Thursday, June 17, 2010

Land of the Empire Builders

In fourth grade, we all learn about the history of the state we live in. Yes? Am I mistaken in that belief? I'm pretty sure it's true, even for those poor souls who had to grow up outside of the great state of Oregon. (it was a shock to me to find out that other kids didn't attend outdoor school! do they still do that in oregon? i'm afraid to know the answer, in case the answer is no.)

I don't know about the curriculum in other states and what exactly they learned about, but we didn't learn fun facts or current events or anything. We studied the Oregon Trail. Of course, we'd already had years of experience and practice in regards to the Oregon Trail, thanks to that awesome computer game you all know you played in elementary school.

The point is, I didn't know a lot of the "official" state facts of Oregon until I'd moved out of the state in which I grew up. I didn't even know there was an official state song ("Oregon, my Oregon") until I was 21, although when I said this to my parents at the time, Dad insisted he used to sing it at the border on family vacations. Don't recall that one, Dad. Sorry.

Here are some of my favorite Oregon Official State Facts:

Animal: Beaver


Beverage: Milk
 With all the breweries in Oregon, this pleasantly surprised me.

Flower: Oregon Grape. 
I was slightly confused on this one, because the name doesn't sound like a flower ...

Motto: She Flies With Her Own Wings.

This kind of sounds to me like the phrase, "Walk to a beat of a different drum." For anybody who's been to Eugene, you know that's true.

Tree: Douglas Fir.
I knew my car's name sounded familiar.

Dance: Square.
Huey Lewis was right. It is hip to be square.

Sing it with me: "Hail to thee, Land of Heroes, My Ooooooo-reeeeeeee-gon." (pronounced "gun", NOT "gone")


"I take my children everywhere, but they always find their way back home." -Robert Orben


Anonymous said...

U R Hilarious. Thanks for the fun facts (especially since I only learned Colorado State history).

Jay said...

In fifth grade we had to do reports on a state other than the one we lived in. I got Washington :)

Nathanael Davenport said...

Weird... not only did I study the history of Utah in fourth grade... I also had to do a report on a state other than Utah when I was in fifth grade. I got Kentucky... the whole blue grass thing still stumps me.

Lovin' the picture of that Beaver. I have to admit, it is a little cuter than a seagull.

VK said...

Yes, I definitely learned Colorado history in 4th grade, including the Lark Bunting as the state bird, the symbolism of the state flag, (which in most states is boring) the columbine flower, the rocky mountain sheep as the animal. .. No idea if I learned a song.
California kids (of which I had 3 in 4th grade) get to go to the state capital, and gold country sutters mill, etc. In 5th grade they do outdoor school for a week.
My 2 Oregon 4th graders still appreciate that state, and I do remember making hushpuppies for David when he reported on Tennessee in 5th grade.
Fun times.