Today’s prompt for ‘Memory Monday’ is “School Days”. Since I’ve already written about my experiences in elementary school, today I chose to concentrate on my high school experiences.
seventh grade photo
Way back in the day, we attended elementary school for grades 1-6, and we attended high school for grades 7-12. There wasn’t any pre-K , Kindergarten, or even a middle school. At the end of sixth grade, I attended a formal graduation ceremony, then entered the strange new world of high school, the following fall. I still remember receiving a set of red luggage, for a graduation gift, from my older brother and his wife. I used those suitcases for many years, until they completely wore out! The overnight bag came in especially handy for over-night visits with girlfriends, all through high school.
I remember the first few days of high school as being strange and intimidating. There’s a lot of difference between a twelve-year-old and a seventeen-year-old, but, at certain times, we were all together in the hallways. It didn’t take my twelve-year-old self long to discover b-o-y-s. I had several crushes on those older high school boys over the next couple of years! In fact, at one point, during my seventh grade year, I actually had a crush on [my future husband] Ed, who was a senior that year! Ed never knew me, but I sure knew who he was. Never, in my wildest dreams, did I ever dream we’d grow up and be husband and wife one day.
To this day, I still remember starting my first ‘monthly cycle’ during my seventh grade math class. My math teacher was a strict old lady named “Mrs. Banks”, who looked to be about the same age as my grandma. She was harsh and gruff and I was scared to death of her. My heart skipped a few beats when I realized I was going to have to ask to go to the bathroom during class! I still remember trying to figure out how to work the ‘napkin dispenser’ in the girls bathroom, and having to put on my PE shorts under my dress, that day.
Speaking of “my dress”, in those days, all of the girls had to wear dresses or skirts and blouses. The boys had to wear slacks, with button up shirts and belts. There was a strict dress code. Eventually, the school did ease the dress code to include ‘pant suits’ for the girls. In 1970, following integration, the dress code went out the window, and everyone began wearing blue jeans and smiley-face t-shirts!
My eighth grade year of school was one of my best. My home life was going great, and I worked hard and did well in school. I was inducted into the Junior Beta Club that year.
tenth grade ~ on my way to Ed’s army (basic training) graduation
My tenth grade year was my worst year of high school. I met Ed during the summer, just before school started, and, as you know, he’d joined the army right before we met. My tenth grade year was filled with the turmoil of Ed going away for basic training, returning home for a brief spell, then going away again for x-ray school. Lots of ups and downs and upheavals. My mind was not on school work!
Ed left for Okinawa, just before I began my eleventh grade year. We became engaged before he left. I was the only student in my class (or any other class that I know of) to be engaged, at the time. This fact bothered some, and our school librarian even called me into her office one day, and told me she thought I was “wasting my life.”
posing with the Firebird
During my high school years, after a little prodding from my older brother and me, daddy actually took leave of his senses, and bought a new sports car for our family car! He came home with a 1969 three-speed (in the floor) Firebird! I had the coolest ‘family’ car of any of my classmates, but I didn’t know how to drive it because it had a manual transmission! I never did conquer my fear of ‘the clutch’, nor did I get my driver’s license while I was in high school.
During my senior year, I participated in a new school program, known then as VOT (vocational office training). I attended school each day from eight until one, then worked sixteen hours a week at a job. There weren’t enough office jobs in our town, to go around, so I was allowed to work in a small, local department store. I worked two afternoons, after school, and all day on Saturdays. I learned how to do a little bit of everything, from taking inventory to being in charge of the window displays!
I didn’t have a typical ‘high school experience’, since I was engaged. I didn’t go on dates during my junior or senior years, nor did I attend any dances or parties. I did have several close girlfriends, whom I spent a lot of time with, which helped pass the time.
a senior at last
My high school experience ended, when I graduated in June of 1972. Ed arrived home from Okinawa, just in time to attend my graduation ceremony–arriving home literally the day before! Ed and I were married, less than three weeks later, and moved to the city to begin our lives together. That was almost 43 years ago. Boy, was that school librarian wrong!
***Linking up with Judy @ Retired-not-Tired for Memory Monday.