Memory Monday ~ My High School Days

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.

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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.

8-17-2012 2;58;45 PM5

ninth grade

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.

3-2-2011 1;30;10 PM Kathy's teen years21

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.”

3-2-2011 1;30;10 PM Kathy's teen years4

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.

10-12-2010 8;36;52 PMKathy's senior photo

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!

Retired Not Tired Memory Monday

***Linking up with Judy @ Retired-not-Tired for Memory Monday.

 

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Published in: on February 2, 2015 at 8:59 am  Comments (6)  
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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I don’t think anyone in my high school got engaged either. Congrats on finding your crush and marrying him. I married my high school sweetheart 42 years ago as well.

  2. All my girl cousins married the summer after high school, I turned out to be the old made of the group and married at 21.

  3. I love hearing about high school sweethearts who really do make it! Sadly, mine did not, but I blame Vietnam on that (and the Marine Corp). He came back a totally different person from the one I fell in love with. Took 10 years to admit it. I was married 7 months after graduation. Kudos to you and Ed!!

  4. Thank you for sharing your beautiful photos and story.

  5. I was speaking with my granddaughter yesterday about those years of dating….times have really changed….and not all for the better….I guess it would seem horrible now for a fourteen year old girl to be writing and courting a 21 year old college boy but it didn’t seem that way then….enjoyed looking back with you.
    Mama Bear

  6. Loved the photos and the account of those high school years. The photos reveal a lovely child who in her senior portrait had a look of maturity that reflected your determination to marry Ed. But there was still the same sweet innocence in that face as that in the seventh grader.


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