Friday, August 10, 2018

Do High School Memories Make You Shudder?

Mackenzie High School
Mackenzie High School Detroit

When asked what my favorite school memory was I shuddered.  Favorite.  School.  Memory.  I couldn't think of one.   

I did well in school with excellent grades but school is as much about socializing as it is about academics.  Socially, I was an outcast and had few friends.  I grew up in a legalistic home where anything fun was not allowed.  I loved my parents dearly and did not rebel but I realized that they were imposing their convictions on me and I felt that wasn't fair.

Girls Basketball

The best way to sum it up is to relay a vivid memory with you.  It was gym class.  First of all I hated gym.  I have never been nor do I want to be athletic except for basketball.  I was our team's star player and the memories on that court make me smile - especially the free throws.  I could do them backwards and still make the basket. But it was only a small portion of the whole school picture and the negative memories certainly outweighed the positive ones.

school dance

Back to gym class.  Once a week our teacher would teach us a new dance.  I can still see her rigid face with those tight lips.  Every day she wore a white blouse, blue skort, and seamed nylons with white gym socks and saddle oxfords.  

Because my parents didn't permit me to dance, my previous gym instructors allowed me to go to the library on dance days. 
mean teacher

But not this chic!  She delighted in making a spectacle out of me.  I was embarrassed enough that I couldn't dance but to be made fun of by a teacher was more than my tender heart could handle.  She required that on dance days I bring a note from my parents as to why I was not participating in dance class.  Then she made me read it aloud to the class - every week.

The whole class was sitting on the gym floor and the teacher would shout, "Carol, are you going to dance today?"  I would answer softly and she would say, "I can't hear you!  Come to the front.  Do you have a note excusing you from this class?"

She knew I did and it was a pathetic thrill of hers to have me give it to her.  She would glance at it and then yell "READ THE NOTE!"

If I didn't read it loud enough for everyone in the class to hear it, she would make me read it again.  "I excuse my daughter, Carol, from dance class today because it is against her religion."


The class would snicker each time.  Except for Jim.  He was the one of three lettermen in the school who were revered by students and teachers alike.  And one of the most handsome young men - anywhere.  One day Jim stood up and walked toward me as I was leaving the gymnasium heading to the library.  He bent down and whispered, "Don't pay any attention to her.  She's an idiot.  Who wears nylons and socks?"  He made me chuckle and I never forgot that act of kindness.

Forty years later when I launched Battered Hope, I connected with Jim on Facebook.  He still lived in Detroit.  He still hung out with the same friends and yes, they remembered me.  All of us started to communicate and look forward to connecting on my next trip to Detroit.  The plan is to meet their spouses and go out for dinner.  I am sure I will cry as I remember Jim's kindness and can give him a hug and a thank you!

This was a Secret Subject monthly blogging challenge.  My subject this month was:  Take me back to school.  Tell me about your favorite school memory. It was submitted by Sarah

Here are some other bloggers who met the challenge.  I guarantee you will enjoy each one so grab a cup of Jo and enjoy:

Baking In A Tornado                            
The Lieber Family Blog                           
The Bergham Chronicles                        
The Blogging 911                               
Cognitive Script                                
My Brand of Crazy        

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