Category Archives: memories

Not Exactly Epiphanies

At the age of 36, I decided to get a master’s degree in English. I have elsewhere–well, everywhere, including in the introductory lecture of nearly every class I teach–suggested that I was standing in a bookstore, staring at the American literature selection, when … Continue reading

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My Name Is Vicki, and I Am a Taphophile

1960: My sister, my cousins, and I scrambled into the back of my uncle’s 1948 Ford pick-up and headed with our fathers to the cemetery overlooking the dusty town of Globe, Arizona. We played among the graves while they watered the grass … Continue reading

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Forever Becoming: A Meditation

Written at Oakwood Cemetery, Raleigh, 11 Nov. 2009 I was only 36, beginning a second graduate program—clearly, I was far from complete.  We who continually reinvent ourselves retain the illusion of eternal becoming far longer than those respectable adults with 2½ … Continue reading

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Master, Mentor, Friend

This is the last installment of my reminiscences about my decades-long and life-altering relationship with Professor John V. Mering, 1931-2009. Vicki/Victoria I spent hours during the summer of ’74 in the office of the history graduate students. We discussed history as … Continue reading

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The Mering Chronicles (cont. from 6/11)

Hang-ups, hanging out, and hanging on I visited Dr. Mering’s office often to receive assistance with my writing, to ask for suggestions for outside reading, or simply to satisfy his curiosity about how “this girl from a little mining town in the West” … Continue reading

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Rites of Passage Part III: John V., Il Miglior Fabbro

Learning at the feet of the master  In furtherance of my naïve but exuberant efforts to learn how to think, my history T.A.-cum-guru John Hosmer suggested that I take a class with his Ph.D. advisor, John V. Mering. It was the … Continue reading

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Rites of Passage Part II: My Endless Summer of Thomas Wolfe

A naïve and sheltered twenty-year-old baby boomer from a copper-mining town in Arizona who asked her revered teacher/guru for a list of books to teach her how to think, I probably didn’t expect the internal cataclysm that ensued. But I … Continue reading

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Rites of Passage Part I: A Motley Pentateuch

Spring 1973: As an overachieving, overprotected, overweight college sophomore, I approached the end of the spring semester with the dread of impending loss. In addition to my accustomed success in school that year, I had incrementally begun the process—equally exhilarating and … Continue reading

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