in the timeless Asterix series, everything was another look into Roman civilization; albeit cheekily at times.
So when I heard the familiar words from TO’s Humanities teacher over the speaker, it was a very familiar trip down memory lane…over Roman roads one could say…