Switching high schools from a small, private girls' school to a huge public school was not an easy move for me. I made the change at the end of ninth grade, and began my sophomore year at Upper Darby High School in Pennsylvania. The changes were all big ones: Holy Child had only 300 students while UD had well over a thousand (Three thousand sticks in my mind, but I could be wrong -- it just seemed like that many); I didn't have to wear a uniform; the kids got away with a lot more -- (I couldn't believe people actually talked back to teachers!); but the biggest difficulty was that all these kids had been together in junior high and elementary school, so I felt like a late-comer -- people had already chosen friends and I wasn't one of them. To make matters worse, UD had sororities and fraternities (not sanctioned by the administration) that were selective and as old as the school itself.
But I made my way, and by the time I was a junior, I had made friends and found my niche through choir, the school paper, and Tay Wistalvan, the literary club. One of my friends, Steve Bell, and I used to enjoy singing "The 59th Street Bridge" and would easily break into harmony and just sing our hearts out (okay, so we were weird). Steve used to dive as a hobby and spent one summer diving around the Andrea Doria. He brought back artifacts he had found and lots of photos they'd taken on the dive. He was so proud of his accomplishments. His dad was a minister and he talked a little about how difficult it was to be a PK, but he really handled it with ease.
So when I heard "Slow down, you're goin' too fast" the other day, I remembered Steve. I wonder if that song stirs memories for him, too?
- I am a retired English teacher and department head, the mother of three, grand mother of three, and have been married to the same man for 42 years. I subscribe to Dr. PM Forni's concept of Civility. I was born in South Philadelphia and grew up in the 'burbs. I love soft pretzels and cheesesteaks, the Phillies, the Eagles, and San Diego. I love being Mom, Aunt Kathy, Nona Kathy, and Teacher. I spend a lot of time in my gardens in the spring and summer, and in the winter I plan what I'm going to plant. I also am an avid reader and photographer.