Friday, January 14, 2005

Working Class Intellectuals Conquer the World

When my sister and I were girls in elementary school, my parents bought a family membership to the Boston Museum of Science which was about an hour from our house. The four of us would pile into the bright orange Vega that my grandfather gave my mom brand new in 1977 as an early inheritance so that he could watch her enjoy his money while he was still alive. We stuffed the hatchback with Italian sandwiches and drinks for our picnic. When we arrived we would eat in the car in the parking garage and then enter the hallowed halls of the Boston Museum of Science.

The inner sanctum of this space was wide open and there was the sound of grinding gears, clanging bells and metal balls going down chutes and sliding around mazes. There was a pendulum that swung back and forth eternally drifting lines of sand on a center circle. There was the human reproduction area that started with a naked sculpture of a voluptuous mother holding her naked child and then photographs and dry text discussing ovum and spermatazoa and fetal growth. I remember always having a blush come over my cheeks as we entered that exhibit while my progressive but sensible parents shamelessly walked through. I remember wondering, am I supposed to see this? It was almost as intriguing and frightening as finding a Playboy under the mattress and I was drawn to stare while feeling the same urgency to look away.

My parents were and are hard-working people, proud to have made their own way in the world, frugal and honest, always seeking to provide opportunity for their own chidren. Education was a primary value for us. My sister and I were the "surprise" miracles of my mother's second marriage to her soulmate and our father, a bachelor to the age of 35 who feared he would never find love or a family of his own. They taught my sister and me that we could make our way in the world, that we should be proud of the brains we were blessed with and think unusual thoughts, devour all the books at our disposal, and that we could become whatever we wanted to become. We honestly grew up thinking we might be able to conquer the world.

Micah Girl


Blogger Darlene said...

You still have time to conquer the world, especially with world class writing like that!

Your story was written so well. I was drawn into it's warmth, thank you.


What Would Jesus Blog?

10:59 PM  
Blogger MicahGirl said...

Thanks, Darlene. This beginning blogger truly appreciates your encouragement.


11:14 PM  

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