- Vol. 06
- Chapter 05
In the summer of nineteen sixty-nine Apollo 11 landed on the moon. I still remember being glued to our black and white TV at home with my family as the whole event was broadcast.
When at school our teacher set a quiz about the moon landing I wasn’t filled with hope. School and me were not really compatible. However when the sheets were handed around I was surprised by how many of the answers I knew. Perhaps I’d taken in more than I realised. To add to excitement there would be a prize for the girl who won.
With the sheet completed our teacher asked us all to stand and announced that as she read the answers we were to sit down if we got an answer wrong.
And so began the illumination process as one by one the girls sat down. I was still standing, conscious that only a few of my classmates remained on their feet. My legs began to shake as it dawned on me that I might actually win. Each time a question was read with its answer the person who had to sit down wasn’t me. I couldn't believe it as I had never been a promising pupil and shied away from the limelight, happy to blend into the background.
The quiz answers were coming to an end and now there was only me and one other girl. Surely, I wasn’t going to win? And then I realised how much I wanted this despite my heart hammering, or because of it. If I gained nothing else from school I would have this. And then my dream was shattered as the final answer was read and I had got it wrong. I dropped down into my seat heartbroken.
Now all these years later I realise that history was made twice that day – the moon landing, and for me a second place in a quiz about that moon landing. It was my best achievement in the many years to come until I found my way in the world. Strangely, I often find myself staring at moon and photographing it, capturing its many moods and zooming in to observe the bumpy surface. And somewhere an American flag marks the spot where Neil Armstrong walked.