Stories from A Day at A Craft Show!

Stories from A Day at A Craft Show!

Yesterday, I was a vendor at a juried Arts and Crafts show in our city.  Essentially, I was peddling my wares as a jewelry artist and landscape-travel photographer.  I’ve been making handcrafted jewelry for just over ten years and taking photographs for as long as I can remember.  Participating in arts and craft shows are not a new event for me, but it has been a long, long time since I participated in one.

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Certain things attracted me to this show. 1) It was juried. This means you have to apply to be a vendor in the show by submitting photographic examples of your work.  2) The show was only for one day. Two and three-day shows are extremely tiring,  I think for anyone, no matter your medium as an artist or your age. I know this from my own experience at previous shows and from helping my husband in a larger show in our city that ran Friday night through Sunday afternoon.  3) The show’s venue was a local brewery! How unusual! I was curious as to how this would all work out. 4) February is a slow month for my jewelry sales. I have had an Etsy shop for nine years, so I can tell you that the middle of winter has not ever attracted many buyers. These days most of my sales stem from direct local customers who contact me about a particular piece they are in search of or from having my jewelry in an art gallery in Iowa for the summer and fall tourist seasons. So, a chance to sell a few pieces in February sounded like a good option. 5) The show is fairly new and thought it would give me some great exposure and opportunities for networking.

A show is always a great place to connect with other artists, friends, old neighbors, and also people watch! Today, I will share a few stories with you from my experience at the show yesterday as a vendor.  It was a great day and I will definitely look to be in this show again!

A Quick Set Up

Set up is always a “wham-bam, thank you, mam” kind of experience. This show was no different. Upon arriving (at the designated time) the brewery doors were still locked. Unpacking supplies was done through a loading dock. It was a narrow space, only wide enough for two cars at a time. We were all warned about this. My husband and I were forth in line. It was a short wait. Some vendors were impatient, standing outside their vehicles figuratively tapping their toes.  I am proud to say we were not. Inside, since you needed to bring your own tables, there was a whirlwind of activity. Everyone was busy in their own space, once it was defined. And I, in particular, knew I was going to have to set up quickly to get done in the allotted time before the door opened. It all worked. Whew!

Jewelry Tester

Mid-way through the show a little boy, I would say about four years of age, came over and touched every piece of jewelry within his reach! Both of his parents were with them and he was very gentle but definitely interested in the sparkly pieces and in testing my almost all of the magnetic clasps. You know, I was actually okay with this. They were watching him. He was not whining, just interested. I got a kick out of it and started calling him my “little tester”.

We have to Buy This Bracelet!

Towards the end of the show, three young girls, probably of college age, stopped at my booth.  One of them exclaimed, “OMG, we have to buy this bracelet. It pictures my parent’s store!”  Well, you can imagine my shock! “What?” I asked. “My parents own Cheddarheads and you have it pictured here in this bracelet!” was her response!        And, so it was true!   My most unusual pieces of jewelry are bracelets with my own photographs shrunk down to fit in a bezel and sealed with jeweler’s resin.  This particular bracelet was of local landmarks and tourist attractions!  Sold – along with a funny story! I was so flustered by this that I actually placed her bracelet in a bag on which I had been recording my sales! Luckily, I found her two booths over before she left! So, funny! And, time to make another one of those bracelets!

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Booth Placement – The good and the bad.

Booth placements were assigned by the organizers of this event, as is per the usual routine with these things.  I was happy with mine for the most part. I had great neighboring vendors on either side – a lady that made winter hats, both felted and knitted. And, a woman who made hand-made socks from wool from her own sheep and honey from her own bees! How cool is that?  I purchased from both of them. They both purchased from me, too!  Across from me was another jeweler. It is someone from my own town that I do not know but know of through others. After all, one should always aware of competition in your medium.  It is unfortunate to have jewelry booths so close together, but I do realize the venue was small and we vendors have to all be put somewhere. I was only put off because I was still setting up my booth when this vendor attempted to visit mine and check it out. I really did not have time to chit-chat, so I politely told her as much. Lighting was somewhat poor. It is an old factory building, so that should be expected. We did as we were told and brought our own lamps, but ended up plugging into one of the beer bottling machines to grab some power! Fortunately, no one seemed to care!

