Fall 2006




Visual Arts
Challenge Prompt
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Author Bios

Just Like Her
Rebecca Haven

         My grandmother is a tiny German woman who is about to turn 90, and she’ll sure tell you where to go if you say or do something she doesn’t like.
          “Grandma, I don’t think I’m going to college.”
          “That’s just stupid.”
          “But Grandma, there are so many things I could be doing right now, traveling, working, enjoying time with my friends.”
          “Oh, phooey, you will just end up getting in trouble and doing drugs.  Don’t you waste your future.”

         “Stop acting like your mother,” my dad said, after I told him I thought having a cluttered room is something that ruins your mind.  I was standing in his den trying to throw out a bunch of his stuff.

         The way my mom sings to the radio in the car drives me crazy.
         “But I was in choir for twenty years,” she always says when I ask her to stop.  She sings to the radio like she’s in choir practice, that’s the problem.

         My daughter ruined my favorite painting in the living room with a soccer ball the other day.  I wasn’t home and I wondered why she looked so sheepish when I got home.
         “Mom, I will cook dinner for you,” she yelled after I walked through the door.  I didn’t know why until a day later when I looked and realized that someone had tried to staple the canvas back together.

         “A cluttered room ruins the heart and soul,” my grandmother would say to my grandfather while he stood by as she threw out his stuff.

         My mother never cooked.  Tomato soup and grilled cheese was her idea of a gourmet meal.
         “I spent nearly an hour slaving over a hot stove to make you this meal.”
         She also specialized in toast, Kraft macaroni and cheese and any kind of microwave meal.

         My grandmother would make me bologna and ketchup sandwiches and cut off the crusts when I was small.  The she would cut it into diamond shapes so I would eat it.  I loved it.  She never cooked gourmet food for any of us.  I think she made chicken soup and sandwiches every time I was at her house.

         I broke my mother’s favorite picture frame when I was 10 and shoved it under her bed hoping she wouldn’t notice.  When she found it, she told me that doing things like that will always come back to get me in the end.

         The minute my mother didn’t like what I was doing with my life, she told me where to go.
         “I’m dropping out of college, mom.”
         “You’re dropping out of college?  That’s just stupid.”
         “There’s so much more I want to do right not, travel, work, play.”
         “Don’t be silly.  You’ll waste your future.”

         My mother signed me up for choir when I was three.  When I finally quit being in a choir I had been in one for 20 years.
         “Mom, could you please stop singing to the radio,” my daughter said to me yesterday in the car.


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