Interview with an Elderly American about the Impressions of His Childhood and Choice of Profession – Assignment Example

The paper “Interview with an Elderly American about the Impressions of His Childhood and Choice of Profession" is an intriguing example of an assignment on biographies. The respondent was born in Springfield, Missouri. It was the peak of summer, in June 1944. In fact, he grew up in Springfield and had never been outside this city until recently.

- Do you remember your first day in high school? What was it like?
I clearly remember my first day at Central High School. My entire family, consisting of my parents, 4 younger siblings and our pet dog came to see me off at the school. I waited near the auditorium to meet up with my friend who had also joined the same school. As I walked through the lobby, I realized how large the school was and there were a lot more children than there were in my middle school, which made me nervous. However, once I met my friend, I felt much at ease and we went into the class together and sat next to each other.  - Did you have a lot of friends while growing up? What did you do when you were together?
I have had a few very close friends. I lost one of the last years, who had been battling cancer for a few years. I am still in touch with the other two. All three of us grew up together and went to the same school. When we got together, we would go fishing, bicycling, walk along the cornfields, go on a hayride and hang out together.

- Did you ever rebel against your parents when you were young? What did you do?
There have been a few occasions when I rebelled against my parents. I remember one time I wanted to go fishing to James River with my friends. It had been raining heavily for the past few days and my parents asked me not to go fishing since the rocks and the area near the water would be slippery and one could get hurt. I was about 16 years old then and I argued with them and went out to join my friends for fishing. Even before I got my first catch, I slipped and fell into the water, fracturing my right foot. Needless to say, I felt miserable and ashamed of myself.

- Describe an event in your childhood when you were disciplined by your parents.
One time my mother asked me to clean my room as we were expecting some guests in the afternoon. My father was at home that day and he heard me yell back “you clean it”. My mother patiently tried to talk me into it but, I was talking back to her in a disrespectful way. My father immediately got up from the chair, picked up a stick and spanked me. He asked me never to talk in that manner to my mother again. I was about 8 years old at the time, but I still remember that incident so vividly.

- Were you ever invited to a sleepover at your friend’s house? Did your parents allow you to go? If yes, what did you do when you got together with friends?
Yes, a few times, but my parents did not encourage it very much. When I got together with my friends, we would play rock ‘n’ roll music which was very popular at that time and has campouts in the backyard. We would tell horror stories to scare each other and sleep late at night. However, after I entered my teenage years, my parents preferred me to spend time with my friends during the day and are home by 6:00 pm.

- Describe an event in your childhood when you were not appreciated and you felt discouraged.
I was about 14 years old when my parents asked me to babysit my four younger siblings one night. They told me they would be late and I should make sure that all the children go to bed by 8:30 pm. I felt very responsible and as soon as they left, I took charge. I read them stories from a book, played games and made sure that they all ate their dinner. But, when it was time to go to bed, none of them wanted to sleep. No matter how hard I tried, they started running around the house playing hide and go seek. Finally, I gave in and played with them. When my parents returned at 10:00 pm, they found my baby brother fast asleep on the floor and the house was in a mess with newspapers and toys all over the place. My parents became very upset and punished me by not allowing me to play with my friends for 2 days. That was very discouraging.

- Describe your first experience of going to the market by yourself. How did you feel?
One time, my younger sister fell sick and was running a high fever. Since my father had gone to the farm, my mother asked me to go to the pharmacy store down the street to get a bottle of Tylenol. I was about 7 years old then. She gave me a purse with some money, mostly change. I went to the storekeeper and asked him to give me the medicine and I handed him the purse. The man handed me the medicine, took out the exact change and returned the purse back to me. When I reached home, my mother thanked me for helping her and gave me a big hug. That day I felt very confident and competent.

- Describe an event in your childhood, when you felt very proud of yourself.
This happened when I was about 12 years old. One time, I was walking along the pedestrian path with a friend when I noticed an old man, who was walking ahead of us, suddenly fall to the ground. We rushed to him and found that it was our next-door neighbor. He was sweating profusely and was not able to breathe. We quickly stopped a car and asked the lady behind the wheel to call the ambulance, which she promptly did. We saw the ambulance pull up and take our neighbor to the hospital. Later that day, I went with my parents to visit him in the hospital. I was told that our neighbor reached the hospital just in time for the doctors to provide emergency care and save his life. I felt very proud of what I had done.

- After you graduated from school, what profession did you pursue? Why?
I went on to be a farmer. My father was a farmer and I used to help him on the farm frequently. Since I felt that I knew more about farming than anything else, I chose to be a farmer myself. Looking back, I think that was a good decision.