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There were brewery tours, a live band, beer, and coffee for sale. The crowd was in a congenial mood, wandering through the factory floor, taking in all of the various vendors. Everyone who visited my booth, whether they bought or not, were pleasant, polite, complimentary, and happy to be out on a Sunday afternoon when it was lightly snowing and football season was over.  People were buying, too! These things cannot be said for every show I have participated in with my jewelry.

Craft Show Insights

With every show you do as a craftsperson, insight is gained. I noted I was much more comfortable yesterday than I have been in the past. Maybe it was the venue. Maybe it was the crowd. Maybe it was me! For the first time I had a clearance area on my table. It did attract buyers, even though I didn’t have a big sign advertising the deal.  I know that if I want to sell my photography, I have to display it differently.   There wasn’t any space in which to spread out, so I need to think vertically for a display in the future.  I noted which pieces of jewelry attracted attention. This is a good indication of what I should focus on making for the near future.

Set up is always going to be crazy! I was very organized – even doing a mock set up at home, the day before the show. I took photos and used them to help me set up efficiently before the opening yesterday. This I will do again!

 

Break down was quick and easy – 20 minutes. This show had a rule that no one could break down their booth before 6pm – the show’s end time. I am good with that – it is very distracting to have some booths breaking down while one is still trying to sell. I think it is most fair to everyone to have this rule in place and have it be enforced.

Today, will be unpacking. It was a tiring but satisfying day yesterday. But, I definitely will try to be in this show again! It made February seem like not a bad month at all to try to sell some jewelry!

 

 

 

 

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What Guides the Wine You Drink?

What Guides the Wine You Drink?

I thought it might be fun to do a post on wine.

If I am going to imbibe, it is my preferred drink.

Self Imposed Wine Buying Guidelines: Do You Have Any?

My own guidelines come down to one basic factor – and that is taste. If I like the taste of my glass of wine, I will drink it and buy it again. It doesn’t matter if it is a $5.00 glass, $15.00 glass, or $50.00 glass (actually, it might at this price but I’ve never had a glass of wine that expensive.) And, I will probably buy the wine I like to drink to take to my host as a dinner guest.  But, I have noticed others  have different wine buying and, even, giving guidelines.

What guidelines do you follow for buying wine?

Sharing wine? Drinking wine?

  • Price? You know, do you believe the higher the price, the better the wine?

    • I don’t. My college years were spent (I was legal in college, all four years) drinking New York State wines which are vitually unheard of in the mid-west.

  • Taste? If you like it, that’s all that matters. Right?

    • I have found what I like, most people don’t. I like a dry, but smooth wine that is not too sweet or fruity. . Over the years, I have changed (or maybe evolved) from a Chardonnay kind of gal to a more complex Merlot or Malbec woman!  Recently, I have really enjoyed some of the complex red blends that are available.

  • Shareability? If you take it somewhere is it opened and shared?

    • This has not my experience. The wine I bring is generally not opened.  Yes, I have noticed. It gives me the feeling I am not buying the “right” wine. Actually, I’ve started to wonder what is wrong with it.  This is so true that I have started to bring an alternative beverage instead of wine.  I have not been that cheap, spending anywhere from $9-$21.00 on a bottle to take as a diner guest. These are “sale prices”, too.  I think it is a reasonable price.

    • So, what is the proper guest etiquette here? Do I ask to drink my own bottle? To have it opened even though I will probably not have more than a glass or two? I seriously do not know what is proper. And, does it even matter? Should I care if the bottle I bring is opened or not?

