This weeks topic we had to write about comes as a question to help us understand our reading of chapter two in our text, Thought and Knowledge by Diane F Halpern.
Our instructors question was, “Document something you remember that happened to you during your childhood. Then, compare your memory with that of a parent or sibling that was there at the time of the memory. See if you can apply some of the principles you learned in this Unit to your account of the memory.”

Here is my response:

Although there were many memories growing up, as I spoke with my mother this morning, we recalled some of the fun memories, some real funny memories, and some more horrific memories from my childhood that I would rather not recall. Then there are those that I cannot recall all together, such as a glass door falling on me and having to be rushed to the ER to have my foot stitched up. I will save that one for another time though.

Most of my memories all came together around the same time frame, the second half of fourth grade. We had moved from across town and my brother and I were placed in a new school. There are several memories that I remember from that year. My fourth grade teacher, Mr. Barnes, was the first successful teacher to teach me multiplication and division. The kids on the school yard use to call me Flash Gordon because I was a very fast runner.

At home, there were several memories of that same six month time frame; getting chicken pox for my tenth birthday, (as a slightly delayed and easily fascinated child) sprinkling water on a hot light bulb to see what would happen (POP), having our house broken into, loosing a few pets to passing cars, having a mental health counselor that was not beneficial to my mental health, hitch hiking to school and the teacher telling my mother, but most of all, the one we recalled that is the funniest and the one with the biggest memory is ” The Cornbread Story.”

I was helping my mom cook dinner one night and we were having beans and cornbread, a typical stable dinner in our house when I was younger. I had asked mom if I could make the cornbread and of course she let me do so. Now at this time no one realized that I had a form of dyslexia, so it wasn’t an issue, until the cornbread was being eaten. See when I was making the cornbread, I was doubling the batch, therefore when it called for a 1/4 teaspoon of salt, we would add 1/2 teaspoon instead. Not in this instance. I put in a 1/2 cup of salt. When it got to the table, mom recalls dad saying that “it is the most beautiful cornbread and the thickest he had ever seen.” Not my recallection.

Hears where our episodic memories differ. I remember taking a bite of cornbread at the same time as dad did. She remembers dad only taking a bite. Well I spit my piece out cause it tasted “nasty.” Mom remembers dad making a funny face and swallowing the cornbread to make me happy. Of course I saw his face and started crying. Then mom recalled laughing so hard at dad’s facial disfigurement from the extremely salty cornbread. I recall that too, but then I started crying even more from her laughing at what I felt was my mistake and I ran to my room from embarrassment.

To this day, my dad refuses to eat my cornbread without asking first if I only put in a 1/2 teaspoon of salt or a 1/2 cup. My mother always brings up the cornbread whenever I make beans. And since they have told my husband about it so many times, he prefers that I just buy the prepackaged cornbread so I don’t over salt the cornbread again.

Looking back now these episodic memories have helped me in my procedural memories when I cook anything. I laugh now about it, but when anyone brings up the cornbread when I am cooking, I want to throw the spoon, spatula, skillet, or whatever else I am close to at them and tell them to shut up. Just remember, a 1/4 teaspoon of salt goes a long way, 1/4 cup, goes way too far.

(Just as I was reading this to my husband , I realized that all those memories, although different events, all of them I presume could be classified as chunking. They all had a significance in a short period of time, and when I recall one I recall most at the same time.)

My response to my instructor’s comment:
You know after this post, I think that this would be a great week for beans and cornbread. Maybe I should invite my father over this weekend if he isn’t working and serve them along with a 1/2 cup of salt in a bowl next to his B&C. That would really make him laugh I think.