27 and a PhD

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Daily Archives: November 29, 2010

Doesn’t matter how far you go, you’re still an ugly duckling

As I write this entry many thoughts come to my head, many memories too. When I was little, besides getting into trouble with my sis, dismembering my Barbies, and wanting guns and cool science equipment for Xmas, I also liked reading and colouring. I just remembered this because one of my favourite books was The Ugly Duckling. I remember going to a Walgreens with my fave aunt when I was 4 or 5, and getting a few story books from Disney. They had the classic stories, and more than anything, I loved the drawings. I would spend hours on end looking at the drawings, imagining that I was capable of drawing Cinderella’s beautiful dress, and the prince’s perfectly nordic nose. Or how when I grew up I’d draw the wind waves coming from the 3 Little Pigs big bad wolf’s mouth. Overall, my favourite one was The Ugly Duckling … I don’t know why since I hate ducks now (the taste, yuck) but every time I read that story I felt connected to it.

Let me give you some background. I’m the first-born grandkid on my dad’s side of the family. There are 5 of us (my sister, my 3 cousins and I) …, on my mom’s side there are a gazillion cousins. I mostly interacted with my dad’s side of the family, as my dear grams was the one that took care of the sis and I when my parents were at work. My grams divorced my grandpa a couple of months before my parents got married. My mom says that my sis and I were a much-needed breath of fresh air on grammy’s life and she made sure that my sis and I were loved, and cared for while our parents worked. She made sure we had the best clothes, shoes and toys. Grammy was always proud of my grades, and she gave me 1$ for helping her pick up the leaves on her backyard every day during the fall (hey, this was the 80’s!), and a couple more if I brought back a school report with straight A’s (which I did, until the year she died … I recovered later, but needless to say, it was tough). But above everything … grammy always made a point of telling me how beautiful she thought I was. I grew up thinking I was a princess, because in her eyes (and in my mom’s eyes) I was the prettiest girl to ever be born.

Then I started in school. I look back at pics of my first school years, and I was a regular cute kid, with my dimple, my natural ringlets, and a desperate want to be friends with everyone. I think back to the fall of 1986 and how I was driving my mom crazy because I wanted to be in school, and play and learn. I was so eager to learn. I’d grown up watching PBS and Sesame Street,  Inspector Gadget. I wanted to do experiments, to solve crimes, to  have work with cool equipment. I wanted to show people how much I was learning. You have to understand … I was in love with the idea of learning, of having my brain absorb everything that was discussed in class, and playing with the toys that all those kids were playing with on TV, in their classrooms. (more…)