Looking back it is still hard for me to place the relevance or importance of high school. We just had our reunion last week, and I always have mixed emotions. I did not attend, nor did I the time before, but I have gone at times and enjoyed my classmates.
That is why I have been somewhat obsessed with seeing the high school again after all these years. I had that opportunity while in Northlandia. The Wombie and I walked in and while he had been in at some point fairly recently, I have not been back since the day I graduated.
I was surprised by how very little it had changed. In fact I was shocked. I guess I had thought that there would have been major updates, but oddly, it remains a veritable time capsule.
During school we would have the occasional assembly or cheerleader tryouts. Naturally we would try to get as high up as possible. Not sure how much I paid any attention to things, but remember having a great deal of fun up there. One had to watch the withering eye of principal Pratt, but we were from Seaton, we had invisibility cloaks.
The only difference I can see to the gym was the replacing the Green Dragon memorabilia with Golden Eagle banners. Other wise it remains the same. Along the far wall was the rope we were supposed to climb and touch the iron beam, a feat I loved doing. To the left was the trampoline we had fun using one year and also the boxing area where I took on Richie Maynard and didn't embarrass myself.
This was where we would spend many Friday nights on the left bleachers clear up top to watch the basketball games. Since I hated basketball I guess my participation was mainly of a social type.
I swear, this is the original shower. How can you not redo this area since the school was built?
This is the auditorium where they used to roll out a TV set during the World Series so we could watch. They don't do afternoon games anymore. This is where we had a hypnotist do a show for us once and made Frank Harlan cluck like a chicken. This was the place where we did singing shows for Christmas (my Lord, what was I doing in that?) in Mrs. Paul's chorus class.
This was a kind of Super Study Hall room. You could end up here with kids from all other classes. I also think it tended to be toward the end of the day so you could do your homework, gossip, or hatch bomb threats. See those windows? They used to be full length and all along the wall.
This was where my locker was, about the third one down.
You'll have to excuse my memory at this point but I think this was one of my favorite classrooms. This was chemistry and was helmed by a most remarkable lady, Miss Maggie Miles. She was so good she made it understandable to a decidedly right brain guy like me.* For the first time I understood the math involved and, dare I say, enjoyed it. Meanwhile, elsewhere in the building, I was taking Algebra I and II and was in a constant fog.
Finally, Mr. Bucklew's biology class. Home of this neat skeleton and fun dissections of frogs. The skeleton had arms and legs back in my day, however. This poor excuse of bones has learned what we all learn eventually: old age isn't a battle, its a massacre. I still have a tag by me and my dissection partner signed by Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
Another bunch of kids will be learning the ins-and-outs of high school this week. They will have the usual trials of youth - peer pressure, classes that amaze, classes that confound. Most will succeed, some will not. But through it all they will be bonded in some way, great or small, to those who stood beside us as we found our way.