I often can’t remember where I’ve put something or even why I’ve gone into a room and yet I could tell you what I’d be wearing to work today, if I wasn’t retired. It’s the same thing I’d worn for years on the last day of school before the kids went home for spring break. I was their well-educated, sophisticated teacher, after all.
Years ago, the majority of our school staff could be seen sporting this svelte form of attire. One fellow teacher actually had the exact same sweater! But before you judge, I want you to consider a few facts. The elongated holiday sweater, with all of its designs and embellishments, complimented one’s body. Okay, okay…so it didn’t flatter anyone’s figure but it did a pretty good job of just covering stuff up.(In its defense, this poor thing had hung in my closet, “growing”, for years before I realized it and put it in a drawer.) Deciding what to wear that Friday before Easter was never a problem, once the pink rabbit sweater came into my life. And there was something quite festive about walking around the classroom, all day, in a sweater that made such a bold statement. Even if that statement was…”The teacher dresses funny.”
I was thrilled when I went to a local high school campus, last December, and saw many of the students dressed in colorful holiday sweaters. I thought I’d found a kinder, gentler, student body until I was informed it was Ugly Sweater Day. Adolescents…what do they know anyway?
Researchers recognize that, as a general rule, we remember those emotionally charged events better than the dull, boring ones. I can attest to the fact that those days in a classroom, before a holiday…with all those classroom festivities… are pretty unforgettable. There is also some research to suggest that memories are more easily retained when they are accompanied with vivid, visual images. So I’m thinking that holiday celebration days, from my classroom, will be a part of my memory for a long time. Although the sweaters might be ugly…the memories are sweet.