School Days Reminiscences of Christy Birmingham

School Days, Reminiscences of Christy Birmingham

Welcome to the School Days, Reminiscences series in which my champion bloggers and authors share reminiscences of their school days. It’s my small way of thanking them for their support and of letting you know about their services and publications.

This week, I am pleased to introduce Christy Birmingham, prolific blogger, author and poet. I’m not sure how or where I first met Christy but I do know that we have been regular visitors of each other’s blogs since the beginning of 2015, not long before the launch of her book of poetry Versions of the Self.

I would have thought I read her book not long after that, but Amazon tells me I didn’t purchase it until 2017, so I guess Amazon knows? It also doesn’t display a review from me, though I thought I had added one. However, I do remember enjoying Christy’s insightful poetry and being touched by the exploration and depth of emotion portrayed in many of the pieces which delve into ways in which the self may change over time and in response to circumstances.

Christy Birmingham 'When Women Inspire'

On her blog When Women Inspire, Christy shares information on a wide range of helpful topics especially those aimed at helping women live healthier, happier and more fulfilling lives. No topic is too big or too small for Christy. She covers anything which she expects women, however young or old, will find interesting or beneficial. But her blog isn’t just for women. Numerous men regularly read and comment too. If you don’t already follow Christy’s blog, please pop over and say hello.

Before we begin the interview, I invite Christy to tell you a little of herself:

Christy Birmingham is a blogger, author, and poet who lives in Victoria, BC, Canada. She uses her writing to show others that they too can get through difficult times as she has, personally with anxiety and depression, as well as professionally with starting her own business. Find her blogging at When Women Inspire, at the gym, reading, or out with her family and friends.

The interview

Welcome, Christy.

Let’s talk school. First, could you tell us where you attended school?

All of my schooling has been on Canada’s west coast. Specifically, I went to schools in Victoria, British Columbia until after high school graduation, when I then did a mix of college and university in Victoria and Vancouver, BC.

Did you attend a government, private or independent school?

I’m a public-school kid!

What is the highest level of education you achieved?

I am proud to have a BA in Criminology and Psychology from Simon Fraser University.

What is your earliest memory of school?

I recall my elementary school teacher telling us she had published a book. I was wowed by it and never forgot that inspiration!

What memories do you have of learning to read?

I was taken out of class regularly to see a speech therapist for problems I was having with pronunciation. It made me self-conscious reading aloud and talking in general.

What memories do you have of learning to write?

Learning cursive was so much fun! Learning how to spell out my full name and create different styles of writing for it provided hours of delight for me. I’ve always loved language.

What do you remember about math classes?

Not liking them very much, unfortunately. It often took me a while to catch onto concepts, and once math homework was done, I wanted to read books or write short stories.

What was your favourite subject?

Christy Birmingham poetry quote

English, by far. Poetry and short stories were ways for me to describe what was going through my head. Releasing thoughts onto the page brought my mind calmness and then seeing the positive feedback from teachers for what I wrote in English class was amazing to me. I’ve never forgotten the encouragement of certain teachers for my writing in elementary and high school.

What did you like least about school?

Trying to find where I fit in. Books brought me happiness, as did the writing. Thankfully I found friends throughout my years of school who supported me in my artistic projects. Once I realized that it was about the quality of friendships rather than the number of friends I had, I was happy.

How do you think schools could be improved?

Christy Birmingham on the importance of libraries

By listening to students, no matter their age. Hear what students want to see change about your school and determine if it’s feasible. Also, make libraries a priority as they are where students go to do research and can encourage a love of literacy.

Lastly, engage with the local community rather than being independent of it as a school. By schools partnering with the communities they’re nestled within, students can enjoy a fuller educational experience. Also, schools can get ideas and support from the general community that can take the institutions further than they might otherwise go.

thank you for your participation

Thank you for sharing your reminiscences of school and thoughts about schools in general, Christy. It’s been wonderful to have you here. I’m not surprised you enjoyed expressing yourself in writing from a young age.

Find out more about Christy Birmingham

on her website When Women Inspire

Connect with her on social media

Twitter

Facebook

Pinterest

Purchase your own copy of Christy’s books of poetry:

Pathways to Illumination

Versions of the Self

Previous reminiscences

If you missed previous reminiscences, check them out here:

Charli Mills

Sally Cronin

Anne Goodwin

Geoff Le Pard

Hugh Roberts

Debby Gies

Pauline King

JulesPaige

D. Avery

Look for future interviews in this series to be posted on Sunday evenings AEST.

