Story Weekend Theme: High School

Our theme for this Story Weekend: High School. (I hope my international readers will help me with the correct term for “high school” in their countries). That’s my high school on the left in Plainfield, New Jersey, after it’s 1906 unveiling.

Are you new to Story Weekend? No problem! Everyone is welcome. Here’s  an opportunity to share a tiny snippet of your life with my fellow blog readers. We’ve been having fun with it, but there are a few “rules”:

  • The story must be true.
  • Try to keep it under 100 words. That’s about six or seven lines in the comment form. I want others to read your story, and most people tend to skip if it’s too long. I know how tough it is to “write tight” but I hope you’ll accept this as a challenge.
  • Avoid offensive language.

Have fun, and as usual, I’ll kick it off with my own comment


  1. Diane Chamberlain on July 15, 2011 at 12:12 am

    My mother swore that when she graduated from Plainfield High School, parts of the old building were already condemned. You can imagine the shape it was in 35 years later when I graduated. But the holes in the walls were the perfect place to leave notes for my friends to pick up between class. I loved every inch of that dying old building.

  2. Sheree Gillcrist on July 15, 2011 at 4:44 am

    My mother sent me to an all girls Catholic Convent High School as she thought me to be just alittle ‘ boy crazy’. and in hopes that my errant youth would be calmed by being a part of the sisterhood of women. In reality, I never met a wilder bunch of women. Up for anything. We sang together in the Folk Club Mass at church and then smuggled in vodka drunk from my dad’s old plaid red thermos in front of our gun metal grey lockers in the basement under the hot water pipes. Our theory at the time was that it was colourless and odorless and that the nuns would be none the wiser. Ah youth:} As for those absent boys, well, they thought us to be starved for their attention and so lined up in their cars at lunch time posing and trying to catch our eye. They were the best of times, the worst of times but some friendships then got cemented in stone. My best friend from then is coming to visit us here the end of the month. Haven’t seen each other in well over twenty years. Wonder where I can find a red plaid thermos:}

    • Laurie on July 15, 2011 at 12:21 pm

      Ebay!!! They’ve got lots of ’em!!!

  3. Jerry Gibbs on July 15, 2011 at 8:04 am

    Slade School in East St. Louis looked alot like your school. I remember the wooden floors, windows, coatrooms, and 30 foot ceilings. Playgrounds were segregated by boy/girl, and there were candy stores on each side of the playground. I remember the boys and girls sneaking and meeting girls at the imaginary line that divided the playgrounds to talk to girls. I also remember the challenges the first black student had with being in fights most nights trying to leave and go home due to the racism that was in place at that time.

  4. Tina Blackwell on July 15, 2011 at 8:36 am

    I attended Myrtle Beach High School in Myrtle Beach, S.C., during the best of times there; 1969-1972. We loved the old red brick building that had been there since the 30’s. It had so much character and in those halls we learned about life, the world, and relationships. I can still remember the ancient grey lockers, the sweet little ladies with their hair nets who served us in the lunchroom, the gym and all of us in our silly little P.E. uniforms, the scent of Pine-Sol in the bathrooms, and the tiny chorus room where we sang at the top of our lungs! I had great friends, wonderful teachers and I consider myself fortunate to have experienced all that during what I consider to be ‘simpler’ times….

  5. Sheree Gillcrist on July 15, 2011 at 11:34 am

    As an addition to my previous post which I just re read.. Our testing of limits was a one off.All the sweeter as we were the ‘good girls’.lol. My mom would not be impressed. We may grow older but we never quite grow up:}

  6. Kelly on July 15, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    I go to my 35th reunion at the end of the month. I remember cafeteria – stealing fries off plates, giggles and friendships – many that have lasted even though I moved. Teachers – some good, some sort of not good but mostly very motivating. My girlfriend and I made nanaimo bars for every bake sale because ours were the best. We had 715 people graduate that year. Way too many however some of us had been to school since grade 2 and now it is so much fun to think of them. Grad reunion weekend there are 4 of us that walked to and from grade school every day and were in Girl Guides together that will be there. Should be fun as we have not seen each other since graduation.

