Freshman year came in with a flurry of new clothes and jittery nerves. It was a rude awakening to be the new kids on the block. We dropped from the top of the heap to the bottom over the span of the summer between 8th grade and freshman year.
One of the hard things to get used to was no recess or time between classes during the day. The only time off was for lunch and it was a fast one and then back to another class. Guess that is why most students planned a study hall each day for some down time.
There were lots of new rules to learn and everything was not in the same room any more. We had to run from the first floor to the second and back again for our classes and then over to the gym for our physical education classes.
The seniors and juniors were more than willing to help us with directions but it only took a couple of times of being sent to the wrong room to learn that you didn’t ask them unless you wanted to be late for class. I was late for several classes because I was sent in the wrong direction.
The other rule that was hard to get used to; it applied to the north staircase only. That staircase was monitored by Mr. Keener from the landing at the top. His rule was that you were to walk up the stairs, no matter how late you were going to be. There would be no running up the stairs or down the hall on the second floor.
As you know from an earlier story I made numerous trips back down the stairs to walk calmly up them. But as soon as I was around the corner and knew that he was still watching the stairs I was on a dead run so I was not late for class at the other end of the hall.
This was the first year that our class was not all together in a room for our classes. We were scattered all over the school. We were a close knit class and that was hard for me to get used to and I am sure it was for some of the other class mates.
The styles the year we started to High School were very specific. The girls wore box pleat skirts and crew neck sweaters that matched. The hairstyles were backcombed up and as big as we could get them. I wore a page boy that stood about 6 inches high and wide all around my head. Boy was I the fashion plate.
Now we had a different teacher for each class and that meant learning what each teacher was like and what they expected from us. But in general everything was a little harder and they expected a lot more from us because were high school now.
Freshman year started physical education class everyday in the gym and I was not very good at that. We started each class doing exercises: jumping jacks, now what are they supposed to do for you?
Then push ups, touching our toes and sit ups came next. After the exercises we had to run laps around the gym. After several laps around the gym we had to run up and down the bleacher stairs. Running was never my thing, I always felt like I was trying to run in the mud and my feet just didn’t want to move.
The last thing the teacher thought we should be able to do was climb the huge rope to the ceiling. Not sure what the purpose was for that either. First of all I am afraid of heights and second I could never seem to pull myself up the rope nor did I really care to.
Once exercise and running was over we could do what we liked best such as the trampoline (not for me though) and floor exercises which I excelled at. The only thing I could not do was stand on my head. I would always fall over when I tried that.
I was really limber and could do the floor exercises well. Another gal and I did several demonstrations at basketball games. The routines were put to music. It was fun and the other gal would add some tumbling and I would do more of what I was good at.
In the fall of our freshman year we started the book part of Driver’s Ed and when the second semester started we were ready to start driving with the teacher. All I can say is that he must have had the patience of Job…….. plus a set of brakes on his side of the car didn’t hurt.
But all the time that 4 of us girls spent in the car with him driving he only used the brakes on his side one time and it was the last resort I think. One of the girls was doing a three point turn on a narrow road and just kept backing and backing on one of the attempts and as she backed off into the ditch he finally used the brake as we neared the bottom.
So, our freshman year ended pretty much as it had begun but for different reasons. Now the jittery nerves were caused because we were taking driving lessons and learning to maneuver a car on the streets and highway. To contact Sandy: [email protected]