This one was a toughie!
Will started memorizing "The Gettysburg Address" in May, lost interest, got re-inspired in June after our trip to Gettysburg and memorized most of it, lost interest again, half-heartedly kept plugging away at it at my insistence, got re-inspired to really work at it so that she could recite it for her extended family at Thanksgiving, recited most of it but skipped a tricky couple of lines since no one would notice (one relative, a high school teacher, I think did notice, but told her that she'd done a wonderful job regardless, of course), tried to call it a day's work since it had been both mostly memorized and publicly performed, nevertheless bullied those last couple of tricky lines into her head as I told her to do, and then finally, FINALLY...
I won't say that she loves it (after working that hard at it for that long, she kind of understandably loathes it), but she does know it, can translate it, understands it, and can contextualize it for you if you ask her nicely.
And you know what? One day she WILL love it again. One day she'll be teaching a history class of her own, or running for office, or, more likely, chatting up a nice someone-or-other in a bar somewhere, and she'll pull some relevant section of "The Gettysburg Address" up out of her memory and use it, thoughtfully. She may or may not include the story of how her mean mother made her first memorize it at the age of nine, but she will definitely, after all that time, smile at the memory.
And if she can also work in how she knows all the presidents in chronological order, so much the better!
P.S. If you haven't yet entered my Make Your own Candy kit giveaway over at Crafting a Green World, do it today! Since holiday weeks make for slow blog traffic, the odds are in your favor!