IN MY OPINION
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SCHOOL DAYS, SCHOOL DAZE
1 July 2006
It was, oh my god,
46 years ago that I graduated from high school. I ran across this set of questions
in my friend Jennifer's journal
and thought I'd see how much I remembered about my senior year of high school...
My best friend in our
Freshman year was Madelyn Powers. I used to spend a lot of nights at her house, and
she let me read "Peyton Place" there, because my mother wouldn't let me read the
book. But by the end of our Senior year, I guess my best friend was Joyce Villa,
but we really ran in a pack: Joyce, Ann, Madelyn, and Margie. Later in the
year, after our Senior Play, we added the guys who had come from the nearby boys' school
to play the male parts. I still exchange Christmas cards with Joyce, Ann and
Margie, but Madelyn disappeared from sight after she married. I would love to
reconnect with her. I hear she had a bazillion kids like I did.
Bwahahaha. Sports? Me? Surely
you jest. I was editor of the yearbook that year and my photo is in every section
of the book, because I was an over-achiever, but you won't find me on any of the sports
My parents' car. I think it was a
Chevrolet. I remember that the first night I drove it, I ran into the back of a
car--and drove off because I was terrified. And a few months later, I managed to
take both side doors off the car, by getting hung up on the gate to the high school.
Well, I wasn't writing bad grammar, that's for
sure ("where were you at?" ... nails on a blackboard!) I don't know that
we had any regular Friday night thing. Mostly, I suspect I was at home, unless
someone was having a party.
Heavens no. "Teachers Pet,"
perhaps, but never "party animal."
I tried a cigarette once, hiding in the
bathroom of my house. My father got angry because he could smell the smoke.
Then I decided I would buy a pack of cigarettes and learn how to smoke. I felt like
I was doing something very evil when I bought a pack of Kent mint filter cigarettes.
I tried to smoke one and then threw the rest away because I really didn't like it.
Probably, though that was not a term that
anybody had "invented" in the 1950s.
For the school the we love
And so on. yes, I can. It was
sappy, sappy, sappy. I haven't a clue who wrote it. But probably the same
person who makes "he is beyond the wall" kinds of sympathy cards!
My all time favorite teacher was Sister Anne, but she was not there my senior year. She had been transferred to Phoenix, so I guess my favorite teacher in my senior year was Mrs. Gavin, the French teacher.
French. French became my major in
St. Vincent High School.
I don't think we had one, unless it was St.
Louise de Marillac, the patron saint of the Daughters of Charity.
Heavens, no. I loved high school.
Those were my best school years. But I wouldn't go back and be that young again for
You know what's really funny? I
remember that our graduation ceremony took place at the huge Cathedral (which burned down
several years later), but the only thing I remember about the ceremony is that afterwards
I said goodbye to a former classmate, Ruth Rose, who said "Well, I suppose we'll
never see each other again." Until that moment, it had never occurred to me
that I really wouldn't be seeing most of these women again. I didn't see
Ruth again until our 20th class reunion. She came and seemed to enjoy the day.
I walked her out to her car and she said she had her curiosity satisfied and she didn't
need to see any of us again. I once tried to contact her, when I agreed to be the
Alumna outreach coordinator for our class, but she never responded. I think she's an
attorney in the Los Angeles area.
No, I was 17. I started Kindergarten a
year early, 'cause I was so advanced in "coloring."
The School Play. "Tish."
A mystery that was written, I think, for the purpose of being performed by high
schools. I had, believe it or not, the romantic lead. The group that was
involved in that play became a very tight knit group. It was my very first direct
involvement with theatre, because in my school only seniors got to participate in the
I'm not sure what that means, but if it's an
"award thing," I won the "Vincenta award," which was one of the top 3
awards for graduating seniors.
I don't believe so.
Randy Ray Jones, who was my leading man in the play. He was shorter than I am and I'm sure, knowing what I know now, that he was gay.
23. Where did you go most often for lunch?
There was a Fosters restaurant 2 blocks from
school where we went frequently. For lunch, we weren't allowed to leave the
school grounds, I don't think. My clearest memory of Fosters was the day that
someone tripped and spilled Coke down my back.
After the ceremony, we had a party at our house. Right after graduation itself, I went on a cruise to Hawaii with my mother and grandmother, to spend the money my godmother had left to me when she died, since I was going to enter the convent in September. I then spent the rest of the summer working at a tool company where my high school "big sister" worked.
Sister Anne came to talk with me sometime
during the summer and said she didn't think I was really ready to enter the convent.
She suggested I wait an additional six months to make certain this was really what I
wanted to do. I spent that six months working as secretary at the school and taking
French classes at the University of San Francisco night school. Ultimately I decided
not to enter the convent after all and started UC Berkeley in January.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
The happy family following my graduation