Tag Archive | memory

How well do you remember big events from kindergarten

Yesterday, I got to talk with some high school seniors about their memories of 9/11. They would have been in kindergarten, and therefore, among the youngest people to remember that day.

At home last night, I was talking with my sisters and mother about remembering things from that age.

My younger sister is the same age as the students I interviewed – but she doesn’t remember anything from 9/11. My older sister said she doesn’t remember much from kindergarten.

But then I got thinking and I can remember a couple of big events from that age.

I remember the 1992 presidential election and being upset when Bush Sr. wasn’t reelected. I stood in my mother’s room and remember watching the electoral tallies come in.

I also remember my backpack in kindergarten, it was Aladdin and had jewels on it. I also remember the nuns at my Catholic school making a big deal about the first time I wore my glasses to school in an effort to make me feel good about my new look. (Maybe that’s why I’ve never felt a desire to get rid of my glasses….hm….)

I really only have very vague memories of events before that year.

Anyway, do you remember kindergarten? What are your memories?

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The smells of the job

When some people think back on an event, they remember the images, sounds or voices of a scene. For me, it’s the smells –  I most often remember my stories based on smells.

Hear me out.

Yesterday, I was on the scene of a house fire as friends and family began to clean up. The rain was still falling from the remnants of Sandy – whose winds apparently helped spread the flames of the fire.

Here’s what the scene looked like when myself and Daily Item photographer Rob Inglis arrived:

What struck me first was the smell. It was a charred wood smell, mixed with a pungent barn smell from the family’s barn across the street.

It’s these smells that stick with you – you get them in your nose and you can smell them for days afterward.

For example, about a month ago, I was on the scene of an accident which happened to be near where a deer carcass was laying. I walked around with the roadkill deer smell in my nostrils for about a week afterward. I couldn’t get it out of my head.

Even now, when I smell that roadkill-ish, garbage smell, I think right back to that accident scene.

What takes you back to certain memories? Are you a smeller too?