Monday, August 13, 2007

Monday Memories--Is there life after high school

I saw this meme over at Big Mama. She's been out of high school 18 years, so her memories are a little fresher than mine--I've just had my 50th high school reunion. Well, not the 50th reunion, but you know what I mean.

1. Who was your best friend? My best friend Tina moved to Florida after our junior year. We both lived on Hannah Ave. and would walk to school together, stopping for Kay and Priscilla on the way (probably a 2 mile walk, and longer for her). We also double dated a lot. Lynne's best friend got married that year and left school, so Lynne and I started hanging out together, and we still correspond and see each other when I go home to visit family.

With Lynne and Sylvia in 1999

2. Did you play any sports? Not so you could recognize them. Those were pre-Title 9 days, and in Illinois, there were no competitive sports for women. We did have GAA which allowed us to wear uniforms not seen since my mother's college days. Katie, our PE teacher, was a guest at our reunion in July. What that poor woman had to put up with.

3. What kind of car did you drive? Anything my Dad owned, and he changed cars rather than change oil. I love those 50s cars. I had a boyfriend from Polo that had a 1953 royal blue Plymouth with dual pipes--unbelieveably sweet and loud--the car, not him.

4. It’s Friday night. Where were you? With my friends of course, usually at a slumber party after a school athletic event. Or it seems that way in my memory. I was part of a "birthday group" (clique) of 12 girls, and so we'd have at least 12 parties a year, pretty mild by today's teen standards. No boys. Lots of food. Presents. Occasional picnics. Movies.

5. Were you a party animal? See #4.
Christmas Party 1954

6. Were you considered a flirt? Oh yes.

7. Were you in the band, orchestra or choir? Yes. I played first chair trombone, and sang in girl's chorus, and whatever that smaller group was called.

8. Were you a nerd? That word hadn't been invented yet, but I was an A student. A brain who didn't study all that hard, and I really paid for that when I got to college and didn't have good study habits. I took all the college prep-courses except Algebra II. I had the classic math anxiety syndrome that afflicts many girls (or I was just dumb in math), although that term wasn't invented yet either.

9. Were you ever suspended or expelled? Heavens no! I just got the "we're so disappointed that a young woman of your talent and potential would behave like this" lecture from the principal.

10. Can you sing the fight song? I think we sing it or hum it at our reunions. One year--1987?--the reunion committee brought along band instruments and everyone in the band had to try to play the school fight song. What a hoot. I couldn't even find F on the trombone, let alone play anything.

11. Who was your favorite teacher? For a small school, we had some great teachers and an excellent administration. Warren Burstrom was memorable--managed to get me through physics and chemistry. He was a graduate of Luther College in Iowa. He later went on to teach at a junior college. His wife had been my 8th grade teacher, and she was excellent too, although I think my class was her first and we probably made her regret choosing that career.

12. What was your school mascot? Our school name was so odd, we didn't need a mascot.

13. Did you go to the Prom? All four years. Three proms with the same date.

14. If you could go back, would you? No, at this age, they'd think I wandered in from the retirement home which is next door. Our high school has merged with our biggest rival, much to the grief of the alumni.

15. What do you remember most about graduation? I had to give a speech. I still nearly pass out in front of an audience. I've got it here somewhere on my blog.

16. Where were you on Senior Skip Day? We didn't do such things, at least not as a class, but I think we did the next worst thing for the 1950s--wore jeans to school one day in the last month of our high school career.

17. Did you have a job your senior year? Yes. I worked at Zickuhr's Drug store and the town library, and also filled in during the summer if I was home, which wasn't often. I was thrifty (tight), and had saved enough for my first year of college.

18. Where did you go most often for lunch? To the school cafeteria.

19. Have you gained weight since then? Yes, about 10 lbs. Several times. But it has rearranged itself. Some of my measurements are the same--my right thigh is now what my waist was in high school.
20. What did you do after graduation? I went to Manchester College in North Manchester, IN after a summer in Brethren Volunteer Service in Fresno, CA. Then I transferred to the University of Illinois to study Russian.

21. What year did you graduate? 1957. There's a song about that by the Statler Brothers, "The class of '57 had its dream," or something like that.
    And the class of '57 had its dreams,
    Oh, we all thought we'd change the world with our great works and deeds.
    Or maybe we just thought the world would change to fit our needs,
    The class of '57 had its dreams.
22. Who was your Senior Prom Date? My boyfriend. He had to come home from colllege, but he made the sacrifice. Neither one of us knew how to dance, but we did go to them often.
This is the 1956 prom

23. Are you going/did you go to your 10 year reunion? I didn't make it to the 10 year, but did get to most of them. In 1967 we had just moved to Ohio from Illinois, and it is about a 10 hour drive to get there.

If you liked this memory meme, tag, you're it.


ChupieandJ'smama (Janeen) said...

I LOVE this!! What a fun meme. And the pictures are awesome. The prom picture is my particular favorite. People really knew how to dress in the 50's. Everyone always looked so elegant. Today's girls look like they are going to prom in their lingerie. I'm going to participate in this meme when I get a chance :)

Chelle Y. said...

It's funny that you wrote this Meme today. I just got back from my 21st high school reunion (we missed it last year...too busy), and wrote a post on it today.

Boy, it sure went fast! I did this Meme in the past, but it is always fun to read other people's answers.

Anonymous said...

I Googled Warren Burstrom, who was my Calculus professor at Highland Community College in 1969-71, and found your blog mentioning him. I totally agree Warren was a memorable, inspiring and very effective teacher. It was not possible for any student to not pay attention or sleep in his class. He kept us entertained and on our toes. He was one of the best teachers I ever had. Why else would I Google him almost 40 years later?!