Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Fabulous Find: Here is St. Louis by Anastasis Films

I found this video by Anastasis Films on the Explore St. Louis facebook page. With the catchy little soundtrack and images of the people, businesses, and attractions that make St. Louis splendid, they captured the heart and soul of this great city. I'm especially partial to the scenes from my neighborhood, Soulard, including Soulard Farmers Market and Bogarts Smokehouse

On this rainy Wednesday (if you're in St. Louis), sit back, relax and enjoy Here is St. Louis.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

School Days

I'll be the first to admit that I love school, always have. With the exception of a hideous “first day of high school outfit” (while no photographic evidence exists of this monstrosity, rest assured, my mother sent me to a brand new high school wearing Umbro shorts, a white Hanes t-shirt with "GCHS” stitched on the front, and a brand new pair of Keds. How I wasn’t shoved into a locker is beyond me.) and braces worn throughout all FOUR years of high school (whose bright idea was that, Dr. Bauer?), my school days were filled with friends, fun, and Flags.

Kindergarten through second grade, I attended St. Mary’s-St. Mark’s Catholic School in Madison, Illinois. A Polish Franciscan parish, the grade school was headed by Sr. Mary John and employed several Franciscan nuns as teachers. Our grade school was unique in that there were two separate schools located in two towns for two separate age groups. Kindergarten through fifth graders attended St. Mary’s in Madison and sixth through eighth graders attended St. Mark’s school and parish in Venice, Illinois. I was a student in the last second grade class to make our First Holy Communion at St. Mary’s before the school was permanently closed in 1988 and demolished a few years later. A vacant lot is all that exists now, but for the students who passed through the heavy wooden doors, memories of “Balloon Day”, the city-wide Halloween parade, and recess spent on the front asphalt lot live on.
Little Linda, on my first day of school, ca. 1989

Third through eighth grade took me to St. Elizabeth’s School in Granite City, Illinois where I played volleyball, basketball (horribly), and cheered on the Royals. I was Confirmed with the name “Victoria” here, played Tom Sawyer in our eighth grade class production and graduated with a class size numbering only in the 20’s. Entering high school in 1995 into a school with 1,200 students, I was wholly unprepared to deal with lockers, a confusing campus map, and hordes of students getting from one classroom to the next.

I was a third generation Granite City Warrior, walking the halls like my mother and grandfather did before me. As a student in the 1950’s, my mom was the Present of the Future Homemakers Society. With my lack of cooking and cleaning skills, that’s a club I surely wouldn’t be accepted into! Instead, I became a member of the Red Peppers, a spirit club that attended all of the home football and basketball games until I tried out and made the award-winning Marching Warriors as a member of the Color Guard. Four years of band camp, Homecoming “mums”, May Carousel, and friendships flew by and before I knew it, I was the first person in my family bound for college.

Unsure of what I wanted to major in and armed with a two year scholarship, I attended Southwestern Illinois College where I was a member of the College Activities Board, got used to not hearing bells call me to every class, and ventured away from home for the first time when I was accepted into the Walt Disney World College Program to “live, earn, and learn” at the Happiest Place on Earth. Armed with my AA, I headed to Southern Illinois University Edwardsville where I worked two jobs to pay my way through school, including a semester spent studying in Salzburg, Austria and graduated in 2004 with a BS in Speech Communication.

Earning my "Ducktorate Degree" during the Walt Disney World College Program.

Much has changed since my school days first began in 1986. If you’re wondering where I’ve gone to lately or why I’m late posting a New Restaurant Wednesday post (three in the line up!), I’m probably at the Emerson Library or the East Academic Building of the George Herbert Walker School of Business at Webster University or spending hours draining Panera of their Hazelnut coffee while putting together marketing plans and conducting market research.

Just another "school day" studying at Panera.

Four classes, one Capstone, and one more year until I graduate with my MA in Marketing and mark the end of my school days…for now.