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I think This May Be The First Time I’ve Drawn a Vacuum

August 24, 2006

HateIn case all of you are doubting it, all these flyers are 100% true. I went to a private hippie school, Peninsula School, starting in nursery school and on through eighth grade. I consider it my hometown in a way. In addition to calling a number of my classmates close friends after so much time, it STILL has a huge impact on my life today. I have an all school photograph taken in 1984, hanging on my studio wall, and when someone asked me what it was, and I told them, Graham immediately followed with, “Peninsula is a big part of knowing Summer.”

Like all private schools, it wasn’t cheap. I’m not sure how my parents paid for it up until fifth grade, given that having a home was sometimes precarious, much less independent schooling. I do, however, know that at one point, it looked like I wasn’t going to be able to stay due to finances. Things were pretty bleak, and my dad did what he could to make sure that I could stay there. Every sunday, he would go to Peninsula and do janitorial duties so that I could stay as a student.

Of course, in the beginning, he made me do it with him. Looking back on it, why wouldn’t he? As a ten year old, who had a sketchy homelife (which included an even sketchier relationship with parents), and who didn’t quite understand that my dad was providing a privelaged experience in the only way he could, I wasn’t gracious about going with him. I was FURIOUS about it. I akinned it to a popularity contest with my step mom, who went once with us and then never “had to” go again. I thought he was MEAN and UNFAIR. I didn’t get it and wouldn’t for a long time.

There’s a lot of dirty laundry in my history with my parents, but my dad deserves to be acknowleged for providing the one safe place, where I felt at home, where I was building some of the most important connections of my life, and which continues as a driving foundation for my life today.

I’m sorry I was such a brat, dad. Thanks for knowing me enough to know I needed that place, and for making sure it was there. I love & salute you!

  1. Vitali permalink
    August 26, 2006 9:06 pm

    Your writing is so beautiful. Upon reading Graham’s quote “Peninsula is a big part of knowing Summer” to Ragnar I began to cry, to my own surprise. Keep up the great work Summer!

  2. Rusty Bumpersticker permalink
    August 26, 2006 9:07 pm


  3. Summer Chow permalink
    August 28, 2006 1:22 pm

    i’m summer, too. i live in china. oh my gosh, i’ve just found a girl who has the same chinese name with me lsat mouth. i started my bolg last evening, and i hope you can be my first reader.we’re both summer~~:)my blog is “”

  4. Jake Pierre permalink
    August 28, 2006 1:22 pm

    Sum,I was thinking about this past period the very same day you were. ( this a repeat of some of my note that didn’t get thru…)Coming from my “night life” the night before to “Sunday morning coming down…”I was not in the best shape nor mood either.I recall quite clearly us,the tempermental team of “Mop&Vacumn” dragging our sorry butts moaning and groaning from classroom to classroom. Oh the drudgery! We learned quite a bit that year earning extra credit at the school of hard knocks.A valuable experience n’est pas? dad PS Look to my site in the wee hours tonite for Happy Birthday…

  5. shawn permalink
    August 28, 2006 1:24 pm

    I am so enjoying your recent stories! I remember finding your blog a year ago. Or maybe it was just 6 months ago. But my computer crashed and I lost all my bookmarks. And I missed reading all the different blogs I once enjoyed. And then, tonight, I remembered your name and googled you and here you are! Your drawings and stories of your memories are so wonderful and inspiring. Thank you for that!

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