It’s sticky note time again!


By Shirley Scott - Boomer Blog



At best, the scribbles on any given sticky note in my idea journal can blossom into an entire article. More frequently, they rise only to the level of a single paragraph like the ones that follow. Even in their randomness, however, each of these current observations, realizations, or events had me searching the archives of my mind before I could return to the present.

For example, the weekend’s snowstorm that stretched into Monday had snow day possibilities dancing in the heads of many a student – and probably a teacher or two. Pandemically speaking, I am not sure a snow day in 2021 is quite the occurrence it once was, what with school days now labeled remote, virtual, hybrid, and in-person. I mean, I used to have trouble figuring out which bell schedule to follow on a two-hour delay day!

What I did not know – after forty years, mind you – there are ways to ensure the declaration of a regulation snow day. While I have always been under the impression that wishful-thinking-coming-true involved dancing on the front lawn in a questionable state of dress, this modern list I recorded on a sticky note makes the process much more manageable. As I understand it, students can cause a snow day by wearing their PJs inside out and maybe backwards, too – just to make sure. Equally effective, I guess, is throwing ice cubes into the toilet or tucking a spoon under one’s pillow. And placing a white crayon on every windowsill in the house might just seal the deal. Who knew?

As I continued to poke through the accumulated sticky notes, I ran across one left over from my New Year’s Eve article last month. I had decided not to point out that residents of Boise, Idaho, celebrate the stroke of midnight by dropping the GlowTato, a 400-pound spud fashioned from polystyrene resin. Somehow, the activity seemed unworthy of inclusion until a google recheck for accuracy revealed the up-and-running website already detailing the 2022 tater celebration, complete with count-down clock. Now I am not actually saying they are half-baked out there in Idaho, but…

At the mere mention of the word “encyclopedia” on some talk show, I inexplicably jotted Funk & Wagnalls on a yellow sticky note. And in my head Ed McMahon began intoning: “I hold in my hand the envelopes. As a child of four can plainly see, these envelopes have been hermetically sealed and kept in a mayonnaise jar on Funk & Wagnalls’ porch since noon today,” during his introduction of Johnny Carson as Carnac the Magnificent. The memory made me laugh out loud – even as I once again considered donating my wacky brain to scientific research…

Sadly, one note carried the name of Hank Aaron, who passed from this earth two weeks ago. I did a little digging to confirm my memories of his topping Babe Ruth’s number of homeruns at 715 in 1974. I had forgotten that he tied the record in Cincinnati on Opening Day that year but was able to thrill the home fans in Atlanta with the recording-breaking homer. By all accounts, Hammerin’ Hank was quiet and hardworking, having courageously followed Jackie Robinson’s march across baseball’s color barrier seven years later. I needed no google search, however, to remember the death threats he received as he approached the momentous occasion. During a YouTube interview, I watched a pensive Henry Aaron lament the effect of such hatred on his children. And for the millionth time I wondered why so many still insist on sorting fellow human beings by skin color…

I had also recorded the passing of an acquaintance, a fellow Otterbein student. Soap opera aficionados from the 70s and 80s might have swooned over him as a romantic hunk on The Guiding Light, Search for Tomorrow, Another World, and General Hospital. I knew him on campus as Marcus Smythe, whom we referred to as “Marc Smythe with a Y.” When I was a freshman residence hall counselor my junior year, a couple of my friends in the men’s dorms served as counselors to the freshman Marc. He was a nice guy, earning his degree in Otterbein’s outstanding theater department. As a young teacher, I frequently mentioned to my own freshmen that I knew this handsome actor on daytime TV. In reply, one young man pointedly inquired: “Yes, Miss Scott, but does he know you?”

Like many others, I am enjoying the fun we are having with Bernie Sanders and his Inauguration Day mittens. With most political news nauseating me on a regular basis, I welcome the lighthearted memes inspiring a certain national whimsy. Bernie has been sighted on the subway, the beach, the moon. There he was with Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin at Yalta and flying over Dorothy’s farm in the Kansas tornado. He has appeared on The Price Is Right and the Dating Game. He has been recast as a crocheted figure and one made of Legos. There have been photos of an empty chair and discarded mitten next to a hole in the ice and a polar bear – and also beside a boa constrictor with a bulging midsection. And as Patrick Swayze always says: “Nobody puts Bernie in the corner.” Even “Where’s Waldo?” has been momentarily replaced by “Where’s Bernie?” cartoons. Refreshingly, Senator Sanders reports that any proceeds from the inevitable merchandise bearing his likeness will be donated to Meals on Wheels!

By Shirley Scott

Boomer Blog

Shirley Scott, a 1966 graduate of Graham High School, is a native of Champaign County. After receiving degrees in English and German from Otterbein College, she returned to GHS in 1970 where she taught until retiring in 2010. From 1976-2001 she coordinated the German Exchange Program with the Otto-Hahn-Gymnasium in Springe.

Shirley Scott, a 1966 graduate of Graham High School, is a native of Champaign County. After receiving degrees in English and German from Otterbein College, she returned to GHS in 1970 where she taught until retiring in 2010. From 1976-2001 she coordinated the German Exchange Program with the Otto-Hahn-Gymnasium in Springe.