Coming soon:

Miriam Hurdle

Robbie Cheadle

Susan Scott

with more to follow.

Thank you blog post

Thank you for reading. I appreciate your comments. Please share your thoughts.

 

125 thoughts on “School Days, Reminiscences of Christy Birmingham

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  11. CarolCooks2

    Wow, such interesting comments, Norah it was lovely to read about Christy school days and I do agree communities should be involved with the schools it encourages children to mix I believe and learn about life outside school. A lovely series 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  12. Pingback: School Days, Reminiscences of Robbie Cheadle | Norah Colvin

  13. reocochran

    Christy D. Birmingham is a wonderful writer, blogger and her poetry really touches my heart! During poetry month, I chose a few meaningful poems. They involved similar pathsof mine awhile ago, heartbreak and a sense of not really knowing how to find a match. She had some great poems I book marked! Christy, I treasure your positive attitude about school, writing, reading and encouraging teachers. I would add, by the time I finished college, I did Not make everyone read aloud in my middle school language arts classes. Shyness and some stammering were my reasons. Why make kids get embarrassed? Thank you, Norah for sharing Christy! I’m not a blogger anymore so was glad to see the FB or Instagram post by Christy. You have a fine list of other contributors. 💐

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      I’d wondered why I hadn’t seen you around lately. Now I know. Thank you for popping over to read and comment so generously on Christy’s post. Her poetry is very honest and moving. It’s easy to connect with the emotion in her work. Her positive attitude is one to be both appreciated and admired. Thanks for adding to it.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      1. reocochran

        I once in awhile go to the library to sit down and clear my 17,000 weekly blog notices off my email account! Norah, there are several people, fellow bloggers I still am in touch with including Jennie, Jill, Merril, Luanne, Debby Gies, Lana, Derrick and Christy. Blogging was so time consuming. I own two books of many authors who blog, including Christy. 📗 📚 📘 They were great and I posted on my blog reviews for almost all of them, rather expensive but fun at the time! Now I read so many books from the library! Yay! More free time. . . Bless you, Norah for missing me. I gave about 3 final goodbye posts, making sure that regulars could find me on FB. (Robin O. Cochran, Delaware, Ohio) xo 🦋🌹

        Liked by 1 person

        Reply
        1. Norah Post author

          Blogging is very time consuming, Robin, and as much as I love to support all the authors, buying every book becomes rather expensive. A library is a fabulous alternative. At least the authors still get a little from each read.
          If I saw your farewell posts, I’d forgotten. Apologies. I’ve just connected with you on Fb, but don’t expect much of me, please. I’m not there very often either. 🙂

          Like

          Reply
  14. Pingback: School Days, Reminiscences of Miriam Hurdle | Norah Colvin

  15. Miriam Hurdle

    Hi Christy, I agree with you that schools must be partnered with the community. We had a “principal-for-a-day” program when the business leaders came to the schools to play principals. Of course the principals tried to have things set up, rescheduled their meetings with teachers or parents so the day was an easy day. When I did my administrative internship, I started a “Read-In” program to invited the community folks to read to the students in the classrooms. Later on the “Read-In” was combined with Reading Across America.

    Victoria, BC is beautiful. We were there four times. One time we just went without making hotel reservation not knowing it was a local holiday. We couldn’t find even a smallest hotel. We slept in the car for a night. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Your ‘Read-In” program was obviously innovative, Miriam. Reading Across America sounds like a good program. Maybe like our National Simultaneous Storytime?
      I’d love to visit Canada …

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
    2. Christy B

      I love that “Read-In” idea, Mariam. What a wonderful way to involve the community in education and familiarize them with the local schools. Ohhhh Victoria is super busy in spring and summer, such a tourist spot. If I had known you were in town I would have said come stay with us 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      Reply
      1. Norah Post author

        That sounds like a wonderful invitation you have extended to Miriam, Christy. 🙂
        Her suggestion of community involvement is a good one, isn’t it?

        Like

        Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      There’s never any judgement involved, Geoff. It’s great to find out the ways in which we are alike and differ. It’s a good thing we’re not all the same!

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  16. dgkaye

    So nice to see the lovely Christy here, Norah. Christy is such an inspiration for so many. And Christy, I’m so with you on cursive writing. I still can’t get it out of my system how terrible I think it is that children will no longer be learning this essential life skill. 😦 ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      I agree with you about Christy, Debby. She is an inspiration.
      I’m fairly sure cursive is still taught in Australia. Is it no longer taught in Canada?

