While listening to WPBT’s “Songs of the 50’s” program, I was transported back in time to the 50's while I was taking the course on technical drawing at Mapua Institute of Technology.
It was my freshman year at the Doroteo Jose campus in 1956. While still struggling with the rudiments of using the T-square, drafting triangles and a whole set of drawing tools, I was now faced with the challenge of drawing perspectives of a house – top view, side view, front view.
A lecture and demonstration was given by the instructor but the subject matter was too new to me that at the end of the lecture, I had no clue how to proceed. Then from the jukebox blasting from across the street, I heard “My Prayer” by The Platters, an apt song to remind me that all I know at this point was how to pray. I went ahead and looked at the small-size blueprint and tried to make sense of where to begin. The song “ Great Pretender” came through the pipe and that reminded me that I was just really pretending to understand blueprint when in fact I didn’t.
My classmates were seriously working on their drawing plates while I waited for this agony to end listening to "Twilight Time." I had to attend make-up classes since I could not finish the project during class hours and I could only work on those plates in class. After several weeks of sharing my frustration with whoever might listen, I found some help. A student of my father, a sophomore at that time, lent me her finished plates. I studied and tried to reproduce them at home so I could work faster on my plate in real time at school. I earned a grade of “3” equivalent to “C” in the first semester and improved in the second semester with a grade of “2.5” perhaps equivalent to "B" minus. With technical drawing behind me, I could rejoice with the Crew Cuts with their song “Sh Boom” and fly with exhilaration with Dean Martin's “Volare” so I have nothing but sweet dreams when I go to sleep with The Chordette's “Mr. Sandman.”
I may not have learned about perspectives that semester but I certainly learned how to use the drafting tools and have engraved the songs of the 50’s in my mind and in my heart. I write this note with the McGuire Sisters, “Sincerely.”
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1) Golden Hits The Platters (Audio CD - Dec 2, 2003)
2) Sh-Boom: Where Swing Met Doo-Wop and Rock N Roll The Crew Cuts (Audio CD - Mar 28, 2006)
3) Volare: Greatest Hits Domenico Modugno (Audio CD - Aug 29, 2005)
4) Volare (Nel Blu Di Pinto Di Blu) (1998 Digital Remaster) Dean Martin (MP3 Download)
5) Mr. Sandman (1954 #1 Billboard chart hit) The Chordettes (MP3 Download)
6) Sincerely The McGuire Sisters (MP3 Download)