Samskaras: “impressions that are stored in the mind that form the basis of our beliefs, attitudes and personality.” No doubt, some of our deepest must come from our middle school years.
Recently, I wrote about my high school friend, award-winning humorist Kathy Buckworth who wrote a post Yoga Size Me on DoubleDay Canada’s Health & Harmony website. I emailed her to let her know what a kick I had gotten out of the piece and to share that I was also “in” to yoga. Kathy followed up on her blog with an entry about ME. (Let’s make that “moi” in deference to my Canadian high school French classes.)
“As my Yoga instructor can attest, I’m not the world’s most flexible person, but I knew a girl in high school who was – she blew into freezing Winnipeg like the southern storm that she was … “
Ahh … those early days in “sunny Manitoba”. We moved to Winnipeg from San Angelo, Texas during the middle of my 8th grade year. (It was a very cold Canadian December to be precise.) We walked out of the Winnipeg airport to 40 degree BELOW 0 temperatures that literally took my breath away. I immediately turned around and walked back into the terminal to check the airport signage and oh yeah, BREATHE! Seriously, had we landed in Canada or Siberia?!
Now any kid that starts school mid-year is a bit of novelty, and that’s especially true if you’re a West Texas girl who shows up in a Canadian classroom with a thick southern drawl and absolutely no clue why everyone stands daily to sing “God Save the Queen” to the tune of OUR “My Country Tis of Thee.” (Had these people not heard of copyright infringement?)
Anyway, such was my fate. My new classmates circled around me daily during homeroom and bombarded me with requests to: “Say this, say that!” As I obediently complied, they would laugh and giggle and throw out more phrases to hear me drawl out.
I told this story to my Canadian roommates while out at Estes Park, how the kids particularly liked to hear me say “zero” (over and over again). See in West Texas, the word comes out kind of like “ZEE-row” in two and sometimes even THREE syllables on a really hot day. Canadians pronounce it more like “Z-arrow” but somehow it’s just one syllable which I still haven’t mastered. (Truthfully, I think maybe this is because it’s so dang cold they have to say things fast.)
I also learned that the starting letter of that word is not called a “Zee” at all, but a “ZED” which, let’s face it folks, really messes up the rhyme in the alphabet song …
W-X, Y and
It ain’t gonna fly with the kindergarten crowd.
Memories of those first days in Canada are indelibly etched in my brain and surprisingly, Kathy too recalled that same story! And if you’re inclined to feel sorry for that poor little teenage girl in a new country? Umm … DON’T! Totally loved it. Thrived! Center-of-Attention Pam! (I think my accent may have even gotten a bit stronger once I got there!) Seriously, what could be better than people sitting around me in a circle hanging on my every word? Hmm … an early indication of a career as a yoga teacher, perhaps!?
Ah, the samskaras of middle school! Not all are so bad.