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  • Source?   Do you belong to a wine club? Is that the only place you buy from or do you buy from the grocery store or liquor store?  How about Sam’s Club? Where do you get your wine? Seriously, does the source matter?  I have never belonged to a wine club. But, I have bought wines at Sam’s Club, the grocery store which in our area of the country is the place that sells beer and wine, and liqour stores (which is more of an east coast ritual, as I was reminded when I went back to Rochester NY last fall).

    How about coastal varieties?  Are you a California wine person? Or are you a South American wine variety lover? Australian?  French? Spain? Where do the wines you drink originate from?

  • Recommendations? Do you buy wine based on the Wine Spectator ratings? Or the recommendations of family or friends? I almost never have relied on the recommendations of others for my wine purchases because I like a drier wine than most.  Their recommendationws would not help me.

  • Local wineries? My friends might be surprised that I have never been to the local Elmaro Vineyards, although I have had their wine.  I have actually never frequented any local winery.  Two summers ago, on a family vacation to Door County, I dragged my husband to a wine bar tasting. He was bored and I bought wines that ended up being too sweet for me. Although I might enjoy a local winery, I do not think  my husband would. Maybe he would if they also had some beer! I will have to keep in mind some friends for this adventure next summer.

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So, when I decide to imbibe,  I please my palate first. But, fortunately, I have found plenty of wines between 9 and 15 dollars a bottle that are very tasty.  My internal debate surrounds whether I should just keep the wine at home and bring my host something they are more likely to drink, even if it is something I won’t.  Thoughts?

The Dead of Winter Is When You Notice What You Are Missing….

The Dead of Winter Is When You Notice What You Are Missing….

It is mid-February and typically not a great time of year for me. We have had a lot of sun this year, which makes an appearance of Seasonal Affective Disorder unlikely. I do not mind the cold, but prolonged periods of oppressive clouds and a grayish color to the sky can affect my moods. It is helpful to get outside and walk and I have been trying to do just that. Yesterday, I walked with a friend as I do once a week. It was in the upper 40’s here, which is far from the sub-zero temps we can experience here in the mid-west. Today, my husband and I decided to walk right after our boys left for school and it was around 35 degrees, which was still very pleasant. It was a nice hour long walk in the crisp air.

Despite this I feel blah. It is the mid-winter blahs, I know. But, given my mood I find myself  missing some people and some things that are not present in my life any longer.

I miss my friend Peggy. She and I connected well on a number of different topics. She moved away several years ago, but I still miss her. We’d have lunch about once a month and laugh about silly things or share our frustrations about more serious issues.  We still connect through blogging. Of course, FaceBook helped us to stay in touch, too. But, last week I made the decision to get off social media for a while. I find myself re-thinking that decision. But, first I have to consider how I can respond differently to the annoyances one encounters on that platform.

I miss music.  This is no one’s fault but my own. We have a piano. I bought a book specifically for adults learning to play. I have a ukulele, a book, and a website to go with the tiny stringed instrument. There it sits in the corner. My oldest son is an accomplished musician. I miss hearing him play complicated concertos on the piano or practice his saxophone, clarinet, or even the bassoon, as he used to do for school.  Yes, the CD player is used. Yes, I have a Spotify account and a Pandora account. It’s just not the same.  I miss the sounds of real music being played in my house. I miss band concerts and being part of a band parent family. Hell, if truth be told, there are days I miss being in a band!

I miss my writer’s circle students. We were usually deep into our poetry unit by this time of year. Somehow writing poetry with eight year olds brought sunshine into the winter days for me. I miss their enthusiasm and their smiles.  This is my first year in seven without the writing group.  I think I will write some poetry of my own this month.

I miss my Evergreen Garden Club students. This is true despite the fact that  I have a started a new group at a different school. My group at Evergreen was large and energetic. I was as familiar to them and the school as they and the school were to me. Although, my new group has some enthusiastic students, it is small. I am struggling to fit in with a staff and building that does not know me, my history, my passion for teaching students,  or my boys.  I have come to realize that what existed at Evergreen was very special and might not ever be replicated again. I wish that fact had not been lost along the way.