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      1. dgkaye

        Cursive is a debatable topic in many places. Many of the United States are dropping it. It’s still part of curriculum in most of our provinces, including mine. Ontario, but not listed as mandatory, as many public school teachers want to let it slide because of their work load. I think that’s awful. It’s taught here in Ontario 3rd to 5th grade and I sure hope we don’t let go of this essential art. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        Reply
  17. Hugh's Views and News

    Hi Christy and Norah, so, creative writing strikes again. I’ve been amazed by how many of us prefer English to Maths at school. And how true that it should always be about the quality of friendships rather than the number of friends we have. It reminds me so much of the blogging world and those who concentrate too much on gaining followers rather than the quality of the posts they are writing and publishing. Many of them seem to disappear very quickly.

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply
    1. petespringerauthor

      As a former teacher, I had an equal number of students who preferred math over language arts. I believe that biology helps determine that if we are born more left or right-brained oriented. People who prefer math tend to be analytical (left-brained), while those who like language arts are usually creative (right-brained). I’m one of the odd ducks who enjoys both.

      Liked by 2 people

      Reply
        1. petespringerauthor

          Thirty-one years teaching children between grades 2-6. I’m frequently asked which was your favorite grade to teach? That’s like asking which is your favorite child? I liked them all, but each had its own set of challenges too. I generally preferred teaching girls through 4th or 5th grade, but then the worm turns. It takes the boys (we’re slow learners, ha-ha) much longer to mature and settle down.

          Liked by 1 person

          Reply
          1. Norah Post author

            I’m pleased you enjoyed teaching all the classes, Pete, and your attitude is interesting. While I enjoyed teaching all the children, my favourite year level was year one, 5 – 7-year-olds. I’ve never made a secret of that. A good proportion of my time was spent in year one (never got to progress, I always joke!) though I did work with other year levels and in other roles that I also enjoyed.

            Liked by 1 person

            Reply
    2. Norah Post author

      Hi Hugh. Thanks for reading and commenting. I guess as most of us are writers, we really shouldn’t be surprised at a preference for English and creative writing, but we still are. Surprised and delighted.
      I like the way you show the similarities between online and offline friends and the importance of the relationships to both.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      I’m pleased you are enjoying the posts, Anne. If I interview myself, it won’t be until everyone else has had a turn. 🙂

      Like

      Reply
  18. Susan Scott

    Thanks Norah and Christy, much enjoyed reading this. Many other interviews still to get to which I look forward to – it nudges the brain cells re thinking about my own school years, mostly long forgotten, except for the encouraging teachers, and those who slammed the school desk down when I was having a little snooze …

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      I don’t like the sound of the desk being slammed down, Susan, but I’m pleased you enjoyed Christy interview, and others. I used to doze off a bit in our economics class in year 12. The teacher used to read from the book. I was always miles ahead and found it totally boring. (I’d forgotten about this until you mentioned dozing.) It surprised me how many times there was a ‘neither nor’ statement in the book. Every time she read ‘nor’, I was startled, wondering what question I had to answer this time. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      1. Norah Post author

        I think everyone’s responses help me to remember different aspect of my schooling, Christy. It’s interesting how there are some common threads, but lots of differences too.

        Liked by 1 person

        Reply
  19. petespringerauthor

    Great interview, Norah. Congratulations on this beautiful idea. I’ve been going back and reading some of your previous interviews.

    Christy, as someone who taught thirty-one years in public schools, I appreciated your thoughts on how to improve schools. Anything that we can do to get and keep kids excited about coming to school should be our top priority.

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Thanks, Pete. I’m pleased you’re enjoying the interview. I’ve been really interested to hear about everyone’s school days.
      I agree with your comment to Christy, that getting kids excited about coming to school (especially when most have no choice) should be a priority.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  20. calmkate

    great interview, your ideas about libraries and community connections resonate deeply Christy .. and you’ve lived your dream by becoming a published author:)
    Please take my name off Norah, doubt I’ll do it but thanks for the opportunity!

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
  21. thecontentedcrafter

    Hi Christy and Norah! Another interesting interview, I’m impressed with your BA Christy 🙂 and the cursive writing bit leapt out at me too. It was a highlight of my young life learning how to decipher those linked up squiggles and then to make the letters myself. Over the years I experimented with my handwriting, quite often copying a style I admired until I had mastered it and incorporated into what eventually became my signature style. I wonder if that is a joy lost to the young ones nowadays….