  7. carolyn mirabella on July 15, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    I went to Wendell L. Willkie High School in Elwood, Indiana from 1957-1960. I was shy and had few friends as I was not allowed to do much. Did work as a carhop at age 16 to graduation. Have gone to all but on reunions and as the years have gone by have become closer to and now have friends all due to the internet, facebook and our [women] from Elwood site. I now talk with and visit some of these friends. I am still excited after at least 15 years with my connections to some wonderful people.

  8. Cindy Griffith on July 15, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    I graduated from Stuart High School 35 years after my daddy graduated. In 1970 all of the little community high schools consolidated into one county high school. The community high schools became elementary schools. My two children “graduated” from the 7th grade at my high school, and my two granddaughters did the same – so we had 4 generations attending that school. Memories of my wonderful high school years continue to be strong. It was the best of times!

  9. Sher Laughlin on July 15, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    Ah, the smells of high school memories. Our small-town highschool was brand spankin’ new back in the 70’s, everything smelling of new carpeting, fresh paint. But other smells come to mind, too. Especially my Junior year when one of the kids’ fathers owned a fish cannery and allowed us to use the huge space above the canenry to build our homecoming float. You say homecoming, I think albacore.

  10. Patti Mobus/Snover on July 15, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    Plainfield High School in Plainfield, NJ had Thursday and Friday morning assemblies that were so boring none of us wanted to go. So, we would chose one morning to head out to the Tea Room (a cozy luncheonette a few blocks away) for breakfast. Coffee, cigarette and an English muffin were the breakfast of choice. To make it back in time for 2nd period was a challenge. We’d cut through a construction site, through a back door, up three flights of steps to history. We made. I never got caught, either.

  11. John Inskeep on July 15, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    I hope this will allow posting links. I went to Plainfield High school and graduated in 1958, over 50 years ago, wow, seems like forever ago! About three years ago a young 16 year old girl I knew through a banjo forum asked me what it was like in high school 50 years ago. I sort of laughed to myself and thought “cars and girls” in that order. Instead of just writing her an e-mail and telling her what it was like for me, I made a little web page with a slide show on it showing mostly me during high school.

    So if this works, here is the link to that web page, enjoy.

  12. Diane Chamberlain on July 15, 2011 at 11:07 pm

    lol, John, your memoir was way over the 100 word limit but I loved it! Loved the video, too.

  13. snake on July 16, 2011 at 2:09 am

    watchung hills regional high school fall 1964
    Idecided it would be cool to ride my horse to school one day. I had permission to leave him tied at a house near the school. the day i did it the principal called me to his office and told me I couldn’t ride my horse to school. I asked why since others were allowed to drive cars, trucks,motorcycles and bikes. plus i never brought him onto school property. he said he wasn’t there to argue and to not do it again. the next day of course i arrived at school on horseback, this time going into the parking lot and up to those two big front doors that were alwats opened in the morning. the principal came storming out and yelled at me to “get that horse out of the parking lot!’ i did as he asked, i ducked low and into the corrider we went down the hall by the main office with many staff in pursuit. Up the hallway to a side corrider with another door at the end. i yelles to some kide in the hall to open the door. one who looked to dumbfounded to argue opened the door and out i went across thew football field around the building with kids waving and laughing from the windows. i made my escape through apath in the nearby woods. results; two week suspension the next day.

  14. Joanne Grover on July 16, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    High School crush, I had the biggest, crush on the drama teacher, Mr John Chufo, He made my heart go pitter patter. Young love. though he did not ever know. Also the best tuna fish sandwiches on a kaiser roll for 22 cents. I can remember their taste. yummy. sweet memories.

