Before I start to answer these questions, I should mention that when I was going to school in the suburbs of Adelaide, we did not have Junior and Senior High School. We did Primary School until 7th Grade and then went either to High School or Technical High School. In those days we said “First Year” and “Second Year”. I think Third Year was called “Intermediate”, Fourth Year was “Leaving” and the final year was “Matriculation”. Basically, it was 8th through 12th grades. I was twelve going on thirteen when I went to High School. I did two years in one school and then mum remarried and I moved to another school where I did one more year. You could leave school at fifteen then so I did because I hated it.
We did not have many of the American traditions like Proms. I am still not exactly sure what a Homecoming Queen is.
What is one thing you remember about your first day of high school?
That was January 1970 so I think I can be forgiven for not remembering the details. I remember wearing my new school uniform for the first time. It was summer so a checkered cotton dress rather than the tunic, blouse and tie we had to wear in winter. We had straw hats too, I can’t recall if I wore mine of the first day. I certainly wore it very rarely after that. It was a big intake of first year students. I think there were five or six classes of around 40 students each. I walked to school with two friends from Primary School. I hoped that we might be in the same class but they divided us by what languages we chose to study. They both chose French and Latin while I chose French and German. I did not see the point of learning a language I would never use. At least nobody could accuse me of being a follower.
Did you participate in extracurricular activities or sports in high school?
Not if I could possibly avoid it. As I mentioned in a previous post about school, I didn’t enjoy organised group activities. I just wanted to go home and do my own thing.
Was Freshman hazing or initiations at trend at your high school?
Not that I am aware of. I never heard of any although that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.
Did you attend your Senior Prom? If so, do you remember the theme?
We didn’t have Proms in our High Schools. We had “Socials” but they were not a big deal. In later years I know that senior high school students started to have “Leaver’s Dinner” and that became a big deal where the girls dressed up and the kids often rode to the dinner in a fancy car or something like that. I don’t recall it being a thing when I was at high school but I left when I was fifteen so I don’t really know.
Is there a favorite memory from your high school days?
Despite my dislike of school there were a few good memories. In my first year our school had a team in a local TV quiz show called “It’s Academic”. First year students were invited to be part of the studio audience so my friends and I went. It was on a Saturday, a rare extracurricular activity for me. I also remember attending a school production of “Richard III” which was very good.
We had another teacher, Mr McCall who I liked very much because he was funny and talked about real life things. He had worked at a local “Special School” and arranged for our class to visit. I won’t say that the visit gave me a burning desire to help the disabled but it was interesting and I was glad of the opportunity to see how these children coped with life.
I think I was fairly lucky with teachers in those first two years of high school especially. Quite a few of them were younger teachers and they were good because as well as teaching us what was in the school books, they also opened our eyes, well mine anyway, to new ideas that I might not have had access to otherwise.