I miss having my boys need me the way they used to when they were little.  I know, I know. We’ve done a good job in that they are independent and becoming self-sufficient. But, I find myself clinging to those rare moments when help is needed – a speech needs proof reading, or their valentine gifts are so appreciated they are put on immediately or eaten straight away.

I miss open spaces and quiet. A new housing development is changing the landscape next to us. Instead of a starry night sky, I see a glaring street light when insomnia visits me as it did the night before last.

Forward is where I am looking. There will be changes and they’ll be good changes, I know.  Another high school graduation, another drop off at a new college, a few more years at the high school for our youngest. A few more years of soccer matches, track meets and maybe even some basketball. The end of  graduate course work. A new degree with the possibility of a new job for more than one of us.  Exciting but scary all the same.

But, I suppose that’s what happens when you are missing something or someone. Other things come along to fill the hole.  It’s just that the gap seems wide and deep on these long winter days. Soon, it will start to fill in. The sun is out.

Valentine’s Day Confections & The WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Sweet

Valentine’s Day Confections & The WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Sweet

The theme for the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge for the week of February 14th is sweet. Since I have quite a sweet tooth, I thought I would post on some of the sweet nothings I made last week. I guess you could say we celebrated Valentine’s Day a little early!

First, I made a batch of peppermint patties. These are made from lots and lots of confectioner’s sugar and peppermint flavoring with half and half. There are a couple of other “secret” flavoring ingredients that I am not mentioning, as well. They disappeared fast!

 

 

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Then, I tried a recipe that I have had pulled out for a while. It is pistachio cherry biscotti! The best part about this Italian cookie is not the way it stands up to dunking but that the cherries were from our own yard this past summer. We picked, pitted, and dehydrated them just to have on had for a recipe like this.  So yummy! And, even though the cherries are sour cherries, the recipe is sweet in many ways!

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Lastly, one of the sweetest places I know is the STAM chocolate shop in Ames, Iowa. We made a stop there this past weekend for some salted chocolate cashews and licorice! It couldn’t get any sweeter than this!

 

Day Off From School? Go Buy Books!

Day Off From School? Go Buy Books!

Last Friday we did not have school in our district. It wasn’t even a staff development day, just a planned day off for everyone, including staff. The month of January was a little weird with both of my high schooler’s missing days of school for the flu. So, having them home for another day was not something to which I was looking forward. But, my youngest surprised me by asking if we could go to the bookstore. Sure, was my too quick response! He is a very able but unfortunately somewhat unmotivated reader, so I was pleased to hear him ask to go to purchase a book. Our high school works on a block schedule. He did not have ILA in the fall semester, so he has his English class now. Apparently, the book he chose for independent reading was not holding his attention, and he wanted to find another.  Apparently, there is a project associated with the independent reading book that he felt would not be well suited by the one he chose.

So, by 10 a.m. on Friday we were at our local Barnes and Noble store. I was so excited  that I told him I would buy his book for him and even a second one if he wanted to get two. But, you know, book stores can be somewhat overwhelming. I know I often have a hard time getting exactly what I want. So I was not surprised when he found me after a few minutes and said that he hadn’t found anything yet. I was getting my requisite caffeine for the morning, so I told him to keep looking and I would help him look as soon as I had java in hand. Part of the problem, or so he told me, was that the bookstore had re-organized recently and where he usually found “his” books turned out not to be the “place” anymore.

I had trouble finding him after I got my coffee and must have looked like I needed help because a young book store employee asked me if I needed help. I quickly explained that it was not I that needed help, but my son was looking for a book for a school project. She suggested a couple of books. But, unfortunately she tried to sell me both on by telling me that either a movie was being made or a television show already existed based on the book. Not really what I wanted to hear. I found my son in the “Teen” stacks where he was still looking. The books suggested by the bookstore employee were both rejected (much to my relief) by my son.