  15. Kerrie on July 17, 2011 at 8:35 am

    High school in Australia in the seventies was First form (now Year 7) to Sixth form (now Year 12). For me it evokes memories of men with a big cane disciplining boys in the hallways, bullies with clout terrorising the playground, endless rote learning of everything, long assemblies standing in the hot sun whilst people around you fainted. No one stayed at school after they turned fifteen unless they were going to university and lifelong learning was unheard of. There were no computers, mobile phones, Ipods or calculators. Most students walked, cycled or rode the bus. There were no VCRs so the Drive-in was the place to go or the cinema to see the latest movie.

  16. Margo on July 17, 2011 at 11:17 am

    She grabbed me & said ‘you were my favorite student’, while I said at the same time, ‘you were my favorite teacher’! Seeing her after all these years brought back wonderful memories of hanging out over lunch hours with my art teacher. My ‘free spirit’ mentor opened my eyes to a world of possibilities as we spent 3 years painting & talking at noon, religiously. What a surprise to see her living at the retirement community where mom resides. We felt like we had come full circle.

  17. Susan Mitchum on July 17, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    I graduated from a small town high school in South Carolina in 1964. Was always thought of as a “high school Harriet”…many good memories. Fortunate to have lots of friends and being a varsity cheerleader!! Everybody knew each other even though there were your usual “cliques”. Friendship has always been important to me so I was able to mix well. I still stay in touch with grade school friends and we have a high school class reunion every 5 years. Two years ago we had the 45th and had classmates who attended for the first time in 45 years….have lost 15 dear folks but can’t wait for 2014 and our 50th reunion!!! Tks for allowing me to share!!

  18. Diane Chamberlain on July 17, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    Just want you all to know, I read every word and love your enthusiasm. I don’t like to comment and stop the flow, so I’ll sit quietly now. . .

  19. Adelle Stavis on July 17, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    Junior year of Forest Hills High School, under the typical pressures of a teenager – depression, relationship angst, family issues, SAT’s – I wrote an essay in Honors English. The teacher pulled me aside to say he was particularly disappointed. He felt I was more capable than what had been submitted and had given me a C, but the next paper of that caliber would receive an F. It made me see that perhaps, my actions indeed mattered; that I could cheat myself through not trying to do my best. The Blessings of a C. Thank you, Mr. Pospisil.

  20. Jean on July 17, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    My class of 99 graduates was the biggest ever graduating class at Ticonderoga High School ~ and it still is to this day. Growing up in the shadow of Fort Ticonderoga in the Adirondack Mountains was the best childhood ever, and high school was the best time for all of us. There were no cliques, no mean girls, no snobby cheerleaders or jocks. We all knew each other and all got along well. It didn’t matter what side of the tracks you were from, you still hobnobbed with everyone. Great small mountain town, great hard-working people, great kids. Nothing but great memories of the THS Class of ’67.

  21. Kevin Kennedy on July 17, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    My junior high school (grades 7-9) decided to inspire us budding scholars by installing a replica of Rodin’s “The Thinker” in the library. Unfortunately, it arrived fully anatomically correct. The metalshop teacher had to ‘excise’ the offending dirty parts & weld on a figleaf, thereby protecting our delicate psyches. Years later, I met him while was campaigning for mayor of the city (he won), and reminded him of the incident. We both had a good laugh.

  22. Katrina Lou on July 20, 2011 at 11:10 am

    I left high school little more than seven months after starting. Bullying was too much for me and that building remains a place of fear 10 years later. Instead I had one to one education with a team of 6 of the world’s greatest teachers for 10 hours a week. They taught in a way that made everything clear to me but may not have been traditional methods. It may have been quiet of other kids but it was a safe haven for me. And they gave me the confidence to go on to college and the desire to go to university in the future.

  23. Diane Chamberlain on July 20, 2011 at 11:35 am

    Katrina, I’m sorry HS was so rough, but I’m so glad you ended up with those wonderful teachers!

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