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Experimenting with handwriting can be such fun, especially with different types of pen, thicknesses and colours. I remember my teachers weren’t fond of too much experimentation – not in school anyway.
      Thanks for reading and commenting, Pauline.

      Liked by 2 people

      Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Thank you for reading and commenting, Sally. How did a book exchange program differ from a library? I guess you owned the books rather than borrowed them. Did you have a library as well?

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      1. Smorgasbord - Variety is the Spice of Life.

        They were all student owned and you just brought in the books you no longer wanted and took home one a week from others donated. Some were from other family members and I think the only rule was that they had to be suitable for the 11 to 18 age group. One of the things this got around was buying books out of pocket money.. at least this way you could access them for free. And we didn’t have a school library.. xx

        Liked by 1 person

        Reply
        1. Norah Post author

          Thanks for the clarification, Sally. Swapping books would have been fun, but how sad to not have a library. Your school was innovative in encouraging the book swap though. I imagine there was much sharing of favourites. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          Reply
    2. Christy B

      Hi Sally, we had a book exchange program in the last condo building I lived in. It was terrific, all on the honor system for the rule of “give a book, take a book” and I loved it. It’s so nice you popped by!

      Liked by 2 people

      Reply
  22. Christy B

    Norah, thank you for having me over as part of this wonderful series. Books and education have been a big part of my life so I liked being able to talk about them here. Have a great rest of your weekend!

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Thank you for participating, Christy. I very much enjoyed reading and sharing your responses. While there may be some common threads running through these interviews, everyone’s experiences are different, and it’s fun finding out in what ways. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      Reply
  23. Jules

    Christy one thing I can relate too (well more than one…) is writing in cursive. I too played with many styles when writing. So much so that I seem to never have the same handwriting twice.
    And I am always amazed at those who say or believe they only have one way to write their name.

    Continued success with your poetry and writing. And Cheers to Norah for sharing you with all of us 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

    Reply
  24. Book Club Mom

    Hi Norah and Christie – it’s great to see these school memories and learn more about you, Christie. I’m also a public school girl and remember being pulled out of class in the early years to work on my pronunciation. Now reading is my favorite pastime and I developed that interest during high school and college. Hope you are enjoying a beautiful weekend!

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Thanks for sharing your experiences, Barbara. I’m pleased you developed a love of learning. You sure love sharing it with others, which is wonderful.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  25. D. Avery @shiftnshake

    Norah, you have again hosted a fine party where we get to know your fine friends better. Christy, I especially appreciate your ideas on linking schools more with the community. You’d think it’d be a no-brainer, but too often schools become rigid and insular institutions, which is ridiculous.

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply
  26. robbiesinspiration

    How nice to see Christy here, Norah. I love her informative blog. I read and reviewed Christy beautiful poetry book and I rushed over to check my review was still there after reading your review. It is and here is the link if any of your readers are interested in reading it: https://www.amazon.com/Versions-Self-Christy-Birmingham-ebook/dp/B00XQOH3IE/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?keywords=Christy+D+Birmingham&qid=1558261843&s=books&sr=1-1-fkmr0

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Christy’s blog is great, isn’t it? I read your review on Amazon. It is excellent. Thanks for sharing it here. I’m now wondering if I did write a review. I must admit it’s something I don’t do often enough.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      1. robbiesinspiration

        I am aware there are issues with posting reviews to Amazon so I keep an eye on mine. I order a lot of audio books which are quite expensive so I easily meet the monetary requirement but they also look out for other things.

        Liked by 1 person

        Reply
        1. Norah Post author

          I buy my audiobooks from iTunes but books for my Kindle reader from Amazon. The audiobooks are much more expensive, so perhaps I don’t qualify, or maybe my reviews only show up on the Australian Amazon site where my purchases are authenticated. Perhaps I should check that. 🙂

          Liked by 2 people

          Reply
          1. Miriam Hurdle

            HI Norah, I have received reviews posted on UK, India, and Australia which are not seen at Amazon.com. I called Amazon and they said the other Amazon sites have they own database and are not linked to Amazon.com.

            Liked by 1 person

            Reply
  27. joylennick

    Thank you Norah.It was most interesting to learn about Christy Birmingham’s schooling. She lives in a beautiful place. Husband and I have visited and loved it. Christy, like many of us, had her problems, so its heart-warming to see she overcame them. The very best of good fortune to her in the future. Hugs xx

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Thank you for reading and commenting, Joy, and adding your supportive words for Christy. It is reassuring to know that people can overcome their problems. I’ve never been to her part of the world. It does sound beautiful.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

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