Today was the beginning of a new school year here in Flagler County, Florida. My youngest is a Sophomore this year, kind of an in-between year of high school. No freshman jitters, yet no Junior or Senior excitement yet, either. The challenges will be geometry (one of my all-time favorite subjects), honors biology (mom, you get to help with homework in that subject), and world history (there is a lot more history to learn than when I was in high school!)
I am stretching my brain, trying to remember my Sophomore year in high school (1972-1973). We had a three-year high school, so it was my first year at the senior high. I remember walking to school each day, about 1-1/2 miles (no buses for us). I had Algebra 2 with Mrs. Miller, who’s favorite phrase was “that’s good mathematics” when an elegant solution was presented. I had chemistry with Mr. Yoder (wow, pulled his name out of a hat). Somehow I got put in the advanced half of the class, which meant we were left alone in a lab to conduct unauthorized experiments which often resulted in unknown, noxious gases which forced a hurried evacuation from the room. Let’s see, Mrs. Cavanaugh taught English, probably one of the most attractive teachers we had all throughout high school. I had health the first half of the year with Mr. Schnellenbach, the wrestling coach, who taught us more about wrestling than anything about health. Und second year German with Mr. Maiwold, who made our lives miserable until winter break, when he died, and was replaced with Mrs. Carpenter, who was just slightly worse. We had Phys Ed — every year back then — and had to take showers before heading to our next class. And band, which was always fun. Back then we marched to “Get it On,” the Olympic Fanfare, “Parade of the Chariots” from Ben Hur, and jammed to “Jingo” in the stands.
I guess my memory hasn’t totally let me down yet. Things we didn’t have: smart phones, Internet, texting, AIDS, airport security, hand-held calculators, digital cameras, bike helmets, microwave ovens, cable or satellite TV and DVRs. We did have Converse Chuck Taylor All-Stars, curable STDs, classic rock before it was “classic”, pot, great high school football and $.29 McDonald’s hamburgers. It wasn’t such a bad year.