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my experiences
writing : non-fiction assignment

february 13, 1953
by margaret anderson

people, whether good, bad or ordinary, have great significance in the world. but it's not the people as biologic specimens which we consider: it's how and what they do and think which arouses our interest in them. in a university environment, we meet a great variety of people. some we live with in our dorms, others we work within classes, church groups and extra-curricular activities. i live in a co-op, russell house, where i have met and known many girls extremely well, and since i hope sometime to be proctor, i take an even greater interest in the girls and their work. living sand working with someone brings out many traits which one wouldn't discover otherwise. about classmates you often can only speculate. sometimes you become close friends, or even more, with a classmate, in addition to meeting the challenge to your intellect and abilities.

church activities appear to be vital to many young people, for they give security and importance more readily than other extra-activities. i took a taste of what they had to offer, and found it lacking in many ways. religion has always been a question in my mind: rather, at first, the subject was simply ignored. as an adolescent ( assuming i have passed that stage now) i felt left out of the "gang" for our parents didn't attend church, and did not give us any formal religious education. funereal, weddings and an occasional holiday program were the only occasions taking us into the church. so, upon coming to college, i was determined to investigate the question. as yet, i have found no answer, and though it doesn't worry me, i am still much interested in the subject. this thing called religion is important in varying degrees to my friends, helping to makeup their different and fascinating personalities.

extra-curricular activities also provide an opportunity to meet new people, often some very unique ones. during my two and one half years here i have been and am a member of student council, copywriter of hawkeye, and work a little on the frivol staff. campus activities are helpful in developing personality and assurance, but often do not help the ones that need it.

my interests are many and varied : sports take an importance place, as do knitting , reading and cooking. ice skating and swimming are the favorites, but long walks in all kinds of weather also give me much pleasure. having worked outdoors on the farm, i appreciate it, in spite of the dirt and sweat involved. that farm, on which i have lived all my life, is always in the back of my mind whenever i make any plans for the future. i am one of the few farm girls who wants to live all her life on a farm.

why, then did i come to college ? i think, to escape the drudgery of farm life, one must have some appreciation of beauty in literature, the world's affairs and nature itself. that's why books interest me. whether for study of purely recreation, they hold one key to understanding life.

being the youngest of six children, i have the special position as" the baby". we are a farm family, but not an ordinary one. that's not conceit, for in comparison to our neighbors, we are out of the ordinary. few farm youth go on to college, whereas all six of us have had further schooling., you yourself have taught three of us, and you shall no doubt hear a final chapter in the life of a family of which you have already heard much. our family is close in intellect and in spirit, if not in distance. we are all different, yet we respect these differences. our parents have provided us with that by which we may all achieve our goals good health, good heritage and perseverance.

we live near a small iowa town, in which i worked for two summers as a grocery clerk. this, though not financially profitable, was an excellent opportunity to understand these diverse citizens of the town. they make up a community which at first is easy to hate, but as you understand it, you forgive them their weaknesses. people are both good and bad, in large towns and small.

all the experiences of my life, as i remember them and reflect upon them, are of significance to me, for they are responsible for developing me as an individual.