Am I that old?

This morning as I did my hair the folks over at Blimp 9 news (a reference only fellow MNSpeakers well get, sorry) reminded me that it’s the anniversary of the Challenger explosion. But not just any anniversary–the 20th anniversary.

It is, as every news report says, one of those moments where you remember exactly where you were. I was in what I seem to recall as third grade, though it must have been second grade if I was eight. Mrs. Hagen, a chubby blond lady was our teacher and she had the TV in the upper corner of the room on for us when we came back from our early lunch… or maybe it was gym Either way, I remember coming into our classroom and not sitting down for a long time. I just stood and watched the TV.

My point here is that I fucking remember this huge event that happened TWENTY years ago, and that makes me feel old. I know I whine about age too much, but this one is really blowing me away.

I found this interesting article about how our memories of big events like this fade and become garbeled over time. Well duh, but there’s more too it than that. Maybe I did sit down, or maybe I wasn’t just coming back from something. I couldn’t even remember what grade I was in. Here’s an except from the article:

“Then we saw a blue parachute come down. It turns out the parachute was attached to the black box,” Turner [an eyewitness one year younger than me] said. In reality, the shuttle didn’t have a black box. There was no parachute. Psychologists say these “flashbulb” memories aren’t as accurate as we think. “Vividness and accuracy need to be separated,” said Washington University cultural psychologist James Wertsch.

I suppose some second grader on 9/11/2001 will blog about how old they feel in 2021 on the 20th anniversary of that awful event. And they’ll get it all wrong.

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  • Comments (2)
    • Laura
    • January 27th, 2006 2:48pm

    Don’t remember where I was – just remember watching the Punky Brewster episode that covered it.

    • The Truth Hurts
    • January 27th, 2006 2:49pm

    I suppose there’s a big difference between a 6 and a 8 year old when it comes to memory.

    Punky was so topical.

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