We left with a book he chose called The Prey. He read it over the weekend, finishing it yesterday, two days before it needed to be completed for the class assignment.  But, I had an itch for more books. Before we went to the bookstore, I had visited the Barnes and Noble website and saw an advertised sale – Buy 3 specially designated books for teens for $30.00. Wait! What? Wow!  Well, I bought six, and one I had wanted to purchase as well. (You can tell which one it is by the extra cost – a whopping twenty-three cents!) Now, our at home shelves, which I recently cleaned out, are restocked with some newer, hopefully more inviting, titles!

The sale goes through March 2nd. I would recommend you visit! I laughed at myself as we left the bookstore last Friday because I actually said out loud – “I love books.” And, I do. I think you can tell! Oh, and what is my hubby getting for Valentines Day? Shhhhh, don’t tell him but it’s a book!

Item Qty Price
Invictus 1 $10.00
Overturned 1 $10.00
Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Mayb 1 $10.23
Runebinder (The Runebinder Chronicles Series #1) 1 $10.00
Item Qty Price
Shatter Me (Shatter Me Series #1) 1 $10.00
We Were Liars Deluxe Edition 1 $10.00
Otherworld (Otherworld Series #1) 1 $10.00

This post was inspired by the wonderful educators I am able to connect with through the TwoWritingTeachers.org blog forum, Slice of Life Tuesday.

Thank you for stopping by.

Scooters, Buses, and Taxis: Getting Around on Bermuda

Scooters, Buses, and Taxis: Getting Around on Bermuda

For anyone who has been to the island paradise of Bermuda, you will know that one of the preferred methods for getting around is the scooter.  We have been to this island three times in thirty years. In that time, we’ve gone from renting and riding a scooter to using the buses, and most recently the ferry system and a taxi cab.  The change in mode of transportation has been influenced by several factors, not the least of which is the island’s population density and crowded roadways.  The other major factors were age, cost, time, and level of risk you are willing to assume.

When we first visited Bermuda, it was 1987.  We stayed at the Elbow Beach Hotel and decided to rent a scooter to get around. It was just my husband and I, newlyweds. We rented from the scooter shop right at the hotel, after getting a quick lesson from the native gentleman in the parking lot.  The only warning we got was not to carry things in the front basket, “for your protection” – as he put it to us!  We got around the island easily, not having any navigational problems, and were able to get to each of the far ends, as well as the City of Hamilton. The only problem we ran into was being caught in some rainstorms, during which we had to “hideout” under a vie-dock.  I do not think we rented the scooter for the entire week, maybe three days. It was fun, memorable, and cost-effective. Nothing bad happened – no accidents, nothing stolen, no falls. In short, it was a great mode of transportation for our twenty-something year old selves.

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Twenty years later, in 2007, we returned to the island with our three boys in tow.  We knew before arriving that we would not be renting a scooter or scooters. None of our boys were old enough to drive. We opted for five-day bus passes for each of us that allowed travel all over the island on the pink Bermuda buses by just having a card punched by the driver.  I believe there was a child-rate that saved us some money.  On that visit we stayed at the Fairmount Southhampton Resort. There was (and still is) a bus stop at the base of the hill in front of the hotel. I think it is for the #7 bus. It was convenient and allowed us to still easily get around. The native Bermudians are gentile, lovely people. Riding their bus system is easy and they welcome visitors on their public transit system without prejudice, hostility, or much judgement on any of your ineptitude. If you are unsure, ask! Any number of Bermudians will tell you what to do! But, be sure to be polite! No one likes a bold and crass tourist. Remember, it is their country.  You are the visitor. The buses offer a safe, fun, easy, and affordable way to get around the island. I do believe it was our boys’ first experience with a public transit system.

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My husband and I returned this past August, in 2017.  Again, we did not intend to rent a scooter. When we visited with our sons, ten years previous, we saw the greatly increased traffic and congestion as compared to our first visit in 1987. We expected, and were not wrong, that the traffic would be as bad or even worse. This time we elected to use bus tokens, bought from the hotel concierge, as well as the free ferry from the hotel dock to Hamilton.  We purchased commercial ferry tickets to get us from Hamilton to the Royal Dockyard one day and another day took multiple buses reach the town of St. George’s. You can ride different ferry lines to St. George’s but our concern was getting back to Hamilton in time to get the free hotel ferry back to Southhampton, which left at 4:45 p.m. We happened to travel to St. George’s on a Bermudian holiday which closed most of the stores in Hamilton. This gave rise to a slight concern about bus transportation but the main terminal was still open and functioning, although it did look like the fleet was abbreviated that day.  It all worked out and we even remembered to ask for our transfer when we exited the bus which would allow us to get on another line, taking us to a different part of the island.  The buses are really convenient when you stop some place like the Swizzle Inn and have a pitcher of the island’s famous rum concoction mid-afternoon!

We had one occasion where we took a taxi on this last trip. I had pre-booked two dinners for our week-long stay on Bermuda via Open Table.  One was for a Wednesday night at the Hog Penny Pub in downtown Hamilton. During the summer tourist season, the City of Hamilton hosts Harbour Nights once a week on Wednesdays. This is basically a huge street party, complete with a parade, Gombey dance troupes, food vendors, and local merchandise all on Front Street (which is closed down) from  7 10 p.m..  Since we had early-ish dinner reservations, we asked our concierge about getting back to the hotel when front street was closed. She told us to look for the taxi stands along front street and just hail a cab. Just to be prepared, we asked her how much the fare should be from downtown Hamilton to Southhampton.  We were quoted $30 – $35.00.  Buses do run on Wednesday nights, but she said to expect a very long wait due to the large crowds at the weekly festival.  We enjoyed our dinner at the Hog Penny and strolled with the parade which was not put off by a few rain showers, but by 8 pm we were ready to head back to the hotel and really did not find more than one taxi stand – on the street that was still closed.  My husband had the great idea of walking to the Hamilton Princess Hotel, just  a short stroll from downtown on Hamilton Harbor.  This is the sister hotel of the Fairmount Southhampton. There we used the bath room facilities and chatted with the valet. He called a cab for us. It did take about 30 minutes for the cab to arrive but it was spent pleasantly chatting with the 19-year-old Bermudian valet.  Our cab arrived and drove us back to Southhampton. The fare was just what we were quoted, and of course, we tipped both the valet at the Princess and the cab driver. But, we had a nice quiet ride back to our hotel. If you can afford it, the cab was a wonderful way to travel on Bermuda as well, especially at night.

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Regardless of the mode of transportation, we were able to travel the length of the island on all three trips without difficulty. No one should be in a hurry while vacationing on Bermuda. So, if it takes 30 minutes or more to get to Hamilton or St. George or any one of the beautiful beaches, so be it. Just it back and enjoy. Let the Bermudians do the driving for you! Unless you are going to rent a scooter, this is what you have to do anyway – tourists cannot rent cars.

After this last trip, were we experienced a great deal of congested traffic on the roads. We feel the ferries, buses, and taxis are the way to get around on the island of Bermuda.  When we were younger, the scooter was fun, but it seems there was much less traffic.  It is not unusual for tourists to be involved in scooter accidents, either. In fact, when we were returning from our day at Tobacco Bay and St. George’s, we saw how easily a traffic accident can happen!  The roads are twisty and crowded, many butted right up against edges of limestone and volcanic rock . Locals beep their horns at each other to say hello. This can be distracting and not meant as the usual insult a blaring horn can mean in the U.S..  One must also remember to drive on the left, as they do in the U.K., not the U.S.. Drivers, especially visiting tourists, can be impatient and be seen attempting blind passes if the traffic is not moving along at a pace akin to their liking. Unfortunately, this all spells disaster for more than few drivers each year, who find themselves in the Emergency Room of King Georges’s Hospital rather than laying on the quintessential pink sand beach.

Going to Bermuda? Leave the driving to the Bermudians, sit back, and enjoy your trip!

 

Mnemonics of Childhood & Career

Mnemonics of Childhood & Career

Once children reach school age, teachers offer many ways to remember content. While never a fan of mnemonics, I am a fan of words.  And, there are a few of these word tricks that stand out from childhood.

My first example has to do with learning music. Introduced to the world of notes, scales, clefs and octaves with Orff instruments in third grade, one of the first mnemonics I remember is Every Good Boy Does Fine. Of course this stands for the notes on the treble clef staff, E, G, B, D, and F. Although useful for learning the notes on the staff, once learned and music is produced, I never had much use for this particular mnemonic. However, I obviously remember what it means, almost 40 years after learning the saying.

The second recollection of mnemonics I have come from science class. Here exists the following:

ROY G. BIV –  Is this a person? No. It stands for Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, and Violet or the colors of the rainbow or that on a prism spectrum. Still remembered, still useful today.

My very educated mother just served us nine pizzas, is an old mnemonic for remembering the order of the planets. Now, since Pluto’s demotion, I believe for some it has been changed to end with the word noodles. I did not recall exactly what this mnemonic was word for word and had to look it up. Honestly, just memorizing the planets in order did the trick for me.

And, therein lies is some of the problem with the use of mnemonics. I always found it interesting and less than useful to have to learn one thing to remember another, instead of just memorizing the thing you needed to learn in the first place.

But, having been a former nurse and advanced practice nurse practitioner, mnemonics were popularly employed in the health care and medical field for memory aids.  One of my first jobs as a nurse was in the neonatal intensive care unit. There,  I had to learn what an APGAR score meant as I used to have to run to the delivery room for any high risk deliveries. In the mnemonic A= Appearance, P=Pulse, G=Grimace, A= Activity, R=Respiration. APGAR scores indicate the “health” or status of the infant upon delivery and their adjustment to life outside the mother’s womb.  They are done at one and five minutes, respectively, with the highest score being a “10”.  As you can imagine, in many of the deliveries I attended, the infant received low APGAR scores for a variety of reasons. This is a mnemonic I used almost every day in the first five years of my nursing career. Today, many moms will report and/or record their babies APGAR scores but few really know what the mnemonic stands for in meaning.

Another maternal child nursing mnemonic is TORCH. This stands for a series of infectious diseases that can have ill or even fatal effects on the newborn infant.  Somewhat odd to this mnemonic is that the “TO” together stand for one disease, Toxoplasmosis. Then, R is Rubella, C stands for CMV or Cytomegalovirus, and H is for Herpes. Again, an important mnemonic, but if you do not use it, you lose its meaning.

PEMDAS is a well know mnemonic used in middle school mathematics to remind students of the order of operations. Parenthesis, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition, and Subtraction. Again, probably useful to get you going but after you know how to do more complex problems, the use of the mnemonic is most likely forgotten.

And, there is lies much of the problem, many mnemonics are so specific, unless you are involved in using them on a daily basis or they were ingrained during a formative time in your development, you lose what they stand for in meaning.  Likewise, most people do not go around speaking in mnemonics, even to those in their same discipline. I only know healthcare mnemonics or elementary education mnemonics, not mnemonics for physics or climatology or oceanography or anything else in which the content would be foreign to my knowledge base. And, so it is probably much the same for others.  You know what you know because you have to use it. Mnemonics might be a trick to trigger your memory but one that will only last as long as it is used. I just always found it more useful to memorize the fact and not the trick.

pixabaysolar-system-2453896_1920How useful have you found mnemonics in your life?

Inspired by the  Daily Prompt: